This year’s eight-team tournament brings together North American female hockey teams from six sport schools along with two AAA regional teams. Sport school teams participating include host St. Mary's Academy Flames from Winnipeg, defending champions Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres from Faribault, MN, Pursuit of Excellence from Kelowna, BC, Notre Dame Hounds from Wilcox, SK, Northern Alberta Xtreme from Edmonton, AB, and the Minnesota Revolution from St. Paul, MN. The Thunder Bay Queens and Eastman Selects are the AAA regional teams joining the challenge this year.
Joining me on Saturday will be Manitoba Bisons winger Alana Serhan as she'll come along to watch some games and provide colour commentary. As a broadcaster, it's always nice to get someone alongside you in the booth who has played against some of these teams and is acquainted with the program and some of its players. Alana, for those that don't follow Bisons women's hockey - yet you really should - grew up in Saskatchewan where she honed her skills, so she'll be familiar with the Notre Dame Hounds who are coming to play in this tournament as she squared off against them while playing midget women's hockey in the rectangular province.
On Saturday, TJ returns to his usual seat as he'll do play-by-play for the bronze and gold medal games with myself providing colour commentary. We will have a second special guest, though, as graduating Bisons netminder Amanda Schubert will add her expertise on the broadcast. Amanda was instrumental in the success of the Bisons over the last four seasons, and she can speak to some of the pressure the netminders will feel in the two medal games as both TJ and I have never played net before. Amanda has also coached and watched a few players from these teams, so she'll have some incredible knowledge to pass on to our listeners as well!
Tickets for the tournament are available at the door of the MTS Iceplex. Tournament passes are $25 and individual game tickets are $5 (children 12 and under free). For more information about the 2017 FWSSC, visit the FWSSC website where you can watch the live video feed of the tournament (no sound!) or listen to our broadcasts via the player on the page on Saturday and Sunday! Follow the tournament on Twitter at @FWSSChallenge and on Instagram at @fwsschallenge.
We'll see you out at the IcePlex this weekend!