University of Alberta hosting 2012 women's hockey championships

BRIAN SWANE

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

In 2005 and 2006, the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) men's hockey championships drew crowds of 10,331 and 7,615, respectively, for a gold medal game at Rexall Place featuring the host University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Attendance won't be quite that high when the CIS women's championships come to Edmonton in 2012.

The U of A was recently awarded the annual event, which will see the host Pandas and five other teams battle for national supremacy inside 3,000-seat Clare Drake Arena on campus.

"We just can't draw the crowds typically that would justify a women's game at Rexall," says U of A athletic director Dale Schulha, who is hoping to attract 1,000 fans per game during the preliminary round and 1,500 to 2,000 for the gold medal match.

"Especially if the Pandas are in it," he says.

"I know if we have two teams playing from the east, the likelihood of getting a lot of local people probably isn't huge, but I'd like to see anywhere from 200 to 500 for some of the pool games," says Pandas coach Howie Draper. "For the championship game, I'd love to see us hit the 1,000-mark."


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