Recruiting could be X-factor

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

The champs are back -- with a few new faces.

The Oval X-Treme, who have won the last four Western Women's Hockey League titles, host the Strathmore Rockies in their home-opener tonight (7 p.m. at the Olympic Oval).

Two players from Switzerland will be in the lineup for the 3-0 X-Treme.

Angela Frautschi and Anja Stiefel have made the trek across the Atlantic Ocean to learn the game from the best.

"I think it will be good to prepare me for the (Swiss) national team," said Stiefel, who has one assist in three games.

"I want to go to Finland for the world championships and to Vancouver in 2010."

Frautschi, who has two goals and a helper, said the move was necessary to take the next step in her career.

"I want to improve my hockey skills," she said. "I like to practise hard and play with really good players.

"There's a really big difference between Canada and Swiss hockey."

X-Treme captain Colleen Sostorics said expanding the game's reach beyond the two superpowers -- Canada and the U.S. -- is essential.

"I think it's great that we're growing the game of women's hockey throughout the world," said Sostorics, who was the WWHL's top defenceman last season.

"Hopefully, when they come here, we can teach them a few things and they can teach us a few things."

The X-Treme yesterday dedicated the 2008-09 season to the memory of long-time supporter William Beattie.

The Beattie Homes co-founder, who lost his battle with cancer in May, raised money for the X-Treme through the Carma Developers golf tournament.


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