Top women's hockey players in Sudbury for the Esso Cup
Final game to be televised on TSN
It started with 92 teams and is now down to six. Some of the best athletes in women's hockey will compete this week in Sudbury for the 2019 Esso Cup.
The annual event, which features women's midget AA hockey, play in Sudbury this week at the tournament.
Madison Laberge is one of the captains of the host team, the Sudbury Lady Wolves. She's been playing organized hockey since she was three and says she's looking forward to skating in front of a home crowd.
"There's going to be so many people, like young kids that we are going to inspire," she said.
"That could be them one day. They can be on this national stage and be playing something that they love playing."
Six teams from across Canada will take part, including Sudbury, Halifax Fire, Stoney Creek Sabres, St. Albert Slash, Saskatoon Stars and As de Québec. About 100 volunteers are helping to make sure the event goes smoothly.
Cora Babij, the teams trainer and one of the co-chairs of the Esso Cup says she's hopeful the event will shine a positive light on the sport, especially after recent news that Canada's professional women's hockey league is folding.
"Women's hockey still is growing throughout the province and throughout Canada," she said.
"I believe there will be other opportunities. I do know that there is another league looking into expanding into Canada already."
Babij adds there's already a lot of interest in the tournament.
"We have sellout crowds coming out, we've completely sold out of tickets," she said.
"So that's a big, big bonus for us. We are really looking forward to packing our 7 o'clock games."
The final game on Saturday will be televised on TSN.
With files from Jan Lakes