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The Paul Kane Classic tips off Thursday in men’s and women’s basketball.

The Paul Kane men host the Lloydminster Barons at 1:45 p.m. and the lady Blues play the Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats of Calgary at 3:30 p.m. at Paul Kane High School.

The Edmonton Christian Lions, W.P. Wagner Warriors, Sturgeon Spirits, M.E. Lazerte Voyageurs, McNally Tigers and Fort McMurray Miners round out the men’s bracket.

In the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association first ranking period, Paul Kane (7-5 overall) is eighth in 4A and Edmonton Christian is fifth and Sturgeon is seventh in 3A.

Sturgeon’s tournament opener is Thursday against M.E. Lazerte at 5 p.m. at Namao.

The men’s semifinals on Friday are 5:45 and 9:15 p.m. and Saturday the consolation final is 1:45 p.m., the third-place game is 5:15 p.m. and the final is 8:45 p.m.

The women’s bracket includes Sturgeon, Catholic Central Cougars of Lethbridge, O’Leary Spartans, Medicine Hat Kwahommies, E.P. Scarlett Lancers of Calgary and Fort McMurray.

Sturgeon’s first game is 6:45 p.m. Thursday against Catholic Central at Namao.

The 4A rankings list Medicine Hat sixth, the Blues (6-4 overall) are ninth and Catholic Central and E.P. Scarlett received honourable mentions.

The women’s semifinals on Friday are 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday the consolation final is noon, the third-place game is 3:30 p.m. and the final is 7 p.m.

In the metro Edmonton league, Paul Kane (3-2) visits the Bev Facey Falcons (3-1) Wednesday at 5 p.m. in division one men’s action.

The countdown to the John Reid Memorial Tournament is underway for the St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres.

The first of five Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League games for the Sabres (11-8-4) before the tournament starts Jan. 15 was against the KC Squires (2-18-2) Friday at Callingwood Recreation Centre. The score was unavailable at press time.

The Sabres are in Lloydminster Sunday to play the defending champion Heat (10-11-1) at 11:30 a.m.

The Sabres host the Leduc Oil Kings (17-4-1) at 6:45 p.m. Monday at Akinsdale Arena.

The last tournament for the Sabres was the 35th annual Edmonton Invitational Tournament of Champions during the Christmas break.

The Sabres finished 0-3-1 overall. They tied KC 2-2 and lost 4-0 to SSAC Southgate Lions, 3-1 to the Lethbridge Golden Hawks and 4-2 to MLAC Scott Pump.

The first tournament of the season was a second-place 5-1 record in Prince Albert.

At the 37th annual St. Albert bantam AAA tournament the Sabres are in the same Integrity Industrial Supply Conference as the Winnipeg Warriors, Colorado Thunderbirds and the 2014 champion Okanagan Hockey Academy in the Reid Pool.

The Calgary Bisons, Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Delta Hockey Academy Wild and Sherwood Park Flyers are in the Skybox Grill Conference in the Reid Pool.

The Iginla Pool is comprised of the Calgary Flames, Dallas Jr. Stars Elite, Southgate Lions and North Shore Winter Club Hawks (last year’s third-place finishers and 2013 champions) in the SVS Group Conference and Burnaby Winter Club Bruins, Edge Academy of Calgary, Yorkton Terriors and Los Angeles Jr. Kings (last year’s finalists) in the C2 Homes Conference.

Visit www.johnreidmemorial.com for the tournament schedule.

Second place was the order of finish for the St. Albert Bears at the 35th annual Edmonton Invitational Tournament of Champions.

The Bears lost Wednesday’s bantam AA final 5-3 to SSAC Barbecue Country at Callingwood Recreation Centre.

SSAC outshot the Bears 29-21 while posting period leads of 3-1 and 4-2.

Brett Miller tallied twice and Mac Deighton also scored in support of netminder Ryley Osland (3-1, 2.25 GAA).

In the Edmonton rural league’s metro red division, the Bears (16-2-1) are first for second place overall in the 32-team circuit and SSAC (10-7-3) is fourth in the standings.

Both teams placed first in their respective divisions for berths in the tournament final. SSAC was 4-0 (26 GA and nine GA) and the Bears defeated CAC Real Estate Weekly 4-1, KC Shamrocks 8-1, Stony Plain Predators 4-1 and SSAC Alberta Sports Wear 5-2.

Carson Henry led the Bears in tournament points with nine and Miller had six.

Deighton was the team’s top goal scorer with five and Stuart Dovey sniped four.

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St. Albert Gazette

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