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Alberta

Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path

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Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path

Everywhere there is gloom. Well, almost everywhere.

A welcome exception is the 15-team Alberta Junior Hockey League, which lost much of its gate revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic arrival at playoff time, and now waits for permission from Hockey Canada and Alberta Health Services to go ahead with its 2000-2001 season.

President Ryan Bartoshyk confirmed on Monday that his league is “in the process of drawing up our schedule right now. We’re aiming (to have teams on the ice) by Sept. 1 and we hope to get the season started by Sept. 18.” Any and all final decisions must meet with at least two levels of official approval, of course, but operators have expressed their confidence by agreeing to put in the work, recognizing that later starts (or no start) are still possibilities.

To an outsider, the clearest declaration of league independence is this: the schedule, with various possible opening dates pencilled in, is being drawn up for all 15 teams. This is most impressive when it is known that several franchises – no names provided by president Bartoshyk or any team spokesman – have expressed serious concern about the cost of business in the coming season.

We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”

Not included are the Blackfalds Bulldogs, who will replace the former Calgary Mustangs at the start of the 2021/2002 season. Bartoshyk was pleased to say “work on the new arena for Blackfalds is due to start this month.”

Among the established teams reported to have mentioned their problems outside of league meetings are the Canmore Eagles, but the team’s two captains and a pair of assistants have already been named for the coming season. At least a couple of promising signings have also been announced. As a result, pessimism has shrunk a great deal.

Also optimistic about the coming season are the Olds Grizzlys, whose attendance averaged well over 1,500 a game when they dominated Junior A ranks several years ago but dropped to about 600 a game last year. “This is a great sports community, a great place to be,” said club governor and vice-president executive Trent Wilhauk. “We know the fans will come back; they love their Grizzlys.”

Population of the community is slightly more than 10,000. “It’s a happening place when the team is going good.”

After wiping out last year’s playoffs and destroying some of the regular post-season increases at the gate, COVID-19 has continued to harm the AJHL, just as it has damaged so many other areas of the economy. “We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”

Those financial setbacks may have been dwarfed by the loss of some appealing playoff matchups. “Some of the teams that drew above-average numbers for us (Okotoks Oilers, Brooks Bandits, Sherwood Park Crusaders) didn’t have a playoff game before we had to stop,” Bartoshyk said. “They all had byes in the first round.”

Other teams with relative season-long success at the gate also missed money-raising opportunities. “It’s obvious that our league relies on corporate sponsorship and support at the gate,” Bartoshyk added, mentioning a handful of promising pending post-season clashes — Drayton Valley and Sherwood Park, the Whitehorse Wolverines and the Spruce Grove Saints, Camrose Kodiaks and Drumheller Dragons – that could not take place.

At this point, the day’s general feeling that the AJHL future remains bright surfaced again.

Said Bartoshyk: “We’re ready. We’ll do what is necessary.”

https://www.todayville.com/edmonton/hundreds-of-young-athletes-grow-more-anxious-by-the-day-acac-season-a-series-of-options/

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Alberta

Appeal Court convicts Calgary man who attacked woman while he was high on mushrooms

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CALGARY — Alberta’s Appeal Court has ordered a Calgary man be convicted for breaking into a professor’s house and assaulting her while he was naked and high on magic mushrooms.

Last year, a judge found Matthew Brown not guilty of two counts of break and enter — one with the intent to commit aggravated assault and the other to commit mischief.

Court heard that the former captain of the men’s hockey team at Mount Royal University in Calgary ate magic mushrooms at a house party in January 2018.

He then broke into the home of professor Janet Hamnett and hit her with a broom handle.

The original trial judge had ruled that evidence supported the defence argument that Brown had experienced automatism and was not in control of his actions.

The Appeal Court reversed the decision by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins and concluded Brown is guilty of aggravated assault and is to return to court for sentencing.

One of the court’s three judges, Justice Ritu Khullar, noted that, in 1995, Parliament debated the defence of self-induced intoxication automatism in crimes of violence.

She said Parliament agreed that the voluntary consumption of drugs is reckless behaviour and that people have to be accountable for the unintended consequences of their actions.

“In this case, holding the appellant accountable for his violent attack against Ms. Hamnett is an important step in recognizing Ms. Hamnett’s self-worth and dignity,” Khullar wrote.

“It is demonstrably justifiable to hold persons like the respondent accountable for their decisions to consume substances known to affect human behaviour,” Justice Frans Slatter added.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Veteran CFL quarterback Dakota Prukop among 16 players released by Calgary Stampeders

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CALGARY — Veteran CFL quarterback Dakota Prukop was among 16 players released Thursday by the Calgary Stampeders.

Prukop, an American, signed with Calgary in January. He spent his first three CFL seasons with Toronto (2017-19), completing 18-of-30 passes for 284 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.

He was a member of Toronto’s Grey Cup-winning team in 2017.

Also released were offensive linemen Kwabena Asare and Jay Gutherie, receiver Malcolm Thompson, linebacker/long-snapper Benjamin Whiting, defensive back Michael Asibuo and linebacker Shaydon Philip. All are Canadians.

The Stampeders also let go defensive backs Corrion Ballard, Greg Ducre, Trae Elston and Javien Hamilton, linebacker Cory James, receivers Shawn Bane, Fred Trevillion and Aaren Vaughns as well as running back Trey Williams. All are Americans.

The club also announced that American defensive lineman Cassanova McKinzy has retired.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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