The University of Regina Cougars female hockey team will be providing some insight to top-level hockey in Moose Jaw this weekend.
The Cougars are playing an exhibition game against NAIT on Saturday in Caronport at the Barkman Arena, but they have a busy retreat weekend planned as well. There will be an all female hockey day in Caronport on Saturday leading up to the game.
The players from the U of R team will be meeting with 60-70 girls aged 6-17 years old from the Moose Jaw Minor Hockey Female leagues. The teams will be mixed together for two 45 minutes on-ice sessions before the game.
“This is huge,” said Cory Davey, Moose Jaw Minor Hockey Female Coordinator. “This is the highest level that girls can play. The best players are playing in the CIS. So, if you want to equate it to something, it is like the girls’ NHL For them to be out there on the ice with these girls, it is something else.”
The Cougars have a busy weekend planned, but when Davey and some past and present members of the hockey team came up with the idea, it meant a lot to Moose Jaw Minor Hockey to be a part of it.
“They have such a busy schedule, but for them to make time for us and do this really promotes the female game,” he said. “This is the key…have the girls play girls and they can get recognized among their peers.”
The Moose Jaw Minor Hockey has some connections with former Cougars players, including Kelsie Graham, who works for the Saskatchewan Hockey Association. She is from Moose Jaw and the minor hockey league has done some events in the past with Graham and the SHA.
“Between Kelsie and I, we came up with this idea,” said Davey.
The Cougars head coach Sarah Hodges was also a main component in bringing this event to the young players, as was Jocelyn Campbell who is involved with the minor hockey female league.
“Jocelyn played with Kelsie and was coached by Sarah, so there is a tie amongst them,” explained Davey. “This is the first one we have done like this. We’ve done one like this in the past, but with a different team and the girls just loved it. Just being on the ice with the highest-level players…they have stars in their eyes. It is pretty cool.”
There is no charge to get into the exhibition game on Saturday evening in Caronport.