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Trojans have unique ties to biggest midget AAA hockey

The Mac’s Midget AAA tournament was established in 1978, in Calgary,  and  has become one of the most renowned international hockey tournaments for young players.

Featuring 25 male and 15 female teams from Canada, the United States and Europe, the Mac’s has also become one of the most promising tournaments for post-secondary level scouting.

Head coach Terry Larson, for the SAIT Trojans women’s hockey team, has been religiously scouting the tournament for many years now and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.  

“Every year we go and look at the [graduating] players available,” said Larson. 

“I go and send my assistants too. I like to get them involved, so they can get used to the whole recruiting experience.”

“Usually we look at the grade 12s that are graduating that year, because the other ones are still hoping for CIS or NCAA.”

Larson has been coaching the female hockey players at SAIT for eight seasons now, and has successfully brought talented players from the tournament to the Trojans’ team. 

Amanda Pollock, forward for the Trojans, and legal assistant student at SAIT, played in the Mac’s tournament all three years of her AAA career and was recruited by Larson last year.

“Honestly, I think it’s a really good opportunity to get so many different teams to come together,” said Pollock.

“I think more teams should do it and get involved.”

The tournament has a great reputation for quality play, and has produced many national level hockey players over the years. All notable Mac’s alumni can be found in a ‘Wall of Fame’ posted on the Mac’s website and inside Max Bell Arena. 

As for Larson’s recruitment process, he says he not only looks for players that can benefit the team, but also those that could benefit from the programs offered here at SAIT. 

“My first priority when I go is to look and see where [players] would rank on our team, and then we go from there,” said Larson.

“I try to find out what they are interested in, school-wise. I go in trying to sell them on the programs here at SAIT, the education and what they can walk away with. The hockey is a huge bonus, but the school is the priority.”

This year’s annual Mac’s tournament is scheduled to start on Dec. 26,  and takes place at various rinks across the city, though mainly at Max Bell Arena. 

The tournament wraps up with both the men’s and women’s championship finals occurring on Jan. 1, 2017, at the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

Meanwhile, for our SAIT Trojans, Larson believes they are gearing up for a great second half of the season. 

“We have an awesome team,” said Larson. 

The numbers haven’t been there for the Trojans in the win column, but Larson is optimistic now that the team is starting to score more goals. 

“The second half is what makes it anyways.”

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