Approximately 2,400 female ice hockey players from all over the U.S. and Canada are coming to Connecticut for the nation’s largest youth ice hockey tournament (girls or boys), reports the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB).
On Thursday, December 27 through Sunday, December 30, the Connecticut Polar Bears will host its “28th Annual Holiday Tournament” at 6 different sites and 11 ice rinks around the state. The invitational tournament will feature 140 hockey teams with players, ages 8 to 20. There will be close to 350 games during 3½ days from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with as many as 11 games being played at any one time.
“This event is a terrific holiday gift for 40 hotels in Connecticut, and we welcome all of the players and their families to our state,” explains Michael Van Parys, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (formerly the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau), which has been working with tournament organizers on this major event. “The positive economic impact of more than 5,000 overnight rooms, during what is a traditionally slow period for many hotels, extends to the restaurants and attractions that our guests enjoy during their holiday stay here.”
“Female ice hockey has become extremely popular at both the youth and college level, even in parts of the country which traditionally are not known for ice sports,” says Maurice FitzMaurice, Tournament Director. “When we started this Connecticut event 28 years ago, there were only four teams in our tournament, and today we have 140."
Given the size of the tournament and the strength of the field, every major U.S. college program and many Canadian colleges will be represented at the tournament. Most college coaches designate this tournament as a primary recruiting site. In addition, coaches from many of the eastern prep schools recruit here.
The Connecticut Polar Bears’ Holiday Tournament is coordinated under the auspices of USA Hockey and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Associations. There are five age divisions and three levels of ability for most of the ages. The spectator fee is $20 and this pass is good for all locations and the entire tournament; free for children under age 12. For a full schedule of games and more information, visit www.ctpolarbears.com.
The Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau (CTCSB) works in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and surrounding communities to market all of Connecticut – all convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conventions. The Connecticut Sports Convention Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. For more information, visit www.ctmeetings.org or call (860) 728-6789.