Let the provincial journeys begin. The draws are out and some of the games are scheduled and now the most exciting part of the hockey season is here.
Of the 20 teams entered in senior D provincials, three are in the Northwest region of the province. Radisson and Luseland both received first round byes and face off in the second round while Turtleford will face off with Lake Lenore in a series that needs to be completed by Jan. 30.
Wilkie is one of 22 teams entered into the senior C draw and will be up against Dundurn in the first round. Wilkie is scheduled to play host to Dundurn in game two of the series Jan. 28.
Nielburg entered the female midget B category along with six other teams. Neilburg faces Rosetown in the northern semifinals, which needs to be completed by March 12.
The Battlefords Sharks are part of a perfect 16-team draw at the female midget AA level. The Sharks face Prince Albert in the first round, which needs to be completed by Feb. 6. The winner advances to face the winner of the Waldheim/Saskatoon series.
At the midget C level, Edam will face Cudworth while Neilburg tangles with Dodsland. The winners of those two series will face off in the northern semifinals.
Spiritwood and Wilkie are two of the 24 teams in the midget B provincial draw. Wilkie will face Meadow Lake while Spiritwood faces Kerrobert. The winners of those series will meet in the next round, which needs to be completed by Feb. 8.
Midget A provincials feature seven teams. This year the Battlefords Barons received the first round bye and will face the winner of Rosthern and La Ronge in the northern final.
Unity and Midwest both qualified for the Centre Four Hockey League provincial bracket at the midget AA level. Unity faced Meadow Lake and after tying game one 3-3 they lost 3-2 in game two and lost the series. Midwest played in Turtleford against Prince Albert Tuesday and wrapped up the series Thursday in Prince Albert.
Bantam D provincials had 15 teams enter. In the first round, Paradise Hill will face Macklin and Edam squares off with Dalmeny. The winners of those series, that need to be completed by Feb. 6, will face off in the northern semifinals.
Spiritwood, Maidstone and Unity all entered the bantam B draw. Spiritwood earned a first round bye and will face Rosthern in the northern quarter-finals. Unity also received a bye and will face the winner of Maidstone and Kerrobert.
The Battlefords Bantam A Barons join seven other teams in the bantam A draw. Battlefords will play Swift Current and need to be completed by Feb. 27. The winner will advance to the northern final.
The Battlefords Bantam AA Barons automatically qualify for provincials this season after joining the newly created Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League. All six teams in the north division play in the playoffs, which are also considered the league playoffs, similar to the way the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League operates.
The peewee D bracket has 21 teams entered including Lashburn, who received a first round bye, as well as Turtleford. Wilkie will face Delisle in what would be the first of five series to the championship.
St. Walburg, Spiritwood and Unity all received first round byes in the peewee C draw. Spiritwood and Unity will have until Feb. 13 to complete their series while St. Walburg awaits the winner between Biggar and Hague.
The Battlefords Barons earned a first round bye in the peewee A category. The Barons will face the winner of Yorkton and La Ronge, as that series doesn't need to be completed until Feb. 27.
The Battlefords Barons qualified for the provincial tournament and will face Warman in the first found of the Centre Four Hockey League bracket. Battlefords will be in Warman Friday and host Warman in game two Sunday.
- The Regional Optimist sports department encourages any coaches, managers or parents to notify the newspaper, firstname.lastname@example.org as to when provincial games are schedule and provide results from all the teams in the Northwest.