First-ever professional women’s hockey game in Atlantic Canada to be held in Truro

TRURO, NS – Truro will host the first-ever professional women’s hockey game in Atlantic Canada this fall.

From November 12-14, professional female hockey players from Canada and the United States will take part in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s Secret Dream Gap Tour at the Rath Eastlink Community Center.

The tournament will feature Toronto (Team Sonnet), Calgary (Team Scotiabank), Montreal (sponsor to be announced) and Boston, the newest hub (sponsor to be announced).

Retired professional hockey player and five-time Olympic medalist Jayna Hefford, operations consultant for the PWHPA, joined the announcement virtually.

“We are delighted to meet all of the young girls and boys who will have the chance to attend some of the best women’s hockey in the world and to know that they will be supported in their dreams of having a future in the game,” said Hefford, who has two daughters and a son, said seeing women have equal opportunities impacts children.

The hockey league has reached major markets across Canada and the United States, but this is the first time it has visited Atlantic Canada. Hefford said playing in Halifax in 2004 was a memorable experience and appreciated the hospitality of Nova Scotians.

“We’re always even more excited to visit communities that we haven’t had the chance to connect with, to have an impact on,” Hefford said. “Our women are so accessible. They are such great ambassadors in the game, we are so confident that we will leave an impact on this community, and I can’t think of a better way for us to do that. We are therefore absolutely delighted.

Planned COVID Phase 5 restrictions in Nova Scotia mean event planners anticipate that restrictions on venue capacity will be lifted, and the PWHA has said it will comply with provincial and state regulations for public health at the time. RECC Executive Director Matt Moore thanked his staff for their “unwavering” leadership and commitment.

“Today marks the start of an important new chapter for professional hockey in Atlantic Canada,” he added. “As a father of four young daughters and someone who learned to love the game from three older sisters, it is very special. As we all know, the sports and live entertainment industry has been among the first and probably among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “

RECC Executive Director Matt Moore holds a hockey stick donated by the neighboring Millbrook First Nation, symbolizing community spirit. -Chelsey Gould

Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair said she understands the fight for gender equality, being the county’s first female mayor.

“We, as a community, are very happy (and) we are privileged to be the first community to have professional women’s hockey in Atlantic Canada,” said Mayor Blair.

She adds that there is no school on November 12 and on weekends due to an evaluation and evaluation day.

“What a perfect day for parents and teachers to bring the kids to this arena… to see the models on the ice who represent professional female hockey. “

Three years ago, before the pandemic, the province made a commitment to gender equality in sport, which led to the successful bid for the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship. in Truro and Halifax, later canceled due to pandemic.

“I think the biggest growth opportunity has been the women’s game, and I think with that we need visibility,” said Hockey Nova Scotia general manager Amy Walsh, who has been appointed to the committee. NHL Women’s Hockey Advisory Committee earlier this year. “We need to see the best players in the world on the ice in our province, and that’s what’s going to happen in November. And we couldn’t be prouder.

“I think it’s good for little kids to come see professional hockey, but (with) someone they can think of as girls. “- Amy Walsh, Executive Director of Hockey Nova Scotia

This will be the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic that Canadian and American teams will compete in the same space. In the 2020-21 season, Minnesota (Team Adidas) and New Hampshire (Team Women’s Sports Foundation) faced each other in New York, Chicago and St. Louis. Calgary (Team Scotiabank), Toronto (Team Sonnet) and Montreal (Team Bauer) competed in Calgary. Minnesota and Montreal were respectively crowned American and Canadian Secret Cup champions.

On Friday, teams play one game each, with winners and losers competing against each other on Saturday for cash prizes and season ranking points. The players will participate in conferences and clinical engagements with organizations and female hockey players in the region.

Some local young hockey players at RECC say they will definitely help out in any way they can.

“If it’s on the ice, off the ice, on the water… all over the place,” said Willa Evans, 16, with Brooklyn Bagnell-Lauther, 13, and Danni Totten, 15.

Evans grew up watching Sarah Nurse, an African-Canadian player.

“I think it’s good for the little ones to come and watch professional hockey, but (with) someone they can think of as girls,” she said.

Catherine J. Martinez