On Saturday night, as the Anaheim Ducks host the San Jose Sharks in their final preseason game, the team will also be holding a Girls Play Hockey Night. The special guest star will be U.S. Olympian and Boston Blades forward Hilary Knight, a two-time silver medal winner.
A day before the event, Knight laced up her skates and joined the Ducks for practice, impressing players and head coach Bruce Boudreau in the procress:
"She was snapping shots and played well," said Ben Lovejoy, who grew up in New Hampshire like Knight. "She's the best in the world."
"She was really, really good," said Boudreau. "There was one play where she unleashed a really hard shot."
— Hilary Knight (@Hilary_Knight) October 3, 2014
Knight will participate in a ceremonial puck-drop before Saturday night's game, and after the first period, she’ll sign autographs for fans. It’s the first of what the Ducks are hoping to be an annual event, helping to bring awareness to the girl’s and women’s programs supported by the team.
The timing comes one week before World Girls’ Hockey Weekend, a IIHF event promoting girls’ participation in hockey worldwide. According to the IIHF, 40 countries have seen the growth of female participation surpass that of men over the last five years.
And judging by the image used for this post, that interest will only continue to grow.
- - - - - - -