The scoreboard read 5-4 in favour of Team Red (representing Team Blue), but
the 2019 edition of the IIHF Global Girls’ Game was about much more than
what happened on the ice Feb. 16.
Calgary welcomed 40 Bantam-aged players from coast to coast to coast for
the fourth-annual event; the nine Hockey Canada members outside Alberta and
Ontario sent two players each, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association
supplied six players, and the rest of the roster was comprised of players
from across Alberta.
The main event was the game, but the goal of the weekend was to empower the
players by allowing them to build together, learn from one another, form
relationships, gain greater self-confidence, encourage good citizenship and
create a positive and fun memory in their hockey careers.
“When I think about hockey I rarely think about whether we win or lose,”
said Oakville, Ont., native Sierra MacDonald. “The things I think about are
when we hang out at the hotel, have fun together, go to dinners; I think
about the friendships.”
Players arrived late Friday afternoon, with a full day of activities
planned for Saturday.
A tour of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame at Canada Olympic Park and an event
at the Calgary Climbing Centre were sandwiched around the game at the
Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
It was back to Canada Olympic Park on Sunday for off-ice training and a
tour of the Hockey Canada facility, including a Q&A session with a
handful of female Hockey Canada staff who talked about their minor hockey
experiences and how the life-skills they learned helped them forge a career
in the game.
Then it was back to the airport to wrap up a whirlwind 44 hours for
“I was so excited,” said Maiya Nadrowski, who travelled from Iqaluit, Nvt.,
as one of the Hockey North representatives. “I thought it was such a great
opportunity and such a great experience because it’s something that you
don’t do very often.”
The IIHF Global Girls’ Game began Saturday morning in New Zealand (Friday
afternoon in Canada) and journeyed through 40 countries in 44 hours,
including stops in Japan, Malaysia, Macedonia, Spain, South Africa and
Argentina, among others.
Blue finished with a 137-135 win over White thanks to Canada’s National
Women’s Team; its 2-0 victory over the United States in the finale of the
Rivalry Series served as the U.S. portion of the global game.