Four hours before the puck dropped for their Friday night matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blackhawks — in conjunction with the six-time gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield and the PWHPA — hosted a night to remember for over 60 female youth hockey players at the United Center.
The proceedings were highlighted by a pregame clinic for those 60+ skaters (ages 6-16) titled the “Meet Your Sheros” Girls Clinic, which was led by a gaggle of Olympians and served as a kickoff for the Magellan Corporation Women's Hockey Showcase.
But the fun didn’t end there: after the clinic concluded, youth participants also attended a private meet-and-greet with their ‘Sheros’ and then the Blackhawks’ game later in the evening. They also received passes to the Showcase, a four-team tournament put on by the Magellan Corporation and Billie Jean King Enterprises that will be held over the weekend (and feature 35 Olympic women’s hockey players!) at Fifth Third Arena. The impetus behind the Showcase is to "celebrate women in sports and promote gender equality."
And tonight, to hear Coyne Schofield tell it, was all about the next generation:
“I think what’s so important about this weekend is — you guys are talking about the 2018 Olympics and how special that was — but we’re trying to create that platform every day, not every four years,” she told NBC Sports Chicago.
“We’re working so hard every day and, as you can see, one of the most important parts of this weekend is being on the ice with the young girls, the next generation, who [are] going to fill our skates one day and hopefully -- not hopefully. They will grow up knowing they can make a living playing this sport if they’re good enough to do so.”
The epic display of women’s hockey set to ensue this weekend will certainly aid in that mission, as well. Look out for further developments related to the tournament — it’s sure to be a thrilling and inspiring weekend, both for the present and future of the sport.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.