DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA – Sixty of Canada’s top female hockey players are in Dartmouth this week for the “Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival”, running October 7-12, 2003 in preparation for the upcoming 2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship in Halifax, Hockey Canada announced today.
The Festival, which launches the 2003-04 season for Team Canada, features a three-team tournament of Canadian women’s hockey players at the Dartmouth Sportsplex (full schedule of the Festival, including eight games and a skills competition, and the three rosters are attached). This National Women’s Team event is for evaluation purposes and represents a first step toward naming Canada’s roster for the 2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship from March 30- in Halifax. No final roster will be named at the conclusion of this camp.
“This event will give Halifax an opportunity to see Team Canada in its making,” says Fred MacGillivray, Chair, 2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship. “The success of high-profile national and international events, like the this Festival, hinges on the quality and extent of Community support – so come on out Halifax and enjoy the best of the best!”
The sixty players attending the Thanksgiving Festival include 17 members of the 2002 Olympic Champions and 19 of the 20 players named to the 2003 World Championship Team. (The 2003 IIHF World Women’s Championship, to be held in Beijing, China, was cancelled by the IIHF due to health and security concerns). The final roster for the World Women’s is due in February 2004.
The three teams will also have a significant community presence during the Thanksgiving Festival. “Our goal is simple, we want parents to consider hockey as yet another recreational activity that young females can enjoy,” explains Lauchie MacIsaac, President, Hockey Nova Scotia. “Hockey Nova Scotia in conjunction with the Local Organizing Committee has put together a community events program that will include school visits, development camps, seminars and autograph sessions.”
The 60 players attending the Thanksgiving Festival were selected following a thorough scouting and evaluation process led by the National Women’s Team coaching staff and Hockey Canada’s Head Scout for the women’s programs, Wally Kozak. Over the course of the 2003-04 season, Kozak and the coaching staff will continue to evaluate these 60 elite players, as well as others at Team Canada events and with their club teams.
The three Festival teams have been named ‘Team Scherer’, ‘Team St-Louis’ and ‘Team Wilson’, in honour of Canada’s first three Women’s World Championship captains, Sue Scherer (1990), France St-Louis (1992, 1994) and Stacy Wilson (1997).
The National Women’s Team coaching staff for the 2003-04 season includes Karen Hughes returning as Head Coach, along with assistant coaches Ken Dufton and Doug Lidster.
“We’re all very happy to be in Halifax for the Thanksgiving Festival,” said Hughes. “This event marks the beginning of the 2003-04 season for our staff and players, a season that is especially exciting with the World Women’s Championship being in Halifax next spring.
Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival (October 7-12, 2003) Ticket Information
• Tickets are on sale now
• Ticket prices: $5.00 Adults, $2.00 Youth (12 and under)
• To purchase tickets:
2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship (March 30-) Ticket Information
• Ticket package information at www.hockeycanada.ca
• For more information or to purchase tickets, call 902-451-1221
For further information on Canada’s National Women’s Team, the Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival, the 2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship and Hockey Canada, visit Hockey Canada’s official website at www.hockeycanada.ca.