(photo: University of Rhode Island at BOSS ICE ARENA, IIHF Facebook, WGIHW 2013)

On Friday, we posted information on the Anaheim Ducks‘ involvement in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s fourth annual World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend, especially their partnership with Olympian Hilary Knight. World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend takes place this Saturday and Sunday, October 11th and 12th, all across the globe. Here in the United States, there are other teams from the NHL, AHL, NCAA, and USHL celebrating this event, in fact there will be girls’ hockey events taking place in almost 150 locations from 34 states throughout the nation.

From USA Hockey

The goal of the event is to grow the game through a variety of events that aim to introduce beginners to basic skills in a positive, fun and safe environment; provide more opportunities to play ice hockey; teach fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork; create new friendships; and develop a lifelong love of the sport.

Members of the U.S. Women’s National Team will be joining Hilary Knight by participating in select events across the country. The events being held include youth hockey clinics (featuring the American Development Model), hockey jamborees, Try Hockey for Free opportunities, female-only tournaments, introductory informational sessions about the sport and other hockey-themed gatherings.

USA Hockey is encouraging participants to share stories by posting on their Facebook page and Twitter with the hashtag #girlshockey. The weekend has been a huge success since its inception in 2011. Photos from the past 3 editions can be viewed on IIHF’s website here: 2011, 2012, 2013.

“USA Hockey is proud to be a leader in the continued advancement of girls’ and women’s hockey,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “It’s terrific to see all the activity happening around the country this weekend and we’re most grateful to all the volunteers who are dedicated to helping grow the game.”

Women’s hockey is among the fastest growing sports in the world. In America, participation in girls’ and women’s hockey has swelled by almost 25% in the past decade with over 67,000 registered players. That growth for the game we all love so much can be attributed in part to incredible events like this, not just in the United States, but across the world.

Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.


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