Two Canadian gold medallists to coach Oakville Hornets on Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada

Canadian women’s hockey elites and Olympic gold medallists Vicky Sunohara and Tessa Bonhomme to train aspiring young athletes at Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest

Two-time Olympic gold medallist and former assistant captain to Team Canada Vicky Sunohara will team up with Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) top draft pick and 2010 Olympic gold medallist Tessa Bonhomme to coach the girls of the Oakville Hornets Girls Hockey Association, for a unique Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville. Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest offers girls from novice, atom, peewee and bantam-levels the opportunity to improve both on-ice game skills and off-ice life skills with coaching from some of the best female hockey players in the world.

“The Oakville Hornets Hockey Association is extremely honoured to welcome Canada to our vibrant and ever-expanding girl’s hockey community,” said Mike Turczyniak, president, Oakville Hornets Hockey Organization. “The women and girls of our hockey community have been learning in a positive, fun-filled environment for the past 15 years and we are all looking forward to the guidance and inspiration that the elite women’s hockey players will provide throughout this event.”

The two elite women’s hockey coaches will be joined by their colleagues from the CWHL.

“Opportunities for young women such as Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest demonstrates the desire and willingness of the athletes to learn more about, and celebrate the game of hockey, while improving their on-ice game skills and off-ice life skills with their peers,” said Tessa Bonhomme, Scotiabank’s newest hockey ambassador. “These opportunities didn’t exist when I was young, so I feel very proud to be a part of this event, and share my experiences with the girls.”

The all-day event is comprised of on and off-ice training, a skills competition, and a keynote address from both coaches on the hard work, dedication and determination practiced, that helped them both reach their goals.

Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest in Oakville is one part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada — a full day of hockey featuring a triple header of all six Canadian NHL teams broadcast on CBC, kicking off at noon on Saturday, February 12.  Oakville is one of six satellite locations across Canada taking part in celebrating Canada’s favourite sport with some of hockey’s favourite faces. CBC will air live cut-ins of the Oakville girls throughout the day.

“This is really exciting for the town, so I can only imagine how excited the Oakville Hornets are to train with these two hockey legends,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “We’re proud that more than 300 girls from house to rep leagues will have the chance to show Canadians just how great they are at playing hockey. Oakville is committed to providing its young athletes with the facilities and programs they need to develop their skills.”

“Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest offers our girls the opportunity to get some of the best advice and training, right from the pros,” said Kerith McLeod, Scotiabank branch manager, Oakville Main Branch. “Today’s lessons will give the young athletes exposure to great role models who will inspire a new generation of girls and young women to reach their goals both on and off the ice.”

In addition to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Tessa Bonhomme, selected as the 2010 top draft pick for the CWHL, helped bring home the gold medal at the 2010 Women’s Four Nations Cup, the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women’s Championship and the 2005 Air Canada Cup as well as the silver medal at the 2009 World Championship and the 2006 Air Canada Cup. Now in her fifth year with the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team, Ms. Bonhomme is originally from Sudbury, Ontario, and played for the Sudbury Lady Wolves from 1998-2003 before attending Ohio State where she was co-captain of the Ohio State Buckeyes women’s hockey team in the NCAA.

Vicky Sunohara, one of Canada’s all-time most popular female hockey players and elite athletes, helped bring home the silver medal from the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, the gold medal from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and another gold medal from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy as a member of Canada’s National Women’s team. Having attended Northeastern University in Boston on full scholarship for two years, Sunohara was awarded Rookie of the Year and named to the NCAA All-American All-Star team. Through the IIHF World Women’s Championships, Sunohara won 15 gold medals and three silver medals as a member of Canada’s national women’s team. A recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a degree in Physical and Health Education, the former captain of the CWHL team, the Brampton Thunder, Sunohara directs the Women’s Hockey program at the Hill Academy, a private school for elite student athletes.

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Two Canadian gold medallists to coach Oakville Hornets on Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada