The Balmoral Hall Blazers prep hockey team will be hosting the Junior Women’s Hockey League from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at the MTS Iceplex (3969 Portage Ave.).
The North Division invitational weekend consists of six hockey teams from across Western Canada, including the Blazers, playing a series of games.
It’s not exactly a tournament, but the games are played in tournament format. There isn’t a big championship in the end — the scores just go towards their league standings.
Blazers head coach Gerry Wilson said his team will play five games over the course of the weekend. He said the Blazers have been doing well so far, currently sitting in third place in the league.
"For a younger team, we’re doing very well," Wilson said. "We’ve got a good mix of players, from young potential players to the more seasoned, high-level college prospects, so it’s a real nice balanced team to be able to work with."
Defenceman Tess Bracken, a Grade 11 student and St. James resident, got her start in hockey by playing on boys’ teams in Selkirk, Man. until she was 11 years old. She continued to play boys’ hockey on the Winnipeg Hawks before she went to Balmoral Hall.
She attended St. Mary’s Academy for a brief period, but returned to Balmoral Hall. She was named the 2012-13 WWHSHL (Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League) Top Scorer and 2012-13 WWHSHL MVP.
"Tess is just an excellent, highly skilled, all-around offensive defenceman," Wilson said. "Probably one of the best shots and best releases in the league."
Wilson even went on to say that Bracken is already playing at a college level.
"She is essentially a quarterback on the power play," Wilson said.
The Blazers will start the weekend off with a home opener game against Warner Hockey School on Nov. 29 at 10 a.m.