Canada and U.S. women’s hockey teams set to play Rivalry Series in Regina, Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon & Regina to host Canada vs. USA Rivalry Series games'
Saskatoon & Regina to host Canada vs. USA Rivalry Series games
WATCH: One of hockey's greatest rivalries will be on full display in Saskatchewan in February, as Canada's national women's hockey team will face the United States in the Rivalry Series – Oct 3, 2023

One of the biggest rivalries in the sports world is coming to Saskatchewan.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Rivalry Series between Canada’s national women’s team and the United States will be played in Saskatoon, Regina, Ontario and the U.S.

“The Rivalry Series is a marquee event on the Hockey Canada calendar not only for the incredible on-ice performances, but for the impact the games and our athletes leave on communities, and we look forward to hosting games and leaving a legacy in Ontario and Saskatchewan this season,” Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Katherine Henderson said.

The annual series pits the two nations together in a best-of-seven series. It’s coming to Saskatchewan in February 2024.

On Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., the teams will meet at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

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On Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., the teams will head south to Regina for a faceoff at the Brandt Centre.

Click to play video: 'Inaugural PWHL season approaching for trio of Saskatchewan athletes'
Inaugural PWHL season approaching for trio of Saskatchewan athletes

“I am excited for my hometown and province to have the opportunity to host two Rivalry Series games this season, and I know the crowds in Regina and Saskatoon will be incredible,” said Emily Clark, who plays on Team Canada and is from Saskatchewan.

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“Getting to watch Canada and the United States play live would have been a dream come true for me when I was younger. I am so happy that young players throughout Saskatchewan will have that opportunity, and I know these two games will inspire a lot of people.”

Regina mayor Sandra Masters said the opportunity to showcase an event like this is one that doesn’t come around very often. But it is important for young fans to see the teams play.

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“I think representation matters,” Masters said. “Inclusivity, feeling like you belong to something that’s striving for something (bigger). It’s good for youth development. And when you have the Canadian Women’s National Hockey team show up to play the United States on top of it, it’s something that I hope young people look at and maybe dream of something bigger for themselves.”

Robin Ulrich, head coach of the Saskatoon AAA Stars female hockey team echoed a similar sentiment.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to have the best female hockey players in the world coming to play here,” Ulrich said. “Obviously watching on TV is great, but the chance to see it live and in person is something special in itself.”

She believes the chance to see players like Clarke, who is an alumnus of the program, will leave a lasting impression on players from across the province.

The series comes at a time when Canada is the defending Olympic champion, while Team USA is the current world champion.

The first two games of the Rivalry Series will be played in Kitchener and Sarnia, Ont., on Dec. 14 and Dec. 16.

The Rivalry Series will also include stops at Mullet Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Wednesday, Nov. 8, Arena in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 11 and the Xcel Energy Centre in Saint Paul, Minn., on Sunday, Feb. 11.

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Last year’s Rivalry Series ended in thrilling fashion, with Canada’s national women’s team winning four straight games to claim the series after dropping the opening three games. The Canadian games welcomed an average attendance of approximately 5,000 fans per game in Kelowna, B.C., Kamloops, B.C., Trois-Rivières, Que., and Laval, Que., including sell-outs in Kelowna and Trois-Rivières. Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., also hosted Rivalry Series games in November 2021 that featured sold-out crowds.

Tickets for the games in Saskatchewan will be available starting Friday, Oct. 6, on Hockey Canada’s website.

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