DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship starts Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the EnCana Events Centre, with eight provincial and regional teams hitting the ice in a battle for the gold medal, which will be decided Sunday, Nov. 11.
Defending gold medallist Ontario Red is playing in Group A, along with Team Atlantic, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, while Group B consists of last year’s silver medallist Quebec, bronze medallist Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario Blue.
Alberta and Manitoba face off in the tournament’s opening game Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. MT, while host team British Columbia will take on Saskatchewan in the opening day’s feature game at 7 p.m. MT. The top two teams from each group in the preliminary round will play in semifinals Nov. 10, with the bronze medal game set for noon MT and the semifinal winners facing off for the gold medal at 4 p.m. MT on Nov. 11.
All preliminary round games, as well as the placement games, semifinals and bronze medal game, will be webcast at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com, while the gold medal game will be broadcast on TSN2/RDS, official broadcasters of Hockey Canada.
“We can’t wait for the first puck to drop here in Dawson Creek,” said Chante Patterson-Elden, chair of the host committee for the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship. “The entire community is buzzing with excitement as the top female under-18 players from across the country prepare to go for gold at the EnCana Events Centre.”
The eight rosters competing at this year’s national championship include 21 of the 22 players who were members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the United States in Blaine, Minn., in August, and five players who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic, in January.
Additionally, of the 23 players named recently to Canada’s National Women’s Team for the 2012 4 Nations Cup in Kerava and Tikkurila, Finland, 15 are alumnae of the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, including 2010 Olympic Winter Games gold medallists Meghan Agosta, Gillian Apps, Haley Irwin, Rebecca Johnston, Marie-Philip Poulin and Catherine Ward.
This will be the fourth time British Columbia has hosted the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, with Surrey welcoming the event in 2009 and Salmon Arm holding the January 2005 and November 2005 editions of the tournament. Ontario Red has won the gold medal all seven times since the event’s 2001 inception in Trois-Rivières, Que.
The National Women’s Under-18 Championship brings together teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 1995 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, led by head scout of women’s national team programs Melody Davidson, who are evaluating candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship next January in Vierumäki, Finland, as well as at other international events.
Single-game tickets for the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship cost just $10 apiece for day games and $15 per person for evening games. Full-event ticket packages for access to all 18 games are available for $99, plus applicable fees, by clicking HERE. Ticket packages to all evening games are available for $45, plus applicable fees, by clicking HERE, while ticket packages to all weekend games are available for $75, plus applicable fees, by clicking HERE. Please visit www.dawsoncreekeventscentre.com for more information.
Development activities taking place during the national championship include clinics and hot stove panels for female coaches and officials, local elementary school visits by teams competing at the national championship, intermission mini-games, and programs such as Esso Puck Drop, McDonald’s In The Line-Up and Experience a Dream, which all give young female players the chance to step onto the ice alongside the top under-18 players from across the country. For more information on how to get involved, please contact Hockey Canada’s manager of schools programs, Kevin Bathurst, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Please contact Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, for any National Women’s Under-18 Championship interview requests at (403) 826-4819 or email@example.com.
For more information on the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c, and follow all the action from Dawson Creek via social media at www.facebook.com/womensu18 and www.twitter.com/hc_nwu18.