Date: February 7, 2018

Capitals to Host UAE Women’s National Hockey Team Feb. 7-12

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By Washington Capitals

In conjunction with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways, the Washington Capitals will host Fatima Al Ali and the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team in Washington, D.C., from Wednesday, Feb. 7 to Monday, Feb. 12. 

The team will attend the Capitals’ Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 9 practices and receive a tour of the facility. On Feb. 8 the team will join select Capitals players on ice at the conclusion of the Capitals’ practice. On Feb. 9, the UAE team will participate in a scrimmage with the Washington Pride at Capital One Arena. The game will be streamed on Monumental Sports Network. Prior to the Capitals Feb. 9 game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, the entire team will participate in a ceremonial puck drop as part of the Capitals’ Hockey Is for Everyone Month Women’s Theme Night.  

The visit is part of a special delegation to the United States and Canada that will see the team also visit the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago and the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa, Canada.

During the 2016-17 season, the Capitals relationship with the team developed when Capitals alumnus Peter Bondra met team member Al Ali while in Abu Dhabi hosting a youth hockey clinic. After noticing her stickhandling, the Capitals and Etihad Airways surprised Al Ali with an invitation to Washington.

In addition to other activities throughout the week, the team will also spend time sightseeing, participate in a scrimmage with the Washington Pride of the Junior Women’s Hockey League and visit the United Arab Emirates Embassy.

The team’s visit coincides with Hockey is for Everyone Month (HIFE). HIFE is the official youth development program of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a component of The Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice™, the NHL’s social responsibility program that builds on the League’s long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world.

As the exclusive airline partner of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Capital One Arena, Etihad Airways works collaboratively with MSE on several community initiatives to promote and celebrate the international nature of sport in Washington, D.C., Abu Dhabi and throughout the world.

South Africa Wins Division III World Junior Qualification Tournament

By Steven Ellis – Eurohockey.com

South Africa will return to the Division III World Juniors in 2019 after beating Chinese Taipei in a best of three series 2-0.

Both games were drastically different, yet both featured one-goal games. Sky Johnson was the lone goal-scorer for South Africa in the opening game, beating Sheng-Chun Huang just before the halfway point on the power play to give his nation the opening victory.

The game was more wide-open in the second contest, with Taipei actually taking the 3-2 lead after a period of action. Kuan-Yu Lin was the star for Taipei, scoring twice in the opening frame. Weig Chiang would also score a pair for the team, with the duo potting the only four goals Chinese Taipei would score after two games.

Gareth Bremner was apart of a controversial moment when he was given a 10-minute misconduct for a check-from-behind. Three minutes after his penalty expired, Bremner put South Africa back into the lead, a lead they would never relinquish in an eventual 5-4 victory on home ice.

With the win, South Africa will replace New Zealand in the Division III World Juniors in 2019, with the Kiwis going down to face Taipei in Division IIIQ. Days before the tournament began, Turkmenistan pulled out in what is believed to be a lack of players, so the final pool for the group is unconfirmed heading into next year’s event.