OTTAWA, Ont. – The Hockey Canada Foundation, in partnership with the host committee for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and Sens Foundation, will help make dreams come true for 20 female minor hockey players from Ottawa this Saturday, as part of the 2012 NHL All-Star Celebration coming to the nation’s capital Jan. 26-29.
The City of Ottawa has selected these players from its I Love to Skate program, which provides new helmets and skates, as well as on-ice lessons, for children between ages six and 12, “who might not otherwise have the chance to skate,” with financial assistance from Canadian Tire JumpStart and the Sens Foundation.
The Hockey Canada Foundation, which funds projects across the country aimed at growing the game, will supplement the I Love to Skate initiative by providing full equipment and next season’s minor hockey fees for the 20 participating players, as part of Hockey Canada’s Dreams Come True program, which works with minor hockey associations and NHL teams to give underprivileged youth the chance to play.
The 20 chosen female players will also receive tickets to the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Women’s Championship, taking place in Ottawa next April, and will attend an on-ice session Saturday morning at Ottawa’s brand new $2.1-million Rink of Dreams, a 12,500-square-foot refrigerated ice surface located outside of City Hall in the heart of downtown. The Hockey Canada Foundation provided the lead financial gift to the Sens Foundation for its first of 20 rink projects.
“We’re thrilled to see fundraising efforts from last June’s gala and golf tournament come to fruition on our capital city’s newly built Rink of Dreams,” said Chris Bright, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “A sincere thank you to the Ottawa Senators and Sens Foundation for their help in making hockey Dreams Come True for local kids."
Saturday’s outdoor, on-ice session will feature instruction from four members of Canada’s National Women’s Program, including 2010 Olympic gold medallists Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta./Alberta, CWHL) and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL), as well as 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship gold medallists Morgan Richardson (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) and Cydney Roesler (Stittsville, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL). The national team members and participating female minor hockey players will be greeted Saturday by City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
“This is a wonderful event that provides these girls with a special opportunity to skate with their heroes,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “I am especially proud that the Rink of Dreams can be a gathering place for this sort of activity and know that it will play a special role when the women’s world championship comes to Ottawa in 2013.”
Following on-ice drills and a shinny game, the players will have a chance to mix and mingle with their Team Canada role models. Starting at 11 a.m., Mikkelson, Ouellette, Richardson and Roesler will also be available for a public autograph signing session.
“It will be truly to inspiring to see these young players take to the ice and interact with some of our country’s top female players,” said Fran Rider, president of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. “We look forward to seeing how these girls grow as both players and people, on and off the ice.”
The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, in partnership with Senators Sports and Entertainment, will host the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship at SBP Arena and the Nepean Sportsplex next April, with schedule details to be announced at a later date. The last time SBP Arena hosted the National Women’s Team was , when 16,347 fans filled the arena, breaking a women’s hockey game attendance record, and watched Canada edge the United States 3-2 in a shootout. Canada’s capital city last hosted the IIHF World Women’s Championship in 1990, the inaugural event.
This will mark the sixth time that Canada has hosted the women’s world championship, joining 1990 in Ottawa, 1997 in Kitchener, Ont., 2000 in Mississauga, Ont., 2004 in Halifax, N.S., and 2007 in Winnipeg, Man. Canada’s National Women’s Team has appeared in every gold medal game at the IIHF World Women’s Championship, winning nine gold medals (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2007) and four silver (2005, 2008, 20).
For more information on the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship and Canada’s National Women’s Team, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca.