(Edmonton, AB) - Hockey Edmonton is pleased to announce the creation of the all-new Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance, which will completely reform girls’ minor hockey in Edmonton. This initiative will align female hockey players and create the critical masses necessary to offer a broad range of top-quality elite and community programming that meets the skill, development needs, and interests of Edmonton’s players.
The Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will connect all girls playing minor hockey in the city under a single association, which will elevate development and significantly improve the female hockey experience in Alberta’s capital city. Currently, female minor hockey is fragmented, with seven minor hockey associations/clubs. Additionally, other options outside of the traditional minor hockey system have emerged, which further dilute girls’ opportunities. Creating a single Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will ensure that girls are able to receive an appropriate level of development and competition that will positively impact this next generation of female hockey players.
“While hockey as a whole has had a tough year, it is undeniable that it has been an exciting time for girls and women in hockey. There have been monumental accomplishments made by top-level athletes like Canada’s Women’s National Team at the Beijing Olympics and the U18 Women’s World Championship team, and even Sarah Nurse gracing the cover of ‘NHL 23’. We are also seeing a significant increase in viewership of women’s sports, and corporate partners stepping up in a bigger way to help grow grassroots girls hockey,” said Tomiko McCall, 1st Vice President of Hockey Edmonton. “We want girls playing hockey to know that they certainly aren’t ‘an afterthought’, and that there is a valuable place for them in this historically male-dominated sport. Edmonton has the largest ratio of female hockey players per capita in the province. We are confident that the new Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will help develop stronger hockey players and a united support system for girls who love the game. A similar system is used in Calgary, and we are very excited to watch this grow over the next few seasons in Edmonton and watch the future of female hockey progress.”
For the upcoming 2023-24 season, the Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will register, operate, and manage all-female hockey in the U13 division for the entire city. Additionally, they will also register and operate one premier, top-tier team at U11 and at U9, with highly-skilled players drawn from across the city. By the 2024-25 season, all girls will play within three levels of the Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance: Ice (elite level), Storm (community level), and Flurries (introductory level). The Edmonton Oilers, will support with the branding of the Ice, Storm, and Flurries. The Oilers Entertainment Group will also continue to partner with Hockey Edmonton on the top-level of minor hockey, the U18 AAA Edmonton Junior Oilers.
The Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will be offering introductory skates for U13 AA, U11, U9, and U13 Community this April. Registration will open tomorrow at www.hockeyedmonton.ca.
This transformation is being revealed during Women’s History Month, and while the best female hockey players compete this weekend in Edmonton at the 2023 Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) U18 AAA Provincial Championships presented by ATB Financial. The event, which takes place Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26 at Bill Hunter Arena, is being hosted by Hockey Edmonton and Edmonton Junior Oilers White, the reigning provincial champions. To encourage female hockey participation and help grow the game, the Provincial Championship event is entirely free to spectators.
To further celebrate growing the female game, four young female hockey players ages 11 to 13 from the Edmonton-region have been selected as Paris Jewellers Game Day Girls during the Provincial Championships. These girls will get the opportunity to each shadow one of the U18 AAA female teams this weekend, spend time with their role models, and participate in special activities, like an honourary puck drop prior to each Provincial Championship game.
Hockey Edmonton will be announcing the new Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance to an arena filled with female hockey players and supporters tomorrow, Friday, March 24 at 4:30 PM. Immediately following the announcement, the Edmonton Junior Oilers will take on rivalry team, the St. Albert Bauer Slash, in their first and only Round Robin match-up of the 2023 AFHL Provincial Championships. Media are invited to attend the brief announcement tomorrow at Bill Hunter Arena at 4:30 PM, and to stay for the Edmonton versus St. Albert game. Light refreshments will be provided for media in attendance. The tournament schedule, results, and other details can be found at www.u18femaleaaa.haprovincials.ca.
More details on the Edmonton Female Hockey Alliance will be provided during a Virtual Town Hall meeting this April. For more information or to register for this Zoom session, visit www.hockeyedmonton.ca.