Forget the NHL, the best hockey you never heard about is this Saturday
Published Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 19, 2012 7:17AM EDT
MONTREAL—The Clarkson Cup-winning Montreal Stars open their season on Saturday against the Boston Blades. While the two teams play Olympic-calibre hockey, few people know about the teams, fewer about the Women's League.
With eight gold medalists on the Stars roster alone, more Olympic medalists will take to the ice on Saturday than at perhaps any time since the Vancouver Games.
“People don’t know we exist, that we are here in Montreal,” said Caroline Ouellette, a Stars player and three time Olympic gold medal winner. “This is the league where we train, where we play to get better, so we can be on the national team.
“Come see the passion, the intensity.”
While fewer than 200 people turn out for the Stars’ average game at its East End rink, management is hoping for 1,100 on Saturday.
“We want people to come watch a few games and then right away they are going to fall in love with our team,” said Kim St-Pierre, the Stars goalie and Team Canada’s goaltender since the 2002 games.
“After the game we meet the kids, the parents. We make them believe in themselves and their dreams.”
The team wants to close the gap between the Olympics—well attended and well loved—and the Stars, far less so.
“The calibre of play is incredible and we wished more people would come and watch,” said Stars player Katherine Ward, a member of Canada’s national team. “There is a lot of excitement about the Olympics, but in the four years in between, people forget about us.”
The puck drops at 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Centre Etienne Desmarteau at 3430 de Bellechasse St. Tickets are $10.