Brampton, Ont., to host women’s hockey world championship in 2023

Sarah Nurse and Brianne Jenner of Canada in action with goalkeeper Emma Soderberg, right, and Ebba Berglund, left, of Sweden during the IIHF World Championship Woman's ice hockey match between Canada and Sweden in Herning, Denmark. (Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

CALGARY — The women’s hockey world championship is returning to the Greater Toronto Area after nearly 25 years.

Brampton, Ont., was announced as the next host of the international tournament by Hockey Canada and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association on Thursday. The CAA Centre will host the international tournament from April 5 to 16.

“We look forward to welcoming fans of all ages to Brampton in April as we celebrate the best women’s hockey players in the world,” said Marin Hickox, director of women and girls hockey for Hockey Canada. “The legacy of this tournament will go beyond the results on the ice, and we hope that it will inspire the next generation of girls to follow their hockey dreams and show them that they too can wear the Maple Leaf one day.”

Canada will enter the tournament as the reigning Olympic gold medallist and back-to-back world champions. Nine other teams will compete: Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

It’s the first time the Greater Toronto Area has hosted the event since 2000.

More than half of the players on Canada’s national women’s roster at the 2022 women’s world championship played in the OWHA.

“We are thrilled to bring this championship, which is one of the world’s top sporting events, back to Ontario, the hub of female hockey in the world,” said Fran Rider, president and chief executive officer of the OWHA. “These events inspire people of all ages and cultures to have the confidence to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams in sport and in life.

“Women’s hockey continues to unite the world in a positive way and also develops strong female leaders in many countries.”

Canada has won gold in six of eight women’s worlds played on home ice, including the 2021 edition that was played without fans in Calgary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association will also be hosting its provincial tournaments over the final weekend of the world championship, bringing in more than 15,000 female hockey players to Brampton and surrounding communities.

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