CALGARY, AB - The City of Salmon Arm, BC will host the 2005 Under-18 Women's Hockey Challenge from January 26-31, 2005, Hockey Canada announced on Thursday. All games will be played at the Sunwave Centre in Salmon Arm and tickets are on sale now by calling the ticket hotline at 250-832-3856 ext 102. Ticket prices will be $3-$5 for round robin games and $3-$7 for medal round games.
“The BCAHA is thrilled that Salmon Arm has been selected to host the U-18 Women's National Challenge”, said Fred Heslop, President of the BC Amateur Hockey Association (BCAHA). “We thank both the host committee and the community of Salmon Arm for the opportunity to expose our Branch to such an experience. It will greatly assist in building the enthusiasm for our growing female membership.”
Salmon Arm has previously hosted several provincial sporting events, including the 2003 Provincial Men’s Curling Championship, the 2003 BCAHA Midget AAA Provincials and the 2000 BCAHA Bantam AA Provincials.
“We have a great contingent of enthusiastic volunteers that will make this a very successful event. The tournament will attract hundreds of hockey fans and family members and we’re really excited to be hosting this event”, said Committee Chair Tony Burge.
The Under-18 Women's Hockey Challenge is an event that brings together the top under 18 aged women’s players from across Canada. Teams participating include a combination of regional and provincial teams: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, two teams from Ontario, Québec and Atlantic (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland).
“Female hockey in Canada has grown to the point where better competition now exists at the younger age levels and the Under-18 tournament will showcase players capable of competing for a spot on our a national teams in the very near future”, said Wally Kozak, Hockey Canada’s Women’s Program Head Scout. “This Under-18 event in Salmon Arm is particularly exciting considering that the 2010 Olympics will be held in Vancouver and this event exposes these players to top competition.”
Alumni of Canada’s National Under-18 Women’s Program include current National Women Team members, Kelly Béchard (1993, Team Saskatchewan), Becky Kellar (1993, Team Ontario), Cheryl Pounder (1993, Team Ontario), Hayley Wickenheiser (1993, Team Alberta), Caroline Ouellette (1997, Team Quebec), Cherie Piper (1997, Team Ontario) and Sarah Vaillancourt (2001, Team Quebec).
The Under-18 Women's Hockey Challenge is part of Hockey Canada’s Women’s High Performance Program, to complement provincial women’s hockey efforts and prepare players for future international and high level training and competitions.