Rugby roundup, John Reid Memorial Tournament and Heroes Hockey Challenge in Sports Extra


Rugby roundup

Janna Slevinsky of St. Albert came off the bench to score Canada’s first try Tuesday against England in the second of the three-match international senior women’s series at Twickenham Stoop.

Slevinsky, a high school rugby product of the Bellerose Bulldogs, crossed the try line in the 74th minute off the back of a five-metre scrum on England’s line.

Canada lost 49-12 in the 27th test match between the two counties, with Canada winning on four occasions.

The series opener was 79-5 for England last Friday at Allianz Park and the third match is on tap today at Twickenham Stadium.

Slevinsky is affiliated with the Calgary Saracans and played university rugby this year with the Queen’s Gaels after starring for the Acadia Axewomen as a U SPORTS All-Canadian in 2014 and 2013, Academic All-Canadian in 2014, 2012 and 2011 and was honoured as the 2015  Jean Marsh Female Athlete of the Year at Acadia.

Meanwhile, Alexie Pusch is the first St. Albert Rugby Football Club recipient of the Shelaine Kozakovich Cup as the Edmonton Rugby Union junior female player of the year since Janelle Romanchuk in 2010 and Slevinsky in 2009.

Pusch, captain of the U18 gold-medal winning Prairie Wolf Pack at the Canadian Rugby Championships in August at Calgary, played for the U18 St. Albert juniors that lost the 2017 ERU final to the Nor’Westers.

Also, Kyle Gilmour of St. Albert is the starting number-eight for Canada against Fiji today in Narbonne, France.

The SARFC standout was listed as reserve in the 54-22 loss to Georgia in Tbilisi on Nov. 11 and the 7-27 win over Spain on Nov. 18 in Madrid during the senior men’s November international series.

Kyle Baille, a former SARFC forward, is also playing for Canada.

Gilmour, the Edmonton Rugby Union’s senior player of the year in 2009 and 2013, was also selected to captain the Canada A lineup for the second annual Americas Pacific Challenge in October at Montevideo, Uruguay

The flanker on the 2015 Rugby World Cup team has multiple caps in 7s and 15s for Canada.

John Reid teams

The 16-team lineup for the John Reid Memorial Tournament has been finalized by the selection committee.

The host St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres will be joined by the Sherwood Park Flyers, Calgary Bisons, Airdrie Xtreme, Lethbridge Golden Hawks and Calgary Royals as the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League reps, as well as the Rink Hockey Academy of Winnipeg, Burnaby Winter Club Academy, Delta Hockey Academy Green, Yale Hockey Academy of Abbotsford, Okanagan Hockey Academy of Penticton, St. Georges Academy of Vancouver, OHA Academy of Edmonton, Northern Alberta Xtreme, Los Angeles Jr. Kings and Phoenix Jr. Coyotes.

The Northern Alberta Xtreme roster consists of four St. Albert minor hockey products: forwards’ Matt Savoie and Zack Ostapchuk and defencemen Cale Ashcroft and Marc Lajoie. Savoie, Ostapchuk and Lajoie played for the 2016/17 Sabres.

The 40th annual St. Albert bantam AAA tournament runs Jan. 18 to 21 at Servus Credit Union Place.

The 2017 winner was the Toronto Marlboros and in the final the first Ontario bantam AAA team in the tournament since 2002 edged Yale 5-4 in a shootout.

The three previous tournament winners were academy teams: Yale in 2016, Delta in 2015 and Okanagan in 2014.

The 3-2 tournament showing by the 2017 Sabres marked the first winning record by a St. Albert team since 2010 at 3-1-1.

The only St. Albert team win the tournament was the 1983 Territorial Leasing Sabres.

The tournament was renamed in John Reid’s memory in 2004. Reid was a forward with the St. Albert Saints and Sherwood Park Crusaders in the Alberta Junior Hockey League as well as the Alberta Golden Bears and was a positive role model as a hockey and lacrosse coach.

Reid died of leukemia at age 41 on Nov. 6, 2003.

Reid scholarship

The application deadline for the 10th annual John Reid Memorial Scholarship is Jan. 6.

Individuals who played bantam AAA for the St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres after the 2004/05 season and played hockey in St. Albert for a minimum of three years are eligible to apply for the $1,000 scholarship.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens and Alberta residents enrolled in a recognized post-secondary education institution.

Visit for additional criteria and the application form.

The successful applicant will be announced Jan. 18 at 7:15 p.m. during the opening ceremonies of the John Reid Memorial Tournament at Go Auto Arena.

Justin Kueber was the inaugural recipient, followed by Joshua Maeda, Steven Woolger, Brady McCorriston, Ryan Harrison, Liam Liston, co-recipients’ Steven Canduro and Brady Reid, Brad Holmes and Tyler Dea.

The Reid scholarship was established by the parent group of the 2004/05 Sabres to recognize former St. Albert bantam AAA players who are contributing members of society, academically inspired, volunteer driven and displays a passion for hockey as the individual it’s named after.

Donations to the scholarship fund are being accepted by the John Reid Memorial Tournament Society.

Heroes hockey

Hayley Wickenheiser, Ryan Smyth, Ty Gretzky and Gord Bamford will be lacing up their skates at the Heroes Hockey Challenge on Dec. 3 at Go Auto Arena.

The charity game between the Edmonton Oilers Alumni and the Warriors, a Canadian Armed Forces team, starts at 2 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and tickets are $10.

The Heroes Hockey Challenge is a series of charitable hockey fundraising events held annually in communities across Canada with various NHL alumni teams and celebrities participating.

Craig MacTavish, Shawn Belle, Garry Unger and Dave Pelletier are also expected to play in the family-friendly hockey game.

All funds raised will be shared by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Foundation and the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre in support of programs for Canada’s serving military, veterans and their families.

The Conn Smythe, Hart, Art Ross and Canada Cup trophies will be available for viewing and photos.

Bamford will also sing the national anthem and local minor hockey players from St. Albert and Edmonton will play against the Oilers Alumni during intermissions.


About Author

Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.