In case you haven't heard, Capitals Youth Hockey asked me to cover the Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL) Challenge Cup, coming up this weekend. The Challenge Cup has been sponsored by the Washington Capitals and hosted by the hometown Washington Pride for the past several years, and the tournament is held at the Capitals practice facility, Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
The Challenge Cup (essentially the Memorial Cup for women's teams) consists of 16 teams from throughout North America. Four athletes on participating teams were members of the USA Women's U18 team that won gold at the 2011 IIHF World Women's U18 Championship in Stockholm earlier this month.
If you were at the Caps game last night, you may have seen members of the Washington Pride exhibit their skills in a shootout during second intermission. Many of the young women in the tournament will go on to play college hockey, some may become women's pro hockey stars.
The tournament begins with an All-Star Game on Thursday, January 27 at 8pm at Kettler. Games run all weekend, culminating in the Championship game on Monday, January 31 at 1:30pm. The full game schedule is here.