Forty years of the Mac’s Midget
Boxing Day, 1978 is when it began. A hockey tournament that would bring 16-17-year old’s (and some 15 year-olds) from across Canada and across the world to play against local Calgary teams. It’s now 2017, and forty years on, it remains as one of the world’s biggest showcase of young hockey talent: the Mac’s AAA Midget Tournament.
Over the years, more than three hundred of these athletes have gone on to play for teams in the NHL. But the tournament, organized by Mac’s Convenience Stores, is far more than that. An event where community spirit comes across through the volunteering on and off the ice. The welcoming homes where distant travelers are invited to stay. And the celebration of a game played by 15,000 or so boys and girls in the city of Calgary. Hockey!
Belarus and Hungary in town
The big, out of town attractions for this year’s tournament are the national U-17 teams from Belarus and Hungary. But they have fierce competition from the likes of the New York Junior Islanders; and the Carolina Junior Hurricanes.
Calgary is well-represented, with all four of its quadrant Bantam AAA teams playing in the tournament: Calgary Royals; Calgary Buffaloes, Calgary Flames; and Calgary Northstars.
Young women as well as young men, compete through the holiday period from Boxing Day until the finals on New Year’s day. There are eight female Bantam AAA teams in this year’s tournament: Calgary Fire; Delta Academy Prep; Fraser Valley Rush; Prince Albert Northern Bears; Regina Rebels; Rocky Mountain Raiders; Swift Current Wildcats; and Vancouver island Seals.
More action from the games: Day 1
Three games were featured by J. Ashley Nixon Communications on the opening day of this year’s Mac’s Midget tournament.
You can see more photographs from the following links: