Friday morning saw the arrival of 177 female hockey teams to Toronto ready to compete in the 40th annual Toronto Leaside Wildcats March Break Madness tournament.
“It seems only fitting that we would kick off our tournament weekend on International Women’s Day,” said Mark Schrutt, Toronto Leaside Wildcats President and Tournament Director. “There is perhaps nothing more powerful and inspiring than seeing over 3,000 girls and women competing in a sport that for so long was considered to be only for men and boys. We are proud that since 1979 we have hosted this tournament to give girls and women a place to showcase their incredible hockey talents while having fun and enjoying Toronto on March Break.”
With Leaside Memorial Community Gardens as its headquarters, the association welcomed teams from across southern Ontario and from far further afield: while last year’s tournament set a new record for distance travelled, when the tournament welcomed the New Zealand Ice Fernz National Women’s team, this year also sees teams making a long trip to compete in one of the oldest tournaments in the province. The Wildcats gave a warm Toronto welcome to all teams, but especially those teams travelling far from home:
Chicago Jets U14 (833KM)
Hearst Ice Kats (967KM)
K-Stars Michigan (668KM)
Remparts du Richelieu (Boucherville) (506KM)
Syracuse Nationals (393KM)
Temiskaming Shores (532KM)
Timmins Falcons (706KM)
The tournament is using 18 arenas across the city to accommodate over 400 games that will be played this weekend. The championship games for all divisions, ranging from Novice through Senior, will take place on Sunday March 10th.
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