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Female hockey set to take over Kamloops

Team Canada hockey player Haley Irwin visits with minor hockey players in Kamloops earlier this year.
October 16, 2014 - 11:43 AM

KAMLOOPS - Four international hockey teams will be will be in town for the 4 Nations Cup the first week of November, along with 47 all-female youth hockey teams.

The 4 Nations Cup will see the national teams from Canada, United States, Sweden and Finland hit the ice at the Interior Savings Centre Nov. 4-8. The Kamloops Minor Hockey Association is jumping on board and will be hosting a series of female hockey tournaments that weekend as well.

Shawna Wark-Johnson of the minor hockey association says the tournament will include novice up through midget. In Kamloops there are currently about 140 girls playing on eight female teams but come November those numbers will more than sextuple as 47 other teams are set to come to town.

Wark-Johnson says the teams will be given the chance to attend the Friday afternoon game and the association is also not scheduling any games during the gold medal game on Saturday. There will be an interactive trailer with artificial ice set up, coach information sessions and a coaching ‘hotstove’ event, hopefully with the coaches from the 4 Nations teams.

The league is also trying to set up a chance for players attending the tournaments to meet with Team Canada players, but Wark-Johnson says that will likely be a last minute thing since the team is focused on preparing for the tournament.

She says the league has seen quite a bit of growth in female hockey over the last several years and hopes the 4 Nations Cup along with the 2016 World Championships, both happening in Kamloops, will help grow the sport even more.

With less than three weeks to go before Team Canada lands in Kamloops, hockey fever is definitely heating up in the city. At a recent council meeting Coun. Arjun Singh jokingly suggested the female councillors and city staff form a team to play in a charity game against Team Canada, which earned a round of laughter from everyone in attendance.

Tickets are still available for the 4 Nations Cup through Hockey Canada.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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