by Kristen Lipscombe
January 16, 2914, CALGARY, Alta. (ISN) – With less than a month to go before the puck drops at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Canada’s National Women’s Team will play its final two home games against Alberta Midget Hockey League competition this weekend, completing a busy Midget Series schedule.
Canada will face the Strathmore Bisons on Friday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. MT before wrapping up its AMHL schedule against the Calgary Buffaloes on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m. MT. Both games are at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, and admission is $5 at the door.
As a thank you to fans for their support during the season, a Jersey Off Our Back promotion will be held Jan. 19. Fans can fill out a ballot at the game for a chance to be presented with a game-worn jersey from a member of Canada’s National Women’s Team following the game.
At the conclusion of the Midget Series schedule, including the season-opening Icebreaker Tournament, Canada’s National Women’s Team will have played 30 games against AMHL teams during the 2013-14 season.
“Our partnership with the Alberta Midget Hockey League is invaluable to our Olympic preparation. We thank the AMHL for its investment on our journey to Olympic gold,” said Melody Davidson, general manager of national women’s team programs for Hockey Canada. “We have been tested and pushed in each and every one of the 30 games we played, and that has contributed to our resilience and unity as we head to Sochi.
“We cannot say thank you enough to the fans that have come out to support our team and filled buildings across the province,” said Dean McIntosh, director of events and properties for Hockey Canada. “We look forward to stepping on the ice one last time in front of big crowds in Calgary this week.”
“It has been an absolute thrill for all of our teams to step onto the ice against Canada’s National Women’s Team this season,” Alberta Midget Hockey League vice-president Bob Olynyk said. “We could not be prouder to play such a major role in Team Canada’s Olympic preparations, and we wish the players and staff the best of luck in Sochi.”
The Olympic women’s hockey tournament runs from Feb. 8, when Canada takes on Switzerland on the opening day, and culminates Feb. 20 with the gold medal game. In the preliminary round, Canada also faces off against Finland on Feb. 10 and the United States on Feb. 12. Quarter-finals are set for Feb. 16, while semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 17. All games except for the medal round games take place at Shayba Arena. Medal games are set for Feb. 20 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi.
For more information on Canada’s National Women’s Team, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwt, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada, and www.twitter.com/hc_women.