“The Clarkson Cup Finals offer a great opportunity to showcase these women … as well as provide an incredible venue to watch the stars of the CWHL, including many former and current Olympians, playing the game they love.”
The Clarkson Cup Finals, the premier event in women’s hockey, are coming to town, March 24 to 27 at the Barrie Molson Centre (BMC).
The event will see the best women hockey players in North America in Barrie for the four-day tournament, an event that will have “considerable spin-off in terms of hotel and restaurant business,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said at a press conference, Thursday at the BMC to announce the finals.
“This is an exciting opportunity and the City of Barrie is embracing the opportunity to host such a high-caliber event. This tournament is expected to brings thousands of fans to the BMC … some of the country’s top athletes will be here to enjoy the tournament and all that our city has to offer.”
The Clarkson Cup was first awarded in 2006, to Team Canada. Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, who wanted a trophy that would be a symbol of excellence and supremacy for women’s hockey clubs in North America, commissioned it. In 2008 the Montreal Stars, Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) champs, won the trophy, the first time it was presented to CWHL champions.
The league has teams in Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Burlington and Brampton.
Brenda Andress, executive director of the CWHL, said the Vancouver Winter Olympics demonstrated the talent involved in women’s hockey.
“What most people don’t realize is that our female athletes work really hard to maintain a league that allows them to compete on an elite level. The Clarkson Cup Finals offer a great opportunity to showcase these women … as well as provide an incredible venue to watch the stars of the CWHL, including many former and current Olympians, playing the game they love.”
The finals are presented by Scotiabank. Duncan Hanney, senior vice-president, Canadian marketing, says the tournament makes a positive contribution to women’s hockey in Canada.
“We believe that women hockey players are great role models and will help a new generation of girls and young women reach their goals on and off the ice.”
The players themselves formed the CWHL in 2007. It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the profile of women’s hockey, as well as providing a forum for the players to compete.
In the media release accompanying the announcement, the players are described as women with families and careers. “By night, they are Canada’s finest hockey players – unpaid, underestimated, and ultimately unknown.”
Fans of the game will get a chance to know, and remember, these players when the tournament comes to town, with seven games over four days, three teams from the CWHL, and one from the Western Women’s Hockey League. A ‘Skate with the Champions’ will be held Sunday, March 27, before the championship game.