Northern Bears have Esso Cup host privileges stripped; team will still play in women’s tournament at a new location in Alberta

The Prince Albert Northern Bears will not be hosting the Esso Cup at the Art Hauser Centre this year. --Kyle Kosowan/Daily Herald

For a third straight year, the Prince Albert Northern Bears will not be hosting the Esso Cup. While the first two years were postponed understandably due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this season’s announcement was one filled with disappointment among coaching staff, players, and the committee involved with organizing the tournament in Prince Albert.

Hockey Canada released a statement this morning, saying that both the Esso Cup and Telus Cup would be played in centralized locations in Alberta, but did not name cities for the tournaments.

Hockey Canada also stated that Prince Albert would remain as the “host team”, but with the Esso Cup being played in a different province, it certainly will not feel that way.

The Bears finished the regular season with a 10-15-1-4 record, finishing fifth in the SFU18AAAHL standings. They were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Saskatoon Stars.

More to come.