Huntsville could host a game between some of the world’s best hockey players.
The Huntsville Girls Hockey Association has applied to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to host an exhibition game ahead of this year’s Women’s World Championships in April.
Kristy Vogel, Association President, says the application is for a game in late March or early April at the Canada Summit Centre’s Don Lough Arena.
“I hope we get maybe Finland or someone, I don’t think we’ll get Canada. It’d be cool if we did, but I think we’ll probably get one of the smaller countries,” says Vogel. “But we have high hopes, we’ve hosted a few big events before.”
According to Vogel, the requirements for the game are to have a rink with more than 1,000 seats, spaces for warmup, cooldown, and eating, as well as adequate hotel accommodations, all of which Huntsville has.
Aside from the obvious benefits of bringing people to town during the off-season, Vogel says it would have a big impact on the girls at the association.
“I think it would mean a lot to them. When I was growing up, and I went and saw some of these players play, I just wanted to be like them,” says Vogel. “So I feel like these girls would be like ‘oh I can do that, I’m young and I can still make my way up to that level.’ Give them something to aspire to.”
Town council gave the thumbs-up to the idea at the end of January, and now Vogel says all there is left to do is wait. She says they’ll know for sure within a couple of weeks, and they’re feeling optimistic.
“It would give them a great opportunity to watch some really high-level players, give them some role models,” says Vogel. “Maybe they can pick up some moves and try them out themselves.”