The nation’s best female hockey players will skate into Silicon Valley at the end of March to compete in the 2007 USA Hockey Girls’ and Women’s National Championships.
The largest ice hockey tournament ever held in California will take place from March 23 to April 1. Hosted by Logitech Ice, the official practice facility of the San Jose Sharks, the two-week event will feature 80 teams and thousands of players. Their families and fans are expected to book more than 4,500 hotel rooms in San Jose. Logitech Ice, one of just seven four-rink facilities in the U.S., is the largest public hockey facility west of the Mississippi
Competing in the tournament from March 28-April 1 are USA Hockey Girls’ 12, 14, 16 and 19 & under age groups. The Women’s Senior A, B and C divisions will run the weekend prior, from March 23-25.
An opening ceremony at the San Jose Civic Auditorium for the girls will be held on March 29, with Brandi Chastain, a San Jose native and three time Olympic medal winner with USA Soccer, and Katie King, also a three-time Olympic medal winner as a member of the TEAM USA Women’s Ice Hockey Team and current assistant women’s hockey coach at Boston College, serving as guest speakers. Also in attendance will be the Sharks world-famous mascot, S.J. Sharkie.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls’ Ice Hockey program (part of the San Jose Jr. Sharks) is one of the fastest growing girls’ hockey organizations in the United States, recognized as having one of the top girls’ programs in the Pacific District and its teams compete against squads all across North America. In three years, the club has grown from three girls' teams with 35 players to five girls' teams with more than 100 players, plus two senior womens' teams.
As hosts to the National Championships, the San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls Hockey Club’s six Girls’/Women’s teams receive automatic berths in the tournament. Former Sharks defenseman Tom Pederson coaches the Girls 16 and 19 & under teams while former Sharks forward and current Radio Analyst Jamie Baker coaches the 12 & under team. For more information on the Jr. Sharks teams, click on the San Jose Jr. Sharks link at www.sjjrsharks.com.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks youth hockey organization is dedicated to the development of amateur hockey in the Bay Area. The overall goal is for kids of all ages and skill levels to develop a true and lasting love for the game of hockey. Teaching sportsmanship, leadership, discipline and respect are the primary objectives of each coach, each team, each parent, and of the Jr. Sharks three operating committees.
Within the Jr. Sharks organization, there are three different sets of teams available for kids to participate: "A/B," "AAA/AA" and "Girls."
Some of the girls who will compete in this tournament have the potential to compete for the United States Women’s hockey team. Women’s hockey was first played at the Olympics in 1998 and its popularity has been steadily increasing in the United States.