Blueprint for worlds

GLEN DAWKINS -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

Peter Woods is confident that Winnipeg can land another hockey jewel for its sporting crown. They've done it before and they can do it again.

"With the partners we have involved in this particular program, we've gone through this process before so it's not like we're working with a clean sheet of paper," said the Hockey Manitoba executive director, part of the Winnipeg bid committee for the 2007 IIHF World Women's Championship. "We certainly have a template in place that can be tweaked and specialized for this particular event."

Teaming up

Hockey Manitoba is teaming up with Destination Winnipeg, True North Sports & Entertainment, the Manitoba Moose and Sport Manitoba to make the bid for the tournament. Winnipeg is one of five communities to bid to host the 2007 women's world championships.

The groups must submit their bids prior to Nov. 30 and make formal presentations next month. Hockey Canada expects to make a decision by January 2006.

"Winnipeg certainly has the expertise and the strong volunteer base to put an event of this magnitude together," said Woods.

Winnipeg played host to the 1999 World Junior Hockey Championship and three exhibition games for the 2005 world junior tournament in Fargo, N.D. were held at the MTS Centre last December.

As well, the national women's team will hold its final pre-Olympic game on Jan. 1 at the MTS Centre against the United States. The organizers sold 2,000 tickets within the first five days and are closing in on 3,000 with 60 days to go.

"The timing of it couldn't be better for the committee's opportunity to say, 'Pick Winnipeg and here's why,' " said True North senior vice-president Kevin Donnelly, who is in charge of event management for the MTS Centre.

For one, national team veteran Jennifer Botterill of Winnipeg is keen to play in front of her family and friends.

"It's always special to play in Canada," said Botterill, speaking from Landkrona, Sweden where the Canadian Olympic team beat Sweden 11-0 in an exhibition game yesterday. "To play in your home town is really special and everybody feels that way."


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