CALGARY – Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday that 41 of the country’s top female hockey players will attend the annual National Women’s Team Fall Festival, from August 31 to September 9 in Prince George, BC.
The 41 players have been divided into two teams of 20 and 21 players respectively – Team Red and Team White – and will play exhibition games against Sweden’s National Women’s Team and the Cariboo Cougars, a boys team that plays in the B.C. Major Midget League.
Hockey Canada will use the Fall Festival to identify players who may compete for the National Women’s Team during the 2007-08 season, which includes the 4 Nations Cup (November 3-12 in Sweden), January evaluation camp in Calgary, AB and the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Championship (April 4-13 in Harbin, China).
All practices are open and are free to the public. Tickets for preliminary-round and bronze medal games are $5 and tickets for the gold medal game are $7. Festival passes also are available at $40 and each pass includes a Hockey Canada pin and commemorative festival puck. Single-game tickets are available at Studio 2880 in Prince George and at the Prince George Coliseum on game days.
The players selected for the Fall Festival today is the result of the coordinated effort of Hockey Canada’s head scout of National Women’s Teams, Wally Kozak, and general manager of the National Women’s Teams, Mel Davidson.
“Even though these are exhibition games, fans can expect competitive hockey,” says Davidson. “These 40 players are battling for 20 spots on the National Women’s Team and consideration for Olympic centralization and this is their chance to impress the coaches and Hockey Canada staff.”
FALL FESTIVAL FACTS
• Four goaltenders, 12 defence and 25 forwards
• 19 members of Canada’s 2007 World Women’s Hockey Championship team
• 9 players from Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team which just finished a three-game series against the U.S.A.
• 2 players from Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team which just finished a three-game series against the U.S.A.
• Players from the following Hockey Canada branches
• 17 from the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association
• 11 from Hockey Quebec
• 5 from Hockey Alberta
• 4 from Hockey Manitoba
• 4 from the Saskatchewan Hockey Association
NOTE: Some of Canada’s top players from previous international competitions won’t be in Prince George for the Fall Festival. Cherie Piper and Kim St. Pierre are recovering from injuries, Cheryl Pounder will take the season off to start her family, and Meagan Agosta, Rebecca Johnston and Danielle Goyette have been excused due to other commitments. All of these players, except for Pounder who is taking the season off, are eligible to play for the National Women’s Team during the 2007-08 season.