PEI

UPEI protests SMU women's hockey cut

The UPEI Women's Hockey team is sending protest letters to Saint Mary's University athletics department after it cut women's hockey there.

The UPEI Women's Hockey team is sending protest letters to Saint Mary's University athletics department after it cut women's hockey there.

The six remaining Atlantic University Sport women's teams are asking Saint Mary's to reconsider its decision.

"[When] Saint's Mary's cut their program we were kind of like, 'oh, ouch,' like that could easily happen to us," said UPEI team captain Amber Gaudet.

"We do not have that much money. If that could happen to a team that's been so strong in the past, like why couldn't that happen to us, when our performances haven't always been the strongest and we're building and we're trying to get better."

UPEI coach Bruce Donaldson said the cut means the league will have to be restructured, and logistics of the schedule will have to be reconsidered. Donaldson also worried the change would encourage young Maritime women to head west or south to the U.S. to play hockey.

The UPEI women's hockey team was reinstated as a varsity team six years ago. A UPEI spokesperson said there are no plans to cut the team here.

SMU has said the team could still be saved if a financial solution through community support and fundraising can be found.

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