There will be plenty of female hockey on display in Prince Albert this weekend. Not only are the Northern Bears in town for a weekend series against Weyburn but the Prince Albert Female Hockey Tournament is taking place all over the city.
More than 47 teams from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan will play in 107 games over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday in age divisions ranging from U9 all the way up to U18 AA.
The tournament is currently in it’s 22nd year of annual operation. Tournament associate chair Luc Robin says it provides a consistent opportunity year-after-year for teams to compete.
“It gives an opportunity because there are not that many tournaments for the girls’ programs, especially in certain age groups. This being consistent, we get a bunch of inquiries right off the bat. It’s important in order to give the female athletes an opportunity to play. Tournaments are an opportunity to experience different teams as well as team bonding.”
The tournament was so full this year that a couple teams from out of province could not participate due to not being able to find hotels room in the city.
Robin says the tournament does a lot for the community as well.
“It’s great. It’s also good for our businesses and everything coming in. You can’t get hotel rooms and we’re packed. It’s good for the restaurants and it’s a major input to the economy in Prince Albert and we hope to continue to do that.”
With teams from across Western Canada traveling to Prince Albert this weekend and the Esso Cup coming to Prince Albert in the spring, it is a great time for female hockey in the city.
Robin encourages residents to watch the action this weekend, as well as the Northern Bears throughout the season.
“A lot of people don’t realize how good female hockey can be. If you haven’t seen female hockey and want to come and watch it. Take in a Bears game and see what you think. That’s a step towards being on the Saskatchewan team, leading you to Team Canada and all those possibilities if you want to dream that far.”