The B.C. Breakers couldnt get a break against the Calgary Oval X-Treme at Meadow Park Arena last Friday, Dec. 3, but Whistler fans were still treated to an exciting match-up featuring some of the top female hockey players in the world.
The X-Treme won the game 7-0, led by Olympians Danielle Goyette, Hayley Wickenheiser, Kaley Hall, and Lori Dupuis. Alone Goyette contributed two goals and five assists, having a hand in every goal scored.
For the Breakers, a younger and less experienced team, the big attraction was goalie Jennifer Price, who stopped puck after puck and made some incredible saves in a losing effort. "I think she was the best goalie Ive ever seen, male or female," said event organizer Kim Martin.
Both teams are in the newly formed Western Womens Hockey League, a new pro league with teams in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Minnesota.
Martin, from the Whistler Minor Hockey Association, said she was pleased with the fundraiser, which filled the arena to capacity.
"It was fabulous. We made about $3,100 for minor hockey, which is more than we had hoped for," she said. "All of our bantam girls hockey team showed up, and volunteered to help out, and I think they all really enjoyed the show. I think it had a tremendous influence on them as well.
"They lost their last game, but its the best that our goalie, Teegan Turcotte, has ever played. I think she was really impressed by Jen Price on the Breakers, and by the fact she had her blocker autographed by all of the Breakers and X-Treme players."
Four members of the girls team also got to sit on the bench with the players as honorary Breakers and X-Treme players, even going into the dressing room with them between periods.
It wasnt only the girls who were impressed by the level of play on the ice, said Martin, as most of the Whistler boys hockey teams showed up as well.
Martin thanked all of the volunteers for helping out with the 50/50 draw, puck toss, bake sale and silent auction. The bake sale contributed over $400 to Whistler Minor Hockey, while the autographed Olympic womens jersey sold for $350 and autographed sticks sold for $100 each.
"It was a great evening, and a great family event. We kept the prices low, just $12 for adults and $8 for teens and let kids six and under in for free, and there wasnt an empty seat in the house, it was standing room only.
The money raised by the game will go towards Whistler Minor Hockey Association expenses.
"The player dues are enough to get the ice and insurance, but theres not a lot leftover at the end," explained Martin. "If we want anything new, like uniforms or a coaching program, then we need to fundraise for it. We have scholarships and bursaries, and a lot of corporate individuals that are helping us out, but we still need to fundraise. We dont have any plans for this money yet, but we can guarantee it will be spent well."
For more information on the Western Womens Hockey League, visit www.westernwomenshockeyleague.com.