The wait is almost over as eight provincial and regional teams have their eyes set on a gold medal at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, which gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, Ont.
Defending gold-medalist Ontario Red will play in Group A with Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan, while the silver-medalists, Ontario Blue, are in Group B along with Alberta, Atlantic, and British Columbia. Alberta and B.C. face off in the tournament’s opening game at 10:30 a.m. ET, while the feature game at 7:30 p.m. ET sees Ontario Red begin their quest to defend their title in a game against Quebec.
All preliminary round games, placement games, semifinals, and the bronze-medal game can be seen live via FASTHockey webcast at www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c, while TSN, the official broadcaster for Hockey Canada, will broadcast the gold-medal game Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET on TSN.
“After almost two years of planning and preparation, we are extremely excited to be only hours away,” said host committee chair Wendy McConnell. “It’s so exciting to think that a small town such as Huntsville will be hosting this country’s finest young female hockey players. Huntsville is, and always has been, an exceptionally sports-minded community. We know that the local fans will come out and support this event. Working with the OWHA and our other partners, we also hope to leave lasting memories for the players and families involved during their time with us.”
The eight team rosters feature 22 of the 23 players who played with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team that beat the United States in a three-game series in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.
The full 18-game tournament package is available for just $50; information on ticket packages and a link on how to purchase are available on the Hockey Canada website.
A number of development activities taking place during the national championship include female skills camps and a youth Esso Fun Day. Skills camps take place Nov. 3 in Parry Sound (Humphrey Arena), Almaguin on Nov. 5 (Sundridge Arena), and at the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville on Nov. 7. Esso Fun Day takes place Sunday, Nov. 8 at 11:00 a.m. at the Canada Summit Centre. For more information on how to get involved, please email Mandi Duhamel, Hockey Canada’s manager of female development at [email protected].
The 2015 tournament marks the third time Ontario and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) has hosted the National Women’s Under-18 Championship joining previous host committees Kitchener (2007) and Napanee (2008). The Championship is also the first of two major women’s events Hockey Canada and the OWHA will host during the 2015-16 season; St. Catharine’s, Ont. will welcome the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship from January 8-15.
For more information on the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c and follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/womensu18 and www.twitter.com/hc_nwu18.