MONTREAL - The Kunlun Red Star WIH team, one of two China-based CWHL franchises in the league as of 2017-18, will play at the Bell Centre on November 11 against Les Canadiennes.
The matinee tilt will mark the first time a professional team from China will suit up in an NHL rink, pitting some of the best Chinese national players in the game against the reigning Clarkson Cup champions from Montreal. The Red Star also count several All-Star import players among their official roster.
It will be newly-acquired goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer's second-time starting between the pipes at the Bell Centre, having faced off against Les Canadiennes as a member of the Calgary Inferno in the inaugural regular-season CWHL game to be hosted in an NHL rink, on December 10, 2016. The three-time IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship silver medalist led the CWHL with a 1.49 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in 2016-17 before joining Les Canadiennes via trade in August 2017.
The Red Star will be led by two-time US Olympic silver medalist, Kelli Stack, and All-World Finnish netminder Noora Raty, Kunlun's first round pick from the 2017 CWHL Draft and a two-time Olympian. Raty was named the Top Goaltender at the IIHF Women's World Championships on three occasions.
"After a successful inaugural game last season, we're looking forward to once again hosting Les Canadiennes at the Bell Centre this year," said Canadiens owner, president and CEO, Geoff Molson. "This represents another way for us to work with Les Canadiennes to help grow the game both within the province of Quebec and at the international level."
The Montreal Canadiens announced a partnership agreement with Les Canadiennes in September 2015 that includes providing both promotional and financial support to the Montreal-based CWHL franchise. In addition to hosting regular skills clinics throughout the year, the Canadiens also host an annual all-girls hockey camp at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
"The CWHL is thrilled to be hosted at the Bell Centre again this year for a game featuring our newest team from China, the Red Star, playing against our reigning Clarkson Cup Champions Les Canadiennes," said CWHL commissioner, Brenda Andress. "With international superstars on both sides, we can't wait to showcase our league at the home of the Montreal Canadiens. We are so grateful for their continued support and commitment to growing the women's game."
Puck drop between Les Canadiennes and the Red Star is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on November 11. Tickets will start at $15 each and will be available for purchase as of Monday, October 2, at 10:00 a.m. on canadiens.com.
About the CWHL
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. The CWHL is a not-for-profit organization, with every dollar going towards building a league that is dedicated to raising the profile of women's hockey, providing a place for the best female players in the world to compete and inspiring the next generation of female hockey heroines.