Nova Scotia

2 new female hockey associations join Hockey Nova Scotia

Hockey Nova Scotia has announced two more associations have signed on to operate as female hockey associations for next season.

'This is another positive step in the right direction for female hockey in Nova Scotia,' says president

Team Red takes on Team White in Bantam action at the Centennial Arena in Halifax during the 2013 World Girls' Hockey Weekend. (

Two more groups have signed on with Hockey Nova Scotia to operate as female hockey associations for next season — a move that's expected to encourage growth of the sport in the province.

Hockey Nova Scotia has announced that the Valley Wild and the Metro East Inferno will join Metro Force West to administer female hockey in the province.

Last year, the Halifax-based Metro West became Hockey Nova Scotia's first member association solely responsible for the administration of female hockey.

"This is another positive step in the right direction for female hockey in Nova Scotia," Hockey Nova Scotia president Garth Isenor said in a statement.

More opportunities

With these two new associations signing on, the number of players competing on female-only teams will triple.

More regions are expected to have their own female associations in the next year or two, which should mean even more opportunities for young female players to advance their game.

2018 Olympians Jillian Saulnier, left, and Blayre Turnbull show off their silver medals after arriving at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)
"This will allow these new female hockey associations to concentrate exclusively on growing and developing female hockey in their two respective regions," said Isenor.

A number of female players who are now playing university-level hockey started out with minor hockey leagues in Nova Scotia. The women's Atlantic University Sport hockey league was formed in 1997 and is now a thriving seven-team league.

High-profile players

For the first time ever, two Nova Scotians — Jillian Saulnier and Blayre Turnbull — were named to Canada's women's Olympic hockey team. That notable achievement could spur another spike in the popularity of girls and women playing hockey in Nova Scotia.

"Those two girls went off to play some very high-level hockey and they have really helped put Nova Scotia on the map," said Jamie Wells, president of the Valley Wild Female Hockey Association.

"It's a great opportunity for our female players and our youth to see that and it makes it more enticing for them to come out and play."

Brette Pettet, seen here representing Shattuck-St.Mary's in Minnesota, is originally from Nova Scotia. She now plays for the University of Wisconsin. (CBC)

Kentville's Brette Pettet received a scholarship to play hockey in the U.S. Pettet just finished her rookie season at the University of Wisconsin, where she was the team's top rookie scorer.

Wells said the Valley Wild association will oversee female players coming from existing minor hockey associations in Clare-Digby, Western Valley, Acadia and West Hants.

The Metro East Inferno will take in players within the borders of the minor hockey associations in Dartmouth, Eastern Shore, East Hants and Cole Harbour.