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Lightning to take part in 'Girls Play Hockey Weekend'

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will take part in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s ‘2014 Girls’ Hockey Weekend’ starting this Saturday with special guest, United States Women’s Ice Hockey player and Olympic Silver-medalist, Anne (pronounced Annie) Schleper. Schleper will participate in a number of events on Saturday and wrap up the weekend on Monday morning by skating alongside the Lightning during their morning skate as they prepare to take on the Montreal Canadiens that night.

On Saturday afternoon, before the Lightning take on the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m., Schleper and a representative of the Brandon Ice Chicks women’s hockey team from the Brandon Ice Sports Forum will participate in multiple panel discussions for local Girl Scouts. Following that, Schleper and the Lightning Community Hockey staff will conduct a pair of street hockey clinics for the Girl Scouts from 3-5 p.m. on Ford Thunder Alley. At 5 p.m. the street hockey clinics will open up to all girls on hand on Ford Thunder Alley. Clinics will end at 6 p.m.

Prior to the game, that night’s Thunderstruck Skater will be from the Lady Vipers, who play out of the Ice Factory in Kissimmee. Players from the Lady Vipers will also participate during both intermissions, with a scrimmage in the first and a shootout in the second. Schleper will then be honored pre-game with a short video tribute and then will participate in a ceremonial puck drop along with the captains from both the Lightning and Senators. Following the game Schleper will serve as the honorary captain as the Lady Vipers play a scrimmage on the ice at Amalie Arena.

Girls Play Hockey Weekend will come to a close on Monday when Schleper suits up with the Lightning and skates with the team during their morning skate, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Amalie Arena.

Schleper, who played college hockey and was an All-American at the University of Minnesota, will also serve as the Lightning Social Captain for the game on Saturday night. The 24-year-old won the Silver Medal with Team USA at the recent Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. She has also participated in three IIHF Women’s World Championships, winning gold in 2011 and silver in 2013, and four Four Nations Cups. A native of St. Cloud Minnesota, Schleper helped the Golden Gophers to the NCAA National Championship in 2012.

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