Hockey Canada releases tournament schedule as host facility gets branding makeover
CALGARY, Alta. – Excitement for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship is mounting, with just over two months until the first official puck drop at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont. Adding to the buzz surrounding the event are two prominent signs of its impending arrival – new decals for the Meridian Centre, and the official release of the tournament schedule.
“This event has been months in the making, and to have the schedule available and in-hand makes it much more real. The Meridian Centre is all decked out, we are rallying our staff and volunteers, and when the teams arrive in January, we will be ready to greet them with the best of what St. Catharines has to offer,” said Bill Fenwick, event chair of the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. “We’re committed to deliver on our promise to make this year’s championship a memorable one for the teams and their fans, and to the businesses and residents of St. Catharines.”
The newly-decaled Meridian Centre reminds locals and visitors alike that something huge is coming – and now event organizers and Hockey Canada have also released the full tournament schedule. While most games will take place at the Meridian Centre – including Canada’s tournament-opener against Russia on Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. – the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre will host a total of four games throughout the tournament.
The bronze-medal game is set for Friday, Jan. 15, at 4 p.m., and the gold-medal game will follow at 7:30 p.m. – both at the Meridian Centre. Full-tournament ticket packages are still available; fans can visit the Hockey Canada website for details and to purchase their tickets.
The 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship represents a partnership between Hockey Canada, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, and the Niagara Sport Commission, and will feature eight teams – Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States – and takes place Jan. 8-15, 2016. The championship is a showcase event for the future of women’s hockey; 16 players who were on the ice for the gold-medal game at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games competed at the U18 world championship – seven for Canada and nine for the United States.
“The growth of the female game in Ontario, Canada and the world has been built on the base of hosting great events like the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship,” said Fran Rider, president of the OWHA. “In partnering with the Niagara Sport Commission and Hockey Canada on this event we are collectively working toward a long-term legacy of the event, which will be more girls playing the game of hockey and becoming fans of the female game both locally and around the world.”
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team has appeared in every gold medal game at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, winning four gold medals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and four silver (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015).