CALGARY, Alta. – With a successful history of hosting national hockey tournaments that have resulted in investments in local minor hockey, Manitoba will host its first Esso Cup April 16-22, 2017, in Morden.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Manitoba and the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League (MFMHL), announced that the host Pembina Valley Hawks will be joined by five regional representatives to compete for the ninth annual national championship at the 1,200-seat Huron Window Corporation Arena. The Hawks will try to become the first host team to win the national title, and the first team to win multiple gold medals; Pembina Valley was crowned Esso Cup champion in 2012.
“Morden is very proud to be the first city in Manitoba to be hosting the Esso Cup, and we can’t wait to work with our volunteers and Hockey Canada to put on a memorable event,” said Clare Agnew, chair of the host committee. “The 2017 Esso Cup will bring some of the best young female hockey players in the country to our province for what we plan to make a fantastic event for players, their families, and hockey fans.”
Manitoba teams have twice won the national championship – the Westman Wildcats won the first gold medal in 2009, and were joined by the Hawks three years later.
“Manitoba has had great success hosting Hockey Canada national events in recent years, including the 2009 TELUS Cup and 2015 RBC Cup, and we’re confident the 2017 Esso Cup will be an event to remember,” said Peter Woods, executive director of Hockey Manitoba. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Pembina Valley Region, and the host committee will be ready to go 21 months from now.”
As the host city, Morden can expect to generate in excess of $1 million in local economic impact through the provision of services to the athletes, families and fans that travel into the community for the event. Additionally, the entire net profit of the event will be retained locally as a legacy of the event and be utilized to continue to grow girls hockey in the community.
“The Esso Cup continues to be one of the highlights of the Canadian women’s hockey calendar, and as the event grows, so too do the demands to make it bigger and better every season,” said Anne-Marie Murphy, manager of events and properties with Hockey Canada. “We’re looking forward to starting work with the host committee in Morden and continuing to grow the profile of the Esso Cup.”
Ticket information will be announced for the 2017 Esso Cup in the coming months.