Chicks with sticks

By Kevin Rothbauer

When writing about women’s hockey, it’s hard to think of a lead that hasn’t been written. Most stories about women’s hockey have been about how the sport is finding a foothold or how it has been accepted on an international level, yada, yada, yada.

It’s about time reporters recognize that women’s hockey is not a new thing. It’s here to stay.
After all, the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union has had a women’s hockey championship for two whole years.

This weekend, the University of Calgary women’s hockey team heads to Saskatoon for the preliminary round of the Canada West championships. The CW conference includes seven teams from across western Canada.

Unlike in eastern Canada, the western teams don’t play a whole season. The road to the championship consists of a single tournament. Each team plays six games: four this weekend in Saskatoon and two in Edmonton in February. The champions will hit Toronto in March for the CIAU championships.

With all the talent on the team coached by Kathy Berg, the Dinosaurs look like a team to beat.

"To win CW’s, the biggest thing is playing as a team," said captain Marianne McDougall

"We have three solid lines and five solid defenders and completely solid goaltending."

So far this season, the Dinos have played four exhibition games against the University of Alberta Pandas, winning three. Knowing they can win gives the Dinos an advantage.

"There’s an opportunity for us to beat some of the teams that are expected to win," said McDougall.

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