ARNPRIOR, ON - The communities of Arnprior and Renfrew, ON, have been awarded the 2002 Esso Women's National Hockey Championship, the Canadian Hockey Association announced on Tuesday.
The 2002 Esso Women's Nationals will be presented by the Canadian Hockey Association, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association and the premier sponsors of the CHA: Esso, Air Canada, Bauer NIKE Hockey and Royal Bank Financial Group.
The 2001 Esso Women's Nationals in Summerside, PEI featured 12 members of Canada's National Women's Team which will be taking part in the 2001 IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship April 2-8 in Minneapolis, USA. Seven players from Team Canada's Silver medal winning entry at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics also took part as Alberta defeated Québec 1-0 in a thrilling final to capture the championship.
The Championship also showcases members of Canada's Under 22 National Team and players who starred in the 2001 Women's Under 18 Challenge in Trois-Rivières, QC. Other current and former Women's hockey stars who have taken part in this annual event over the years include Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette, Geraldine Heaney, Stacy Wilson, France St. Louis and Angela James.
"Since their inception in 1982, the Esso Women's Nationals have played a major role in the promotion and development of female hockey throughout Canada and the world," said Bob Nicholson, President of the Canadian Hockey Association. "These players have brought credibility to hockey and serve as positive role models to youngsters who play for fun and excellence."
" As a premier sponsor of the CHA, Imperial Oil is pleased to sponsor the Esso Women's National Hockey
Championships. By supporting hockey programs and events we believe we are contributing to the youth of our
country in a meaningful way. We believe events such as the Esso Women's National Hockey Championship will
provide unique experiences for youngsters in the community but also enable us to demonstrate the tremendous
benefits the great game of hockey can produce for the players
who play; and for the fans who watch," said Todd Corradetti, Marketing Sponsorship Manager for Imperial Oil.
The Esso Women's Nationals have been held in Ontario on five previous occasions. The event was held in Brantford, ON in 19, Burlington, ON in 1988, Ottawa, ON in 1993 and in Mississauga, ON in 1999.
"We're excited about the opportunity to host the Esso Women's National Hockey Championship in 2002," said Fran Rider, Executive Director of the Ontario Women's Hockey Association. "Arnprior and Renfrew will be great hosts and we look forward to holding this event."
"On behalf of the 2002 Esso Nationals Host Communities, it is an honor for us to have been chosen as hosts of this prestigious event," said Glenn Arthur and Glen Goslin, Co-Chairmen of the 2002 Host Communities. "The people of Arnprior and Renfrew have proven their support of hockey over the years and we expect strong support from the entire community in creating an exciting atmosphere for the participating teams."
The tournament opens with two pools of teams playing a round-robin with the top three teams in each pool qualifying for the playoff round. The top teams in each pool receive a bye to the semi-finals. The Bronze and Gold medal games are played on the final day of the tournament.
Esso has been involved as the title sponsor of the Women's National Hockey Championship for the past six years.