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Thursday, March 31, 2011

SMU women's hockey is back

Canadian Tire money redeems team.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 8:08 AM

click to enlarge whockeywebsite.jpg
It was a big victory for the Saint Mary’s University women’s hockey team Tuesday, after the board of governors decided to save the Huskies from the chopping block. The initial March 18 decision was to cut the team all together. But after hundreds of supporters raised voices and sent emails protesting SMU’s judgment, president Colin Dodds announced the school would pause its decision.

National support for the team has been overwhelming, with big hockey names Hayley Wickenheiser, Cassie Campbell, and Troy and Tina Crosby backing the woman up. The other teams in the league also sent letters to Saint Mary’s in hopes for a Husky reinstatement.

Courtney Schriver, SMU’s center-ice player, saw the encouragement first hand. She says the women were charging their phones three and four times a day, trying to keep up with phone calls. “The amount of support we’re getting from emails to phone calls to money coming in, it’s unbelievable,” says Schriver.

Originally, SMU’s athletic department said the costs to keep the team were too high, according to SMU’s athletic department, But Canadian Tire has reportedly contributed $60,000 for the team, and the men’s coach, Trevor Stienburg, has collected $10,000 from other donors.

Assistant coach Brian Bradbury says his only concern is that the team will have the same battle every year. “We don’t have a team just to have a team; we’re here to compete,” he says. “The only way to have the program is if it’s set in cement.” With Dodds admitting the decision to cancel the program was a mistake, it sounds like they won’t go that route again.

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