The Board of Governors of the newly formed Western Women’s Hockey League is proud to announce that the inaugural season of the WWHL will commence in October 2004. The WWHL will feature five teams from Western Canada and the United States and many of the best players in the world.

The 2003 and 2004 NWHL champion Calgary Oval X-Treme and the Edmonton Chimos who recently parted ways with the National Women’s Hockey League are joined by the B.C. Breakers, Saskatchewan Prairie Ice and the Minnesota Whitecaps to form the Western Women’s Hockey League.

‘The Western Women’s Hockey League will provide leadership and opportunities for players, coaches and officials to develop and compete at the highest level possible,’ says WWHL acting president Kathy Berg of the Calgary Oval X-Treme. ‘By working with local, national and international organizations, the WWHL vision seeks to foster the quality, growth and prosperity of the female game.’

‘I am looking forward to being associated with the WWHL with a chance to take
women’s hockey in Canada to a higher level,’ says Hayley Wickenheiser of the Oval X-Treme. ‘The future of Canadian women’s hockey depends on strong regional competition and having the top teams in each region play for the title as number one in Canada. The players think this league can accomplish that and look forward to the future.’ Many Canadian and US Olympians will join Wickenheiser in the WWHL including Cassie Campbell, Dana Antal, Kelly Bechard, Danielle Goyette, Colleen Sostorics, Cammi Granato, Tricia Dunn and Jenny Potter. These stars will be joined by the future of women’s hockey including players who have competed at Canada Winter Games, U-22, CIS and the NCAA Championships.

Under the modified WWHL regular season schedule, each team in the league will play 21 games except the Minnesota Whitecaps who will only play 12. However, all league games against the Whitecaps will count for four points in the standings. In addition, the WWHL has instituted a bonus point structure consisting of 1 point for a series win and 2 points for a weekend series sweep. Regular season games will be played throughout Western Canada and the United States in both small communities and larger centers, showcasing female hockey and promoting the WWHL.

The Calgary Oval X-Treme will host the first ever WWHL championship March 18 – 20, 2005. The top three regular season teams will advance to a round robin format with the top two teams playing for the league championship title on Sunday. Round robin games will be played at the Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary. The Championship game will be moved to a bigger facility.

For more information contact:

Kathy Berg
WWHL Acting President, Director of the Olympic Oval High Performance Female Hockey Program.
(403) 220-8923 or kberg@ucalgary.ca

For media inquiries contact:

Jock Wilson
Olympic Oval Marketing/Communications
(403) 714-1967 or jocko3@telusplanet.net