Hockey Canada improves women's team schedule, wanting to fill a gap

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CALGARY – Hockey Canada has enhanced the Women's National Team calendar to fill a void.

Canada will compete in the Four Nations Cup in Sweden in November, face the Americans in friendly matches in December, and host the 2020 World Championships in Halifax.

Gina Kingsbury, director of Hockey Canada's National Women's Teams, also announced seven winter camps in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Players will have access to three skill sessions per week with coaches, compared to once a week last season.

All of this follows the announcement by the Canadian Women's Hockey League, on the eve of the world championship, in April, to end its activities, after 12 years.

"(This announcement) is actually a supplement for athletes who want to spend time on the ice and have no league to evolve," said Kingsbury. From a budgetary point of view, Hockey Canada has made efforts to be able to support us more this year. "

National team players and other players from Canada, the United States and Europe have stated that they will not play in any North American league until there is none. financially viable and sustainable.

These 200-odd players, including Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin and American stars Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, have created a professional hockey association. PWHPA members refuse to play in the US-based NWHL, which is entering its fifth season.

Kingsbury said Hockey Canada's plans would complement the Dream Gap Tour and additional ice time announced earlier this week by the PWHPA.

The union hosted weekend games for its members in Toronto, Hudson, New Hampshire, Chicago, Boston and San Jose in late September and October.

The Canadian Team's regular fall camp will be held September 9-15 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Additional camps are scheduled on weekdays to avoid conflict with the PWHPA tour.

"Our mandate was never to interfere with what they were going to do," said Kingsbury. We would never want to interfere with this movement. I think what they are doing is fantastic and is a great support for women's hockey. "

Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, sponsors the Toronto Dream Gap Tour (September 20-22), as well as the PWHPA ice rentals in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

With Hockey Canada's new agenda and what the PWHPA is offering, Canada's National Team players will have many opportunities to skate this winter.

It will still be difficult to replace the 24 games in LCHF, to which were added the playoffs.

"I do not think there will be a lack of time on the ice," said Kingsbury. Everyone will have to find ways to make things as competitive as possible. "

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press



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