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Edmonton Minor Hockey Week hits milestone as 12,000 players prepare for 930 games in 10 days

Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey week tournament. (CTV News Edmonton) Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey week tournament. (CTV News Edmonton)

Whether the memories were newer and older, the sentiment was still the same when organizers detailed plans for the 2024 edition of the Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week: warm memories of moments on the ice.

Darrell Davis, this year's honorary chairman and the son of Edmonton Minor Hockey Week founder Vern Davis who grew up playing outdoors with the Westmount Wolves, recalls the thrill of playing indoors in the late 1960s.

"We won our first couple of games, and we got to play indoors at the Coronation Arena, and although we lost that game, I kept staring up at the ceiling and looking at the lights and thinking 'Wow, this is fantastic.'"

Later as a father, Davis says his proudest moment at Edmonton Minor Hockey Week involved both his own father and his son, "having my dad hand out a silver medal to our team."

"That has remained with me for all those years," David said. "I have a picture of it back home. It's one of my favourite memories."

Edmonton Oil Kings forward Cole Miller, who grew up playing minor hockey in the city, remembers "a great week of fun and lots of good memories and experiences spending time with your team at the rink" along with winning the tournament.

"Getting to go in front of the photo wall and have your medal on and hold the trophies ... It's almost like winning the Stanley Cup for some of the kids I know," the 18-year-old Miller said, on hand Wednesday at Rogers Place representing his Western Hockey League club as Hockey Edmonton formally announced details of this year's tournament. "It definitely felt that way for me, too."

The 60th edition of Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week runs for 10 days starting Friday, involving about 12,000 players on 696 teams from age levels Under-9 to Under-18.

The tournament that set a Guinness Book of World Records mark in 2003 as the world's largest such ice-hockey event will stage 930 games on 50 sheets of ice at 32 arenas around Edmonton.

Hockey Edmonton also announced this year's recipients of the annual Wayne Gretzky Awards, given to three players for their outstanding sportsmanship, dedication to the game and community involvement. Kellen Kowalchuk (Junior winner), Kareem Averey (Elite winner), and Samantha Lee (Edmonton Federation Hockey League winner) will each receive a $1,000 scholarship from Servus Credit Union, a new aspect of the awards.

Festivities for Edmonton Minor Hockey Week begin Wednesday with an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at The Meadows Community Recreation Centre followed by the first game.

A formal ceremony comes next at 7:30 p.m., with the evening capped by a celebrity game, featuring a team made up of Oilers alumni, Oil Kings alumni, Golden Bears alumni and current members of the U18 AAA Edmonton Junior Oilers facing off against a media squad.

The High Level Bridge will be lit in red and blue in honour of Edmonton Minor Hockey Week's milestone anniversary.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Adel Ahmed and Evan Klippenstein. Top Stories

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