HUNTSVILLE, Ont. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association and Town of Huntsville, announced Friday that Huntsville will host the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, Nov. 4-8, 2015 at the Canada Summit Centre.
The tournament will include eight provincial and regional teams, including Alberta, Atlantic, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario Blue, Ontario Red, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Ontario Red is the defending gold medallist, winning its eighth gold medal at last year’s tournament in Calgary, Alta.
There is no National Women’s Under-18 Championship this season; the event is replaced every four years by the Canada Winter Games, which includes an under-18 women’s hockey tournament.
The women’s hockey tournament at the 2015 Canada Winter Games will run Feb. 14-20 in Prince George, B.C.
The 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will mark the third time Ontario has hosted the event since its 2001 inception. Kitchener (2007) and Napanee (2008) were the previous Ontario hosts.
“This is an extremely valuable tournament for the growth of young women’s hockey players, and has become one of the highlights of Hockey Canada’s women’s hockey calendar,” said Tom Renney, Hockey Canada president and CEO. “We’re excited to take the event to Huntsville, and look forward to a first-class event 14 months from now.”
“The OWHA is thrilled to work with Hockey Canada and the Town of Huntsville to host the top U18 talent in Canada,” said Fran Rider, president of the OWHA. “This championship has proven to be an exceptional spectator event, showcasing excellence both on and off the ice as participants live their dreams and fans share in the excitement.”
“We are extremely pleased that the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will be held at the Canada Summit Centre here in Huntsville,” said Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty. “We look forward to welcoming Hockey Canada, participants from across Canada, officials and fans to our community. To host such an elite event and be able to watch young women who are high-performance athletes play hockey is exciting. As a community we are very proud of our facilities, staff and exceptional volunteers that continually contribute to the steady growth of our sports tourism industry.”
The 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will bring together teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 1998 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, who will evaluate candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, as well as at other international events.
A number of Canadian women’s hockey stars have competed at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, including 14 who helped Canada’s National Women’s Team win the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia:
- Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Jan. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Gillian Apps (2001 – Ontario Red)
- Mélodie Daoust (2007, 2008, 2009 – Quebec)
- Laura Fortino (2007, 2008 – Ontario Red)
- Haley Irwin (Jan. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Brianne Jenner (Nov. 2005 – Ontario Blue; 2007, 2008 – Ontario Red)
- Rebecca Johnston (Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Jocelyne Larocque (Jan. 2005, Nov. 2005 – Manitoba)
- Marie-Philip Poulin (Nov. 2005, 2007, 2008 – Quebec)
- Lauriane Rougeau (Nov. 2005, 2007 – Quebec)
- Natalie Spooner (Nov. 2005, 2007 – Ontario Red)
- Jennifer Wakefield (Jan. 2005, Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Catherine Ward (Jan. 2005 – Quebec)
- Tara Watchorn (2007 – Ontario Red)
For more information on the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c, and follow via social media at www.facebook.com/womensu18 and www.twitter.com/hc_nwu18.