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Western Provinces Hockey Association.jpg

The Western Provinces Hockey Association is a junior hockey league that was sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union's United Hockey Union. The league  started play for the 2018-19 season.  The league was affiliated with the Western States Hockey League for the first season.. The league is an attempt to add more Junior A level teams in western Canada as many of the leagues have not expanded much in recent years.

2918-19

The league issued a press release on March 1, 2018 indicating that  a press conference was held February 8, 2018 and that there was six municipalities that were shortlisted for membership in the league.  The six communities were Edson, Alberta, Hinton, Alberta, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Slave Lake, Alberta, Morinville, Alberta, and Cold Lake, Alberta.  The league then indicated that eight more municipalities and first nations were showing interest in establishing a team in the league during either the first or second season of the league.  The new communities included the Ermineskin First Nation (which is located around the community of Maskwacis, Alberta) , Saddle Lake, Alberta first nation, St. Albert, Alberta, Quesnel, British Columbia, Williams Lake, British Columbia, Fort St. John, British ColumbiaDawson Creek, British Columbia and High Prairie, Alberta.[1] Several of these communities are already home to Junior B and Junior C hockey teams and it is unknown if any teams will be jumping from existing leagues or if these are new teams that are set to go head-to-head with the existing teams in the communities.

As of mid-May 2018 the only team officially announced had been the Edson Aeros. By mid-June 2018 the league also announced the addition of the Hinton Wildcats, Maskwacis Attack, Meadow Lake Mustangs, and Slave Lake Dragons.  The Cold Lake Wings would be announced by mid-July 2018.

During the summer of 2018 the league ended up becoming a division within the Western States Hockey League. By this point the Maskwacis Attack and the Slave Lake Dragons were not on the league website any longer.

2019-20

On June 13, 2019 it was announced that the Western Provinces Hockey Association teams that had been previously affiliated with the Western States Hockey League for the 2018-19 season would become affiliated with the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League and form the GMHL's Western Division.[2][3]

By early July the WSHL had two teams, the Edson Aeros and Meadow Lake Mustangs that had opted stay with the WSHL and announced the formation of new teams in Cold Lake[4] and Hinton, Alberta[5][6], The previous teams in those towns apparently left a trail of unpaid bills [7]

The league announced on June 15th they were in discussions with the Flying Dust First Nation in Saskatchewan about placing a team in the league.[8]

The league would announce the addition of the Edmonton Jr. A Hockey Academy on June 19th stating the team would "play in various facilities and communities in the greater Edmonton area". The league stated the following teams were members of the league at this point: Cold Lake Wings, Slave Lake Icedogs, Hinton Wildcats, Enoch Tomahawks , and potentially the Flying Dust First Nation.[9]

On June 28th the league announced the addition of a team in Rosetown, Saskatchewan.[10]

The team would be named the Rosetown Jr. Red Wings borrowing the name of the senior team in the town.

On July 24th the coach and GM (Reid Darren) of the team now known as the Enoch Tomahawks announced he was backing away from his involvement with the league after questioning the viability of the team and the league as a whole.[11]

On August 25th the league release its' schedule which inlcuded only four teams, Cold Lake, Enoch, Rosetown, and Slave Lake.[12]

In September Kevin McClelland,  the coach of the Rosetown Jr. Red Wings had joined the staff of the Portage College Voyageurs team amid reports that the Red Wings were on the verge of folding due to a lack of players.[13]

Teams

Team Centre Arena
Cold Lake Wings Cold Lake, Alberta Imperial Oil Place at Cold Lake Energy Centre
Edson Aeros Edson, Alberta Repsol Place
Hinton Wildcats Hinton, Alberta Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre
Meadow Lake Mustangs Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan Meadow Lake & District Arena

Dropped by time schedule was released

Team Centre Arena
Maskwacis Attack Maskwacis, Alberta Neyaskweyahk Memorial Arena
Slave Lake Dragons Slave Lake, Alberta Multi-Rec Centre

References

Links

league website

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