By @MichaelCaples –
PLYMOUTH – USA Hockey held a press conference in Plymouth today to make a series of announcements, and the hockey audience in Michigan is surely pleased with the news.
Top-ranking USA Hockey officials were on hand to formally announce that USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth will serve as host for the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship next April.
“We are thrilled to be bringing the IIHF Women’s World Championship to Michigan,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re confident Plymouth and USA Hockey Arena will provide a great environment for the teams and fans, and know those in the region will enjoy watching the best female hockey players in the world compete for a gold medal.”
It was also announced that USAH Arena will host the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp from July 30 to Aug. 6. The camp serves as a chance for players to audition for the Team USA roster at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, and it features a series of exhibition games with Sweden, Finland and Canada.
“We’re excited to bring the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp to USA Hockey Arena,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “This camp is a great week of hockey that provides quality international competition for fans and, more importantly, serves as a critical part of our process in evaluating players for the U.S. National Junior Team.”
Next season, Plymouth will also serve as host of a Five Nations Tournament, just like the one that concluded last week. This time around, it will be a U18 Five Nations event, likely featuring the same teams.
The headliner is the Women’s Worlds, of course. The tournament, which ranks just below the Olympics in terms of importance for women’s hockey, will run in conjunction with girls’ youth hockey national championships, played in Rochester, Macomb and Troy during the same timeframe.
“There will be a lot of high-level hockey played in the greater Detroit metropolitan area in the spring of 2017 and we’re excited about the spotlight that will be placed on girls and women’s hockey in our country and around the world,” said Reagan Carey, director of women’s hockey for USA Hockey. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to have the Women’s World Championship back in our country and I know our players will appreciate the heightened fan support they’ll get playing at home.”