CALGARY -- Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey Team will play Finland, one of their top rivals, in Belleville, ON on Dec. 18 during the 3 Nations' Cup Tournament, Canadian Hockey announced Sunday.
The round-robin tournament game, the first international game in Belleville involving one of Canada's National Teams, will be played at the Quinte Sports Centre, which features an Olympic-size ice surface. Tickets -- all priced at $6 general admission -- go on sale on Monday, Nov. 17 in Belleville and the surrounding area. The game is being presented by the Ontario Women's Hockey Association and the Belleville and District Girls' Minor Hockey Association.
"Southeastern Ontario is a hotbed for women's hockey and we're expecting a strong turnout for this game," said Rick Carr, president of the Belleville and District Girls' Minor Hockey Association. "Having an important game like this in our area is a wonderful opportunity to showcase world-class women's hockey and to enable the female players in our region to share in the Olympic experience that our best players are living through."
Fran Rider, executive-director of the OWHA, said: "The history of women's hockey in Belleville goes back a long time and the area continues to have a strong grassroots program. A game like this can only make the program that much stronger. It's also important for us to show our support for our team as it gets ready to represent Canada at the Olympics."
The 3 Nations' Cup, which also involves Team USA, is the last major tournament the top three teams in women's hockey will compete in before the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Team Canada, led by head coach Shannon Miller, will have pared its roster down to the 20 women who will represent Canada at the first-ever women's ice hockey tournament at the Winter Games.
As of Friday, the women's team had fashioned a 9-2 won-lost record as it prepares for the Winter Games. Canada has beaten the Chinese Women's National Team twice, Sweden five times and split four games with Team USA. Canada is currently in Finland competing in a three-country tournament against Sweden and the host Finns. Canada won its opening game in that double round-robin tournament 5-3.