Shrunken Ice Mania kicks off

Todd Pruner
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Interest wanes for various reasons in midget AAA hockey tournament

The Prince Albert Mintos' Ice Mania tournament barely got off the ground this year.

Shrunken Ice Mania kicks off

The Prince Albert Mintos' Ice Mania tournament barely got off the ground this year.

The puck dropped Wednesday at the annual midget AAA hockey tournament at the Art Hauser Centre with just five teams participating.

"There were lots of invites out," said Mintos head coach Tim Leonard. "There was two teams from B.C. that were interested, and then decided at the last to not come. Manitoba was invited and we only got the one there. Alberta wouldn't let their teams come."

The Alberta Midget Hockey League, which usually has some strong representatives at the tournament, switched this year to an interlocking schedule between the north and south divisions and wouldn't allow teams to make the trip to Prince Albert.

After planning for eight teams, an Alberta entry from Camrose withdrew, cutting the field to seven. At that point, Leonard called the remaining teams to see if they were still interested in coming, and another two teams cancelled.

That left the Mintos hosting the Notre Dame Hounds and Moose Jaw Warriors of the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League, along with the Eastman Selects from the Winnipeg area and the Edge Mountaineers from Calgary.

"It's been a good tournament and when it kind of goes south, it's disappointing, but you've got to look at costs and stuff like that that get higher and higher every year," Leonard said. "Hopefully we can keep it going this year and next year we'll garner some more interest again."

In the past, it's been one of the biggest midget tournaments in Canada, drawing as many as 20 teams.

Leonard said it gives the Mintos a good opportunity to play some different teams and take their minds off league play for a few days. It also garnered a lot of attention from junior and college scouts.

"You'd hate to see it go by the wayside, but we can only do what we can do," Leonard added. "If teams don't decide to come, well, I guess maybe we'll have to shelf it."

The Edge Mountaineers got the jump Wednesday with a pair of victories. The Calgarians beat the Eastman Selects 5-2 in the opener, then downed Moose Jaw 5-3.

In Wednesday's late game, Notre Dame outdistanced the host Mintos 8-2. The Hounds got goals from eight different players, while Brandt Weldon and Clay Wilson replied for the Mintos.

The Mintos take on Calgary tonight at 8 p.m., then play twice on Friday. Prince Albert meets Eastman at 2 p.m. before an 8 p.m. clash with the Warriors.

All games are at the Art Hauser Centre.

The consolation final is Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by the championship game at 2 p.m.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Art Hauser Centre, Eastman Selects 5 Alberta Midget Hockey League Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League

Geographic location: Alberta, Notre Dame, Calgary Manitoba Camrose Winnipeg Canada

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Recent comments

  • gwg
    November 19, 2009 - 14:35

    Too bad about the shortage of teams. People that have previously attended in past years have said it was one of the best for competition outside of the MAC'S Tournament.