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Fort Macleod alumni hockey tournament planned for December

Alumni players will hits the ice in December for the third Hockey Through the Ages tournament.

After a two-year delay, Fort Macleod’s alumni hockey tournament will hit the ice in December.

Planning begins this month for the Hockey Through the Ages tournament.

“We need to have a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss planning, but at this point all systems are a go,” Scott Norlin of the organizing committee said Thursday.

The organizers have booked the arena and community hall for the weekend of Dec. 17-19.

With the public health restrictions lifted in Alberta, and COVID-19 vaccine readily available the organizers are confident they can hit the ice in December.

“No concerns at all,” Norlin said of a fourth wave of COVID-19 scuttling the tournament again. “Onward and upward.”

The first Hockey Through the Ages tournament was held in 2017 and the second one followed in 2018.

Between them, the tournaments raised close to $100,000 that was donated to a variety of projects and organizations in Fort Macleod.

The tournament is open to men and women aged 25 years and over who have either lived in Fort Macleod or played Minor Hockey here.

Players who are first to pay the $150 registration fee are “drafted” onto one of eight teams made up of 13 skaters and one goalie.

Each team is guaranteed four games, including one in a playoff contest.

In each of its first two years the tournament attracted a full complement of players.

An unexpected but welcome sideline were the huge crowds of parents and other family members and friends who turned out to support the tournament.

The organizers decided to take 2019 off, in order to give corporate donors a break, as well as players who travel a considerable distance.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the tournament from going ahead in 2020.

The tournament was planned for December 2020 and then postponed until March 2021 in the hopes the pandemic restrictions would be eased.

With those measures, which included bans on adult sports and public gatherings, still in place early in 2021, organizers decided to postpone again.

They booked Fort Macleod and District Community Hall and the arena for the weekend of Dec. 17-19.

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