Chestermere Lakers Kayden Calder looks for puck control April 1 during the Tournament of Champions event in town. Ponoka was one of five arenas that played host to the event.

Tournament of Champs closes season

Ponoka played host for the Tournament of Champions last novice and atom tourney of the season.

More than 2,300 players took in the Tournament of Champions last weekend that closed out the atom and novice hockey season.

Ponoka was one of five host communities Innisfail, Lacombe, Sylvan Lake and Bentley being the others for the 21st annual Tournament of Champions. This event was designed to give the younger group of hockey players a chance to end the season on a high note and it continues to be a popular event.

Tournament co-ordinators Bobby and Brittany McKinlay took over the organizational side of the tournament and this year saw 128 teams take part (56 atom and 72 novice).

Teams are tiered accordingly to their season performance and gives players a chance at a higher level of competition. Organizers hope to see an all-girls division developed for the tournament.

“We also feel that because of the size of the tournament it helps boost small business in the communities that host and we enjoy living in central Alberta,” explained Bobby in an email.