Visions of hockey games will be dancing in the heads of four (4) Major Midget League (MML) teams on Christmas Eve, as they are set to play in the prestigious Mac’s Midget AAA World Invitational Tournament from December 26, 2016 to January 1, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta.
The Cariboo Cougars (21-2-1-0), Greater Vancouver Canadians (11-9-3-1), Okanagan Rockets (17-5-0-2), and Vancouver North East Chiefs (15-4-0-3) will all make the trip to Calgary to compete against 20 other Midget AAA teams from across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
The tournament is played at several different arenas around Calgary, with the championship game being played at the Saddledome, home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Calgary Flames. The tournament draws more than 100,000 spectators over seven (7) days, with the championship game drawing 10,000 fans alone.
The invitation-only tournament has been held annually since 1978. Many current NHL players have competed at the tournament, including Jarome Iginla, Jonathan Toews, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Sidney Crosby.
The MML was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship.