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Eight Olympic Gold Medallists to Suit Up at The Esso Women's National Championship; Rosters Announced and Single Game Tickets Now on Sale
NR.032.06
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March 2, 2006
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CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada announced on Thursday the rosters of the nine provincial teams participating in the 2006 Esso Women’s National Championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia, March 8-12, 2006.

This year’s Esso Women’s National Championship will again be played with a seeded pool system based on the previous year’s finish.  The “A” pool will feature five provincial teams: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.   The “B” Pool will feature four teams: Manitoba and three Atlantic teams; Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia (host team).  The NWHL’s Toronto Aeros have captured back to back Esso National Championships, representing Ontario and the OWHA, including last year’s event in Sarnia, ON.

The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has two teams at this year’s event (Team Ontario – Brampton Thunder and representing the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association and Team Quebec of the NWHL’s Montreal Axion), while the Western Women’s Hockey League is represented by Calgary’s Oval X-Treme for Team Alberta / Hockey Alberta.  The other seven teams are made up of players from various club teams within the province.

Six players from Canada’s 2006 gold medal winning Olympic women’s hockey team and two players from Canada’s 2002 gold medal team will make the trip to Sydney and represent their respective club teams /provinces.  The list of Olympians is as follows:

NAME POS   TEAM  OLYMPIC GOLD
Charline Labonté G Quebec (Montreal Axion – NWHL)  2006
Gillian Ferrari D Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL)    2006
Kelly Béchard F/A Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL)    2002
Lori Dupuis F/A Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL)    2002
Jayna Hefford F/A Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL)    2006, 2002
Vicky Sunohara F/A Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL)  2006, 2002
Caroline Ouellette F/A Quebec (Montreal Axion – NWHL) 2006, 2002
Gina Kingsbury F/A Quebec (Montreal Axion – NWHL) 2006

“We are extremely excited that so many Olympians have chosen to participate in this year’s Esso Women’s National Championship,” said the of the organizing committee Bev Patterson and Errol Jamieson.  “Their continued passion for the game is unparalleled and they continue to be first class role models.  The addition of these players to the already passionate group of players and teams participating this year is something that will enhance the excitement for hockey fans and participants at this year’s event.”

The Esso Women’s organizing committee announced that single game tickets for the 2006 Esso Women’s Nationals are now available for purchase.  Single game tickets are $7.00 for all round robin games and $10.00 for the bronze and gold medal games. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Centre 200 Box Office or by calling (902) 564-6668.

Each pool will feature round robin play starting March 8 and running through to March 12.   The quarterfinals will be held on Friday March 10th and the semi-finals will take place on Saturday March 11.    The gold medal game will be nationally televised nationally on the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada: TSN/RDS, on Sunday, .

The Esso Women’s National Championship was established in 1982 and is Canada’s Senior Women’s National Championship. The 2006 event marks the 25th anniversary of Canada’s National Women’s Championship and marks the 70th anniversary of Esso’s long standing commitment to the sport of hockey in Canada.  Nine of Hockey Canada’s Branches from across Canada will send a representative Senior Women’s Hockey Team to the event, featuring some of the top senior female players from across Canada. 

FOR MEDIA RELATIONS INQUIRIES: contact Mathieu Litalien who will be on-site at 403-703-8791 (cell).


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

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