The famed Medicine Hat Hounds Bantam tournament kicks off this Thursday with a line up of 16 of the top bantam AAA teams in Western Canada, including last year’s Western Canadian champs South Side Athletic Club and runners up, North Shore Winter Club. Saskatchewan champs Prairie Thunder are also attending.
Burnaby Winter Club Bruins, winners of this year’s Chilliwack tourney and a multi-time winner of the Hounds tourney, are also back, along with Kelowna based Pursuit of Excellence, Vancouver Thunderbirds and Surrey Thunder, giving BC a very strong presence in the tourney again this year.
And while the lineup definitely includes the majority of top teams in Western Canada, storm clouds are brewing over the 41st iteration of the tourney. A rival tournament appeared in Calgary last year and is going head to head with the Hounds in a competition for top teams on the same weekend. Okanagan Hockey Academy has elected to attend the Calgary tourney, along with the majority of top Calgary teams.
The tournament is famous for being heavily scouted by WHL teams looking for talent for their annual spring draft, and as a result has been able to attract consistently attract the top teams.
For the moment the tournament’s future looks secure, with majority of the top teams in BC and Alberta in attendance again this year.
Confirmed 2013 Tournament attendees:
Burnaby Winter Club,
Calgary Northstar Sabres,
Edmonton SSAC Lions,
Kelowna Program of Excellence,
Leduc Oil Kings,
Northshore Winter Club,
Prairie Thunder (SK),
Red Deer Rebels Black,
South East Athletic Club Tigers,
St. Albert Sabres,
Surrey A1 Thunder,