Pink power returns

KEN WIEBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

When Susie Yuen sees a pink Team Canada jersey, she immediately recalls one of the best times of her life.

Yuen, a Winnipegger who played on the first Canadian women's hockey team to compete for -- and capture -- a world hockey championship in Ottawa in 1990, had an opportunity to see one of those jerseys up close yesterday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon held to promote the 2007 IIHF World Women's Hockey Championship, to be held in Winnipeg and Selkirk from Apr. 3 to 10.

So what was the first thing that came to mind?

"I think of Ottawa and I can picture all of the girls with that jersey on," said Yuen. "We had the white pants and gloves too. I guess it was different than the traditional red and white. It's amazing (to reflect). We were only together five days before the tournament started. The people that brought it together did an amazing job. It seems kind of surreal that it's been 17 years. I'm really proud that they're bringing it back and kind of remembering where it all began."

The 2007 edition of Team Canada will be sporting the classic pink jerseys for a game on Apr. 8, both to pay tribute to the original team and to continue to raise awareness in the battle to end breast cancer.

'Really excited'

"I'm not a big fan of the pink, but in this case I think it's going to be a pretty cool thing to put the retro jersey on and wear it for a game," said Team Canada forward Hayley Wickenheiser. "Especially with the money raised going to breast cancer. All the girls are really excited and I'd like to get one for my collection to hang on the wall with all of the red and white ones."

TICKET UPDATE: As of yesterday, the host committee was inching toward its initial goal of eclipsing 100,000 tickets sold for the event.

With 18 days to go before the puck drops, more than 81,000 tickets had been sold.

"It would be so great if we could get to 110,000," host organizing even chair Polly Craik said yesterday. "That would be phenomenal. Given the support up to today, it's not unrealistic. In a week from today, we'll have a much better idea."

RED AND WHITE OUT: In what must be considered a tribute to the Winnipeg Jets days, local organizers are encouraging fans to wear red and white for Canada's opening game against Switzerland on Apr. 3.

During that game, Winnipeg is hoping to break the world record for most fans attending a women's hockey game, which was set on Jan. 1, 2006, when Canada lost to the United States in an exhibition tilt before a crowd of 12,628 at the MTS Centre.

ON SALE TOMORROW: For those folks interested in purchasing single-game tickets, the wait is nearly over.

Beginning tomorrow, single-game seats for all but the gold medal game will be on sale through all Ticketmaster locations.

"In the past, they haven't put those tickets on until the last minute but we decided to move it up a bit," said Craik.

CAMPS APPROACHING: Starting next weekend, teams will begin arriving in Manitoba for their final preparations leading up to the tournament.

Germany will be training in Winnipeg, but six other countries plan to set up shop in rural Manitoba for some team bonding.

Dauphin will host Team Canada, Steinbach will host Russia, Beausejour will host Finland, Altona will host China, Winkler will host Switzerland and Morden will host Kazahkstan.

The United States and Sweden will be training in Grand Forks, N.D.

kwiebe@wpgsun.com


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