Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Alberta, Hockey Calgary and Girls Hockey Calgary, announced Thursday that the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will take place Nov. 6-10 at Hockey Canada’s home arena, the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Eight provincial and regional entries will face off at 2013 the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, including Alberta, Atlantic, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario Blue, Ontario Red, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Ontario Blue is the defending champion, winning its first gold medal at last year’s tournament in Dawson Creek, B.C.
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship marks the first time Alberta has hosted the event since its 2001 inception in Trois-Rivières, Que. The National Women’s Under-18 Championship is held annually, although it is replaced by the Canada Winter Games every four years.
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Girls Hockey Calgary, which was established in 1988 by local women’s hockey advocates Suzanne Jackett and Shannon Miller. Miller went on to win a silver medal as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
“We are thrilled that the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will be held at our home rink, the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson said. “Not only will this be an incredible opportunity to showcase our first-class facility, but as always, this event will be a wonderful way for our country’s future women’s hockey stars to display their talent and skill on national ice.”
"Hockey Alberta is pleased to be part of hosting such a prestigious event, which will be a great chance to showcase female hockey in the city of Calgary, its surrounding area, and across the province,” Hockey Alberta executive director Rob Litwinski said. “We look forward to working with Hockey Canada and Hockey Calgary throughout the upcoming months to ensure the success of the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship.”
“As the largest minor hockey association in Alberta, we are excited to be hosting such a significant event right here in Calgary,” Hockey Calgary communications manager and 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship co-chair Christina Rogers said. “Calgary is known as a great hockey city with lots of passion for and dedication towards the game of hockey, and we can’t wait to showcase that to the eight Canadian teams in November.”
Girls Hockey Calgary is also marking 25 successful years by hosting the female Midget A provincial championship from March 14-17 at the East Calgary Twin Arenas. Ten teams from across Alberta’s nine hockey zones will travel to Calgary to take part in this year’s provincial championship. The local association started with just one female Peewee team featuring 12 players during the 1989-90 season, but has quickly grown in the years since, with more than 30 teams ranging from Novice to Midget AAA, and more than 500 girls now lacing up their skates across the city.
“The female game continues to grow right here in Calgary. By hosting the Investors Group Hockey Alberta Midget A Female provincials this weekend and working with Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta and Hockey Calgary to welcome the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, we continue to bring awareness to the female game,” Girls Hockey Calgary president Deb Loomer said. “We look forward to celebrating 25 years of growth and success in 2013 and in November, we will do that by welcoming the best under-18 teams from across the country.”
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship will bring together teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 1996 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, led by head scout of women’s national team programs Melody Davidson, who will evaluate candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, as well as at other international events.
A number of Canadian women’s hockey stars have competed at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, including 15 who helped Canada’s National Women’s Team win the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt.:
- Meghan Agosta-Marciano (Jan. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Gillian Apps (2001 – Ontario Red)
- Vicki Bendus (Jan. 2005 – Ontario Blue; Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Courtney Birchard (Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Bailey Bram (2007 – Manitoba)
- Laura Fortino (2007, 2008 – Ontario Red)
- Haley Irwin (Jan. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Brianne Jenner (Nov. 2005 – Ontario Blue; 2007, 2008 – Ontario Red)
- Rebecca Johnston (Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Jocelyne Larocque (Jan. 2005, Nov. 2005 – Manitoba)
- Marie-Philip Poulin (Nov. 2005, 2007, 2008 – Quebec)
- Lauriane Rougeau (Nov. 2005, 2007 – Quebec)
- Natalie Spooner (Nov. 2005, 2007 – Ontario Red)
- Jennifer Wakefield (Jan. 2005, Nov. 2005 – Ontario Red)
- Catherine Ward (Jan. 2005 – Quebec)