Halifax, Truro, preparing to host the world's best
HALIFAX -- Halifax is the only city in Canada that has hosted a world junior championship, a men's world championship and women's world championship – and it's getting ready to host the world's best again.
The 2020 IIHF women's world championship will be played in Halifax and Truro starting March 31.
The women's worlds were last held here in 2004, with Canada winning gold. Organizers expect this year's event to set women's world championship attendance records.
"This event, compared to 2004, is much larger, the women's game is much more widely recognized now and the women are competing at a much higher level," said Grant MacDonald, the general manager for the 2020 women's world hockey championship.
Along with Halifax's Scotiabank Centre, games will also be played at the Rath Community Centre in Truro.
Training camps will also be held throughout the province.
"We wanted to be purposeful in making sure that all of Nova Scotia gets a piece of this event, and be able to see some of the best female athletes in the world, in their communities or close to home," MacDonald said. "We anticipate that teams that are training throughout Nova Scotia will have a fan base they will build in those communities that will follow them through the championship."
Along with the games on the ice, the event will feature the 'now it's our time' female leadership summit.
"There's something incredibly powerful about seeing these amazing female athletes inspire us, even if we aren't at the professional level of sport, on how we show up as leaders as females," Carrie Cussons, the chair of the local organizing committee.
MacDonald said events like this help grow the game.
"There were two young players in the stands in 2004, Jill Saulnier and Blayre Turnbull who are now members of Team Canada and have competed for Canada at world championships and world juniors in the past, and we want to ensure that this event can be an inspiration to young females who are thinking about hockey, or any sport."
Along with Saulnier and Turnbull, Nova Scotia is also represented behind Canada's bench, as Spryfield's Troy Ryan was promoted to head coach in early January.
Ryan picked up his first win as coach on Monday in Victoria as part of the ongoing rivalry series between Canada and the United States.
The 10-team tournament will hit the ice on March 31, with a pair of games in Truro and a pair of games in Halifax, including host Canada taking on Finland at 7:30 p.m.