CALGARY – Hockey Canada announced Friday that Calgary, AB has been chosen as the host city for the inaugural IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship, to be held January 7-12, 2008.
Both Father David Bauer Olympic Arena and Norma Bush Arena will host games during the championship, which is a big step in the development of women’s hockey around the world.
“This is a major event for the women’s game, and we could not be more excited to play host,” said Melody Davidson, general manager of the National Women’s Program and head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team. “Any opportunity to grow our game is one that we welcome with open arms.”
Hockey Canada also announced that Lois Mitchell, international business consultant and a member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, as well as a long-time supporter of women’s hockey throughout Canada, has been named chair for the host committee.
“To be asked to provide assistance in organizing the very first IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship is an honour,” said Mitchell. “My goal will be to get the entire community involved in a celebration of women’s hockey and create lasting memories for the participants, volunteers and to encourage more females to get involved in the game.”
Mitchell, on behalf of the host committee, also announced that longtime National Women’s Team member and Calgary resident Hayley Wickenheiser will serve as the event’s honourary chair. Wickenheiser joined the National Women’s Team as a 15-year-old in 1994, and has won six world championship and two Olympic gold medals. Wickenheiser served as team captain for the 2007-08 season, leading Canada to a gold medal at the IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winnipeg, MB in April 2007.
The first-ever IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship will feature 20 games over six days, capped off with the gold medal game on Saturday, January 12th at 7:45 p.m. MT at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena.
Eight teams – Canada, the USA, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic – are set to take part.
It was also announced that Championship Event Badges, which allow access to all 20 games as well as numerous special offers – such as a chance to be included in a photo with the National Junior Team and National Women’s Team – are now available at a cost of $99. Full details on event badges are available by going to www.hockeycanada.ca or by calling 403-777-3636. In addition, the host committee will commence a corporate championship supporter program with the Calgary and area business community over the next month.
The event will mark the second time Canada has played host to an inaugural IIHF women’s championship – in 1990 Ottawa, ON hosted the first-ever IIHF World Women’s Championship, a championship won by the host Canadians.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 debuted in August with a three-game sweep of the USA’s Women’s Under-18 Select Team in Ottawa, ON.