Western Canada Clash: best bantam teams set to do battle

medicine hat minor hockey

By Andrew Chong

October 23, 2013 Medicine Hat (ISN) – The 41st annual Medicine Hat Hounds Major Bantam Hockey Tournament goes Nov. 14 to 17 and will once again be a measuring stick for the best teams in Western Canada—it’s one of the premier events of the year in Western Canada.

This year’s participants include the Airdrie Xtreme, Burnaby Winter Club, Calgary Northstar Sabres, Camrose Vikings, Edge Mountaineers, Edmonton SSAC Lions, Kelowna Program of Excellence, Leduc Oil Kings, Lloydminister Heat, North Shore Winter Club, Prairie Thunder, Red Deer Rebels Black, South East Athletic Club Tigers, St. Albert Sabres, Surrey Thunder, and Vancouver Thunderbirds.

Derek Martin, co-cordinator of the tournament, says last year’s Top 8 teams were invited back (though, not all could attend because of budget restraints) and that he is looking forward to seeing how new entries do—teams like the Vancouver Thunderbirds and Calgary’s Edge School Mountaineers.

It’s going to be a very tough test for this year’s participants, as it almost always is.

“I think definitely the North Shore Winter Club and Burnaby Winter Club are always tough to beat,” said Martin. “From Alberta, the Lloydminster Heat are undefeated in league play, so far. Edmonton Southside, of course, has a very strong program. Obviously, Kelowna Program of Excellence is strong, as well.”

Through 41 years, the tournament has developed a pretty strong reputation as one of the highlights of the minor hockey season.

“I think, definitely between our tournament and the Kamloops International Bantam Tournament, those would be the best two tournament in Western Canada,” said Martin. “It’s become a tradition and it’s become a tournament that, every year, top teams like to attend.”

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