The push for the Clarkson Cup, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s championship, kicks off today in Markham, Ontario.

First place seed Boston Blades will host fourth-place seed Toronto Furies  in a best of three series starting at 11 a.m. on March 4, and second-seed Calgary Inferno will do the same, hosting the Montreal Stars at 3:30 p.m. in the opening round.

The Blades are looking to re-capture the Cup after winning it two years ago, but they will have to battle reigning champs Toronto in order to do so. The Blades claimed the regular season championship title with 35 points, edging Calgary, who finished the season with 33 points. Montreal finished with 29 points, while Toronto finished with 19.

On March 5, Boston will again host Toronto at 11 a.m. and Calgary will again host Montreal at 3:30 p.m. Game three action is scheduled for March 6 if needed. Winners from each series will face each other March 7 at 2 p.m.

The Montreal Stars have won the cup three times before, while Calgary is looking for its first Clarkson Cup championship. Brampton, who has never won a Clarkson Cup, did not make the playoffs this season.

Live streaming packages for the games are available here.

The CWHL is the premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league in the world. It enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible, while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment and motivation. The league is centrally funded, with all participating teams in the CWHL receiving equal access to financial support and given the same opportunities to succeed.

Currently the CWHL consists of five teams: the Toronto Furies, Boston Blades, Brampton Thunder, Calgary Inferno and Montreal Stars. 

A college hockey fan and hockey player, Krista Patronick decided to pursue a career in sports management after earning a degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2009 and spending three years in journalism. She received her Master's of Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2013. After realizing she was meant to work in the hockey world, Krista went to work in any press box she could get into. She kept statistics, wrote shot charts, tweeted and live-blogged her way to a job as an operations coordinator and marketing director at The Hockey Academy in Hudson, N.H. She works with the company's two junior teams, adult hockey players, and youth teams. Krista is a goalie and enjoys playing hockey in her spare time. She is a die-hard Bruins and River Hawks hockey fan. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @KristaPatronick

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