August 1, 2022
Twenty years ago, a member of the CCAA Hall of Fame in the builder category did the exact opposite of building.
Allan Ferchuk served six terms as CCAA President beginning with the 1996-97 academic year. In one of his final acts before exiting the position in 2002, Ferchuk issued a directive that there would be no further discussion on the continuation of hockey in the CCAA as only institutions in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association with hockey programs were keeping the sport alive.
Ferchuk, who played a key role in the establishment of women's hockey in the ACAC and coached the Red Deer College Kings to four conference titles and three national titles, was also the athletic director at RDC in 2004 when the Kings hockey program was cut. From the fall of 1968 through the spring of 2004, the Kings finished atop the ACAC regular season standings on 11 occasions which was the most of any team. They also captured eight ACAC titles.
The impact of the decisions have been far reaching and long lasting. As of now, only two conferences sanction hockey - the RSEQ in Quebec (which withdrew from the CCAA National Hockey Championships after the 1988 event) and the ACAC in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Neither conference caps the season with participation in a national championship event. Teams from OCAA institutions last competed for a conference championship in 2004. Since the ressurection of the Kings in 2013, the team has not placed first in the conference regular season standings and has not made it past the semi finals in the conference playoffs.