Frozen Ring heats up St. Albert
Ringette tournament features outdoor games at Willoughby and Flagstone rinks
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 06:00 am
The second annual Stadnyk Frozen Ring celebrates the origins of the fastest game on ice.
“Our theme is back to the outdoors where the game started,” said Len Samletzki, tournament director for next weekend’s competition hosted by the St. Albert Ringette Association.
The Frozen Ring, named in honour of former SARA president Glenn Stadnyk, has expanded from six U10 novice teams last year to 24 teams in U10 and U12 petite.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of ringette in Canada and what we wanted to do was make it a little bigger and a little more splashier so we added an extra (outdoor) rink and we were successful in getting 24 teams out,” Samletzki said. “It’s also the only one in Alberta and I know they actually do this in Manitoba.”
Every team in the round robin will play two games outdoors at the Willoughby and Flagstone rinks and one game indoors at either the Servus Credit Union Place, Akinsdale, Kinex or Canadian Athletic Club arenas. The semifinals and finals are outdoors.
Samletzki said in order to accommodate 24 teams on outdoor ice the tournament would have to bee staged over four days.
“We didn’t want to go beyond that,” he said.
The inaugural Frozen Ring at Willoughby rink featured five St. Albert teams and Edmonton Chaos. In the final Chaos shut out the Fire Rings 6-0. Both teams were 3-0 going into the championship match.
“We had a fabulous tournament. It was over two days and it ended up amazing. The weather co-operated as well,” Samletzki said. “It was about minus 22 when we played our first game on Saturday and it was plus three going into the final.”
This year 12 U10 teams are divided into two pools and six teams are in both the U12 A and B divisions.
The St. Albert teams are the Hot Shots, Blitz, Ring Rebels, Sonic and Troublemakers in U10, Selects and Elite in U12 A and Rage and Sugar Rush in U12 B.
Teams from Medicine Hat, Calgary, Lacombe, Hinton, Leduc, Beaumont, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan and Spruce Grove are also entered.
A handful of teams are on the waiting list.
“This year we got teams right across Alberta. It pretty well covers most of the corners of the province.”
The 47-game schedule starts 8 a.m. Friday at Flagstone rink between the Rage and Bowview Blaze in U12 B and ends with Sunday’s U12 A final at 3:30 p.m. at Willoughby rink.
The last games on Friday and Saturday night begin at 6 p.m.
Sunday’s semifinals start at 8:30 a.m. The U12 B final is 2 p.m. at Willoughby rink and the U10 final is 2:30 p.m. at Flagstone rink.
Friday two St. Albert junior U16 teams are tentatively slated to play an exhibition at 7:45 p.m. at Willoughby rink.
Saturday’s exhibition between the University of Alberta ringette team and the brand-new St. Albert open (19-plus) STAB team starts at 7:45 p.m. at Willoughby rink. The line-up for the two-time defending Canadian University Challenge Cup champions includes SARA products Nikki Andruchow, Rachelle Davies, Shannon Jelec and Nicole Stadnyk.
Samletzki said the goals for the Frozen Ring are two-fold.
“We want the athletes to have a great experience and leave with memories that they will be able to take with them forever, and that goes for the fans and the coaches as well,” said the coach for the U12 A Selects. “The other thing is we want to make sure that this tournament is sustainable. We want to continue to offer this venue as an option. At the end of the day we’re hoping that through our fundraising and through our volunteers and fans that there is a third and fourth and fifth and so on.”
Visit www.stalbertringette.com for more Frozen Ring information.