CALGARY -- Canada's Women's Olympic Team will pay a special tribute to Rose Cherry, the late wife of hockey personality Don Cherry, beginning on Nov. 10 when Canada plays the U.S. Women's Olympic Team at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Canadian Hockey announced Friday.
Starting with that game and running through until the final pre-Olympic game on Team Canada's schedule, the players will all wear a rose on their jerseys in memory of Rose Cherry.
"The growing popularity of the women's game in our country owes a great deal to Don and Rose Cherry," said Canadian Hockey chairman Bob MacKinnon. "They both threw their support behind the 1997 Women's World Hockey Championship in Kitchener, which was the most successful of the four world championships held so far.
"Don has been a strong supporter of the female game since the early 1980s and continues to speak out in favour of women's hockey. It's a pleasure for me, as chairman of Canadian Hockey, to be a part of this tribute to Rose Cherry, who was a keen supporter of female hockey herself."
The game follows a pair of matches between Canada and the U.S. in New Brunswick on Nov. 7- 8. The two teams last played in Kitchener in the gold-medal final of the Women's World Hockey Championship, when Canada won a 4-3 overtime thriller, powered by a three-goal performance by Nancy Drolet, who also scored the championship winner.
"I appreciate the recognition by the Canadian Hockey Association and this opportunity once again to show my support for women's hockey in Canada," said Cherry, who will be honoured at the game. "My wife, Rose, was a great supporter of the women's game and encouraged me to tell the public that these women should be treated fairly in our national game.
"It's very special that the players are recognizing the support she gave them by wearing a rose on their jerseys this year."
Cherry, and his grandson, Del Cherry, 3, will take part in the opening ceremonies of the game, with Del dropping the puck for the ceremonial face-off. Don Cherry will speak to Canada's Women's Olympic Team following the pre-game warm-up. Cherry will be introduced at a special reception preceding the game, also.
The Kitchener game comes one day before the Women's Olympic Team departs for Finland, where it will compete in a three-country tournament against Finland, bronze medalists at all four Women's World Hockey Championships, and Sweden, seeded fifth at the six-team Olympic tournament following their fifth-place finish at the 1997 Women's World Championship.