Put the 39th annual Mac’s tourney on your holiday to-do list

The 39th annual Mac’s AAA World Invitational Tournament is quickly gearing up for it’s 2016-17 edition, which kicks off Dec. 26.

The Mac’s takes the best AAA midget hockey teams from around the world, to compete for the title of the best of the best.

There are male and female sides to the tournament, with 25 male teams and 15 female teams invited annually, according to the Mac’s official website.

Teams are placed in pools of five and play a round robin within their pool to determine who moves on to the single elimination playoff games.

Each male pool contains a Calgary based “host” team, the Flames, Royals, Buffaloes, Northstars, or the Bisons.

The female hosts are the Calgary Fire and the Rocky Mountain Raiders.

Each pool winner automatically moves on, and are joined by three wild card teams in the male format, and one wild card in the female format.

Once these games have been played and the final is set, the remaining two teams play for the championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome on New Year’s.

The Mac’s has seen it’s fair share of future NHL players in its time, including Sidney Crosby, Mike Modano, and former Flame Jarome Iginla.

This tournament is played at a very high level, attracting hockey fans of all ages.

Teams from Europe have had success at the Mac’s in recent years, with three of the last 10 champions coming from overseas, with the most recent being Team Finland in 2013.

Last year was a different story, as the Calgary Flames managed to bring the trophy back to Calgary for the first time since 2008.

This year, the CFR Bisons are looking like one of the favourites to win it all.

Led by 15-year-old Payton Krebs, who appeared in The Hockey News magazine’s top 100 prospects, they are currently sitting on a 12-0-2 record, in a tie for first in their league.

They Bisons haven’t won the tournament since 1998, but have a real shot at changing that this year.

Single day tickets can be purchased for $10 as and adult, or $9 for students and seniors, while kids under the age of 12 get in for free.

Tournament passes are $45 for adults, and $40 for students and seniors, which allow unlimited entry to games during the tournament.

Tickets for the finals go on sale Dec. 16.

Games will be played at three arenas, Max Bell, Father David Bauer, and the Flames Community Arena Blue, with the final games being played in the Saddledome.

Look for team announcements and pool placement in the coming weeks.

Further information can be found at  http://www.macstournament.ab.ca.

About Mitchel McKernon 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Mitchel McKernon is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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