The Investors Group Hockey Alberta peewee AA major provincial championship starts Thursday afternoon at Servus Credit Union Place.

Representing the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association are the Saints, the zone 3 reps, and the host Sabres.

In the Jarome Iginla pool the Saints play the Sherwood Park Jets, Red Deer TBS, Okotoks Oilers and the Calgary Blackfoot Chiefs. The Sabres are in the Mark Messier pool with the Edmonton NWZ Raiders, Lloydminster Blazers, Bow Valley Timberwolves and Grande Prairie Titans.

Both St. Albert teams are in action Thursday. The Saints and Sherwood Park hook up at 5:30 p.m. at Performance Arena. The Sabres tangle with the NWZ Raiders at 8 p.m. at Mark Messier Arena.

The opening ceremonies are set for Friday at 7 p.m. at Performance.

The tournament schedule is online at www.provincialchampionships.com/tournament_228.html

Rinks skipped by Jamie King and Kathy Piper will represent the St. Albert Curling Club at the Dominion club northern playdowns, beginning Friday at Sherwood Park.

King, the fifth man for the Brier-winning Kevin Koe foursome of the Saville Sports Centre, plays his first game against Blair Talaga of Ardrossan at 2 p.m. King’s team of Craig King, Ralph Killips, Brian Pfeifer and fifth man Elson Keown are the five-time defending St. Albert men’s club champions.

Piper is on the ice at 11:30 a.m. against Laurie Helland of Westridge. Piper recently skipped her team to a fourth-straight St. Albert women’s club championship. Piper’s line-up for northerns is made up of Jackie-Rae Greening, Nicole Bellamy and Laurie Schreiner.

The men’s and women’s A, B and C event winners advance to provincials in the fall.

Visit www.northernalbertacurling.com for draw times in the 24-team men’s bracket and the 18-team women’s bracket.

Meanwhile, the Tournament of Champions gets under way April 6 at Jasper Place for the 2010 Edmonton and area club champions. King and Piper were last year’s city finalists. Competing in the mixed bracket is the four-time reigning St. Albert club championship rink skipped by Doug McLennan. Last year the Award Windows crew of McLennan, Alison Howes, Colin Jenkyns and Ashley Ferguson were eliminated in the semifinal qualifier at cities.

The metro Edmonton high school badminton league is under way for the Paul Kane Blues, Sturgeon Spirits and St. Albert Skyhawks in pool B.

In match play this afternoon, Sturgeon hosts the Fort Saskatchewan Sting and Archbishop MacDonald Marauders. The Skyhawks entertain the Oscar Romero Ravens and Ardrossan Bisons.

The playoffs for the premier and city conference titles are April 19.

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St. Albert Gazette

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