The world’s top women’s hockey players aren’t the only ones facing off in Ottawa this week. The future stars of the game are here, too.
In conjunction with the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, the nation’s capital is also hosting the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association provincial championships.
There are more than 400 teams from across the province playing in almost every arena in the Ottawa area. That amounts to somewhere around 6,000 girls playing at various levels. And that doesn’t include parents, brothers, sisters (not playing), aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and all the other fans of the game that are filling in the stands. Needless to say, hotel rooms are at a premium.
We caught up with one family, here to participate in the OWHA provincials and take in world championship action, after the game between Switzerland and the United States on Friday night.
Meet the Sedgewick family: father Al, little brother Carter, 10-year-old hockey player Claire and her nine-year-old teammate Emily Swaine. The two girls play for the Kingston Ice Wolves in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League. Kingston plays in a geographic division that goes from Kingston, all the way west to Whitby. The girls play in the Atom division. They are here until Sunday.
Emily’s little brother, 7 years old, plays Novice hockey in Kingston.
Asked about their favourite Team Canada player, both Emily and Claire simultaneously said, “Jayna Hefford!” Hefford also happens to be from Kingston, Ont.
So were they planning to watch Canada take on Finland that night?
“Maybe on T.V.,” Emily said. “We have an early morning game; (we) have to be up at 7 a.m.”
So far, the Ice Wolves had had one win and one loss at provincials. The highlight for the girls was a win against Aurora. According to Claire, they won the game with 8.3 seconds left. Must have been a nail biter!
“Our toughest opponent so far was the Woodstock Wildcats,” Claire said. “We lost that game.”
The girls were excited to watch the Americans play the Swiss, a game that saw the United States skate away with a 5-0 shutout.
“Great game! fun to watch,” young female players agreed.
Asked what they liked most about playing hockey, Claire said, “hanging out with teammates and friends.” Emily concurred wholeheartedly.
The Ice Wolves are playing out of the Fred Barrett Arena in Gloucester, Ont. Good luck to them and all of the other teams participating in this weekend’s OWHA provincial championships!