Manitoba Ready to Host Female World Sport School Challenge

29 Jan, 2020


The puck drops on the eighth annual Female World Sport School Challenge (FWSSC) on Thursday, January 30, 2020. This annual Hockey Canada initiated tournament, hosted by St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), takes place at the Bell MTS Iceplex from January 30 to February 2, 2020. Games begin at 12:00 PM on Thursday, January 30 and conclude with the Gold Medal game on Sunday, February 2 at 10:00 AM.

This 16 team tournament brings together North American athletes from Sport Schools and Triple A Teams. Four Canadian provinces and one American State are represented, as follows:

  • Host St. Mary’s Academy Flames (MB)
  • Calgary Fire (AB)
  • Eastman Selects (MB)
  • Edmonton Pandas (AB)
  • Lloydminster Steelers (AB)
  • Minnesota Ice Cougars (MN)
  • Northern Alberta X-treme (AB)
  • Pilot Mound Buffaloes (MB)
  • Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (AB)
  • Rocky Mountain Raiders (AB)
  • Thompson Okanagan Lakers (BC)
  • Thunder Bay Queens (ON)
  • Vancouver Island Seals (BC)
  • Westman Wildcats (MB)
  • Winnipeg Avros (MB)
  • Winnipeg Ice (MB)

“High level female hockey has grown exponentially in recent years and tournaments like our FWSSC support and promote female hockey by providing a showcase for players’ skills,” says Larry Bumstead, Head Coach of the SMA Flames Prep team and FWSSC Steering Committee member. He goes on to say, “This tournament is an important venue for coaches from both U-Sport and NCAA to watch athletes play, as well as gives them opportunities to speak to athletes and their respective coaches. To give you a couple of examples of the level of play that will take place right here in Winnipeg — there will be representation from Hockey Canada attending the FWSSC, and one of our Flames Prep players, Lindsey Kiliwnik, is Captain of Team Australia U18 and is competing in the U18 World Championship in The Netherlands this month (Lindsey has both Canadian and Australian citizenship). There is no doubt the FWSSC is a top level tournament.”

“St. Mary’s Academy is proud to host this Hockey Canada initiated event,” says Connie Yunyk, SMA President. She goes on to say “SMA’s history with Hockey Canada goes back nine 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. Our students, and all of the players taking part in this tournament, not only excel on the ice, they excel academically and that is a key aspect that Scouts consider. So far this academic year, we have five graduating Flames Prep players and one Grade 11 player with scholarship commitments to prominent Universities in Canada and the USA.” *See last two paragraphs for commitments.

True North Game Nightis Friday, January 31, 2020 with the St. Mary’s Academy Flames taking on the Westman Wildcats at 7:00 PM. Four other games, including two games with Manitoba teams playing, take place that night. Complete schedule of games is found at

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 the Presenting Sponsor for the tournament and the tournament banquet.

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

*SMA Flames Prep player’s post-secondary scholarship commitments beginning Fall 2020:
-  Kate Bumstead, Grade 12, defence: Trinity Western University
-  Gabrielle Dawyduk, Grade 12, defence: Minot State University (commitment is to Women’s Softball program)
-  Meagan Relf, Grade 12, goaltender: University of Manitoba
-  Chloe Oleksiuk, Grade 12, forward: St. Francis Xavier University
-  Aimee Patrick, Grade 12, forward: University of Manitoba

*SMA Flames Prep player’s post-secondary scholarship commitments beginning Fall 2021:
-  Ashley Keller, Grade 11, forward: University of Manitoba


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