AJHL releases 2016-2017 sched­ule

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

While the sun blazes side, hockey sea­son is around the cor­ner.

The Al­berta Ju­nior Hockey League (AJHL) re­leased the 2016-2017 AJHL Ex­hi­bi­tion and Reg­u­lar Sea­son sched­ules. This means the Drumheller Dragons will be back on the ice be­fore you know it.

AJHL Teams open Main Camp for the 2016-2017 Sea­son start­ing on Fri­day, Au­gust 26, fol­lowed by the start of the Ex­hi­bi­tion Sea­son.

The Ex­hi­bi­tion Sea­son will be­gin on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 31. Open­ing week­end will fea­ture 16 games.

The Dragons pre­sea­son will be­gin with tour­na­ment play. The Oko­toks Oil­ers will be host­ing a four-team tour­na­ment. The Dragons will play the Cal­gary Mus­tangs on Wed­nes­day, on Au­gust 31 at 1:45 p.m. The first chance for home fans to see the Dragons on the ice at Drumheller Memo­rial Arena is Fri­day Septem­ber 9 at 7:30 p.m. when they take on the Lloy­d­min­ster Bob­cats. out­right

The reg­u­lar sea­son opener is Fri­day, Septem­ber 16 on the road ver­sus the Cam­rose Ko­di­aks. Their sea­son home opener will not be un­til Fri­day Septem­ber 23 when they host the Cal­gary Mus­tangs.

Six AJHL teams will be­gin the 2016-2017 sea­son with a new Head Coach, two South Divi­sion teams and four North Divi­sion teams. Cur­rently, the up­com­ing sea­son would be­gin with 32 play­ers on AJHL ros­ters that have al­ready com­mit­ted to a Col­lege / Univer­sity for the 2017-2018 sea­son and be­yond. The to­tal num­ber of Col­lege com­mit­ments is ex­pected to sur­pass 75 by the com­ple­tion of the sea­son.

Cam­rose will play host to the 10th An­nual AJHL Show­case from Septem­ber 29 – Oc­to­ber 1. The Sher­wood Park Cru­saders will host the Spruce Grove Saints in a PreShow­case game on Septem­ber 28. Show­case Scout Pack­ages are now avail­able through the AJHL web­site.

The 2016 AJHL Semi-An­nual Meet­ing will take place in Red Deer on November 19. The newly formed Strate- gic Plan­ning Com­mit­tee will bring forth rec­om­men­da­tions to the meet­ing re­gard­ing the league sched­ule, play­off for­mat, cham­pi­onship struc­ture, par­ity and over­all fu­ture di­rec­tion of the AJHL.

The World Ju­nior A Chal­lenge, a show­case of Cana­dian and In­ter­na­tional Ju­nior A tal­ent, is re­turn­ing to Al­berta for the sec­ond time in tour­na­ment his­tory when the Bon­nyville Pon­ti­acs host the event De­cem­ber 11 – 17, 2016.

The AJHL will break for the hol­i­days from De­cem­ber 22 - 29. The Can­more Ea­gles will take AJHL hockey to the town of Banff, Al­berta for a third straight year on Jan­uary 31, 2017 when they host the Drumheller Dragons. A num­ber of satel­lite games are ex­pected to be an­nounced over the com­ing weeks in Al­berta com­mu­ni­ties.

The Reg­u­lar Sea­son con­cludes af­ter 480 games on Sun­day, March 5, 2017.

The 2017 AJHL Gas Drive Play­offs will open on Thurs­day, March 9, 2017. The top team in each divi­sion will re­ceive a first round bye. The Viterra AJHL South Divi­sion and Viterra AJHL North Divi­sion will play­off to de­ter­mine a di­vi­sional cham­pion at the con­clu­sion of Round Three. The North Divi­sion Cham­pion and the South Divi­sion Cham­pion will then com­pete in the AJHL Gas Drive Cup Fi­nal.

The 2017 West­ern Canada Cup will be held from April 28 - May 7, 2017 in Pen­tic­ton, BC. The 2017 RBC Cup will take place from May 13 – 21 in Cobourg, ON.

A com­plete League Sched­ule is now avail­able on the AJHL Web­site www.AJHL.ca.

Hockey ac­tion is just around the cor­ner as the AJHL an­nounced its 2016-2017 sched­ule.

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