Female World Sport School Challenge Coming to Manitoba

30 Jan, 2019


The puck drops on the seventh annual Female World Sport School Challenge (FWSSC) on Thursday, January 31, 2019. This annual Hockey Canada initiated tournament, hosted by St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), takes place at the Bell MTS Iceplex from January 31- February 3, 2019. Games begin at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 31 and conclude with the Gold Medal game on Sunday, February 3 at 10:00 a.m.

This year’s tournament is the largest ever, with 16 top North American female hockey teams from Sport Schools and Top-Tier Regional Teams. Canadian teams participating include host St. Mary’s Academy Flames, Ancaster Avalanche (ON), Calgary Fire (AB), Central Plains Capitals (MB), Eastman Selects (MB), Kimberley Academy (BC), Lloydminster PWM Steelers (AB), Northern Alberta X-treme (AB), Pilot Mound Buffaloes (MB), Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (AB), Thunder Bay Queens (ON), Vancouver Island Seals (BC), Westman Wildcats (MB) and the Winnipeg Avros (MB). Teams from the United States include the Anchorage Northstars (AK) and the Gentry Academy Galaxy (MN).

“As we prepare for an amazing seventh tournament, I feel extra excitement because of increasing to a 16 team event with representation from various provinces and states, spanning from British Columbia east to Ontario and Alaska south to Minnesota,” says Larry Bumstead, Head Coach of the SMA Flames Prep team and FWSSC Steering Committee member. He goes on to say, “Not only does this bring extra excitement for players and fans, it has created a huge amount of attention from the hockey scouting community. We are expecting scouts from Canadian and American post secondary schools, over 20 are committed to date, as well as representatives from Hockey Canada.” Bumstead adds, “The FWSSC has previously provided a platform for aspiring female players to be scouted by U-Sport and NCAA, and this year will provide great exposure to our female athletes.”

“St. Mary’s Academy has a long history with hockey, dating back to the 1930s, so it feels fitting for us to play host to this Hockey Canada initiated event that showcases high level female talent,” says Connie Yunyk, SMA President. She goes on to say, “It is exciting and inspiring to witness the growth of female hockey over the past number of years, and the expansion of this tournament to include 16 teams is evidence of the desire and commitment that female players have to the sport of hockey.” Yunyk adds, “SMA’s history with Hockey Canada goes back eight years when we were sanctioned as a Sport School and our Prep Team was formed. Being a Sport School means there is an academic focus that permeates the athletic experience. This year we have three graduating Flames Prep players with scholarship commitments to prominent universities in Canada.” *See last paragraph for post-secondary commitments.

True North Game Nightis Friday, February 1, 2019 with the St. Mary’s Academy Flames taking on the Anchorage North Stars at 7:00 p.m. Four other games, including three games with Manitoba teams playing take place that night.

In addition to exciting hockey action, the tournament also features a banquet on Saturday, February 2, 2019 with keynote speaker Rod Black, Sports Announcer for TSN and CTV.  Master of Ceremonies for the banquet is SMA alumna, past SMA Flames Captain and 2018 Harvard University graduate, Danielle Krzyszczyk. Danielle graduated from SMA in 2014 and went on to study at Harvard University and play hockey for the Harvard Crimson. The Banquet takes place in The Press Box Restaurant at the Bell MTS Iceplex. Banquet tickets are $50 each and available

Tickets for the tournament are available at the door of the Bell MTS Iceplex. Tournament passes are $20 and individual game tickets are $5 (children 12 and under free).

The FWSSC recognizes True North Sports & Entertainment as their presenting sponsor for the tournament and the banquet.

For more information about the 2019 FWSSC, visit Follow the tournament on Twitter at on Instagram at

*SMA Flames Prep player’s post-secondary scholarship commitments beginning Fall 2019:
-Sarah Dennehy, Grade 12, forward: University of Manitoba (U-Sports) in Winnipeg, Manitoba
-Kate Gregoire, Grade 12, forward: University of Manitoba (U-Sports) in Winnipeg, Manitoba
-Julianna Thomson, Grade 12, goalie: York University in (U-Sports) Toronto, Ontario



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