Edina, MN - The Boston Lady Whalers Elite Hockey Club is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded, and accepted, one of only 6 charter memberships to participate in the North American Female Elite Showcase (NAFES) – Orion Series. With our acceptance, the Boston Lady Whalers hold the exclusive rights to represent the East Coast of the United States at this prestigious, all-female super elite event.
The North American Female Elite Showcase was designed to bring together the very best players in each of the Original 6 members’ territories under one roof for a 4-day event. At the older levels, the mission is to maximize exposure for these players to NCAA Division I schools with the end goal of ultimately leading as many players as possible to end up with a scholarship. At the younger levels, the objective of this event is to have the very best players at each age group from their respective region compete against one another, with the level of competition being unprecedented in girls’ youth hockey. As of today, 26 out of 42 NCAA Division I schools have confirmed that they will be in attendance for the 2020 North American Female Elite Showcase in Edina, MN.
The Orion Series was formed under the North American Female Elite Showcase banner, and will take form in June of 2020 in Edina, Minnesota, with 6 regions of North America represented by six of the strongest spring/summer hockey programs in North America. For the three Canadian members of the Original 6, the Western Canada Region will be represented by the Spartan Outlaws, the Manitoba Region will be represented the Manitoba North Stars, and the Ontario Region will be represented by DGF Hockey. The three American territories will be represented by the Boston Lady Whalers for the East Coast Region, Team Minnesota in the Midwest Region, and Team Pacific in the West Coast Region. All 6 programs will be sending their teams to Edina, MN from June 4-7, 2020 for the North American Female Elite Showcase -- the inaugural Orion Series event.
The event will be run as if it were professional hockey. Each game will consist of three 20-minute periods, there will be an ice cut between periods, a professional announcer calling each game, and all of the inner workings that will introduce these exceptional female players from each region to the biggest stage of hockey that they have ever experienced. In 2021, the 2010 Birth Year Division will take place at the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, and the older birth years will participate in two events that will be held in different regions.
“What makes this series truly special is the shared vision that each of our Original 6 programs all have in common”, said NAFES Founder James Lawrence. “The planning of this event has gone on for over a year, and I am extremely excited that we have found the 6 programs that fully represent the values that we stand for and the mutual commitment to the development of the female game. Each of our Original 6 territories are represented by programs whose sole focus is 100% on their female athletes, as opposed to boys’ programs who also happen to have girls teams under their banner”, Lawrence continued.
What makes the Orion Series unique and the first of its’ kind in female hockey, is that the process does not come to an end during the developmental years, but instead progresses upwards through the U18 age group where the ultimate goal is to get the players in front of as many school as possible and help the players realize their dreams of becoming an NCAA Division I hockey player. Players from Western Canada and Manitoba do not have the luxury of being in the backyard of NCAA Division I schools like some of the other territories do, so to get the players from these six different regions on the ice together makes it a can’t miss event for NCAA Division I schools, as they are able to cover all areas of North America in one location over the course of one weekend.
“When we were first approached by James, and he shared his vision for the Orion Series with us, my first thought was that I wished this opportunity was around when I was growing up,” said Boston Lady Whalers GM Dana Trivigno. “Since the inception of our program, our main priority has been to continuously raise the bar each year for our players by challenging them against the very best competition possible, and exposing them to different opportunities. We took our teams to New York this past year, and competed against Team Minnesota and DGF Hockey, and they were two of the strongest clubs we have ever gone up against. Once we heard that they were representing their respective territories, it was clear that James truly did take extensive time to seek out and confirm the strongest program in each region, and we are excited to share in this commitment to excellence, and to be a part of the Orion Series for years to come,” Trivigno continued.
For more information on the North American Female Elite Showcase – Orion Series, visit the event online at www.femalenorth.com. If you are interested in participating in the event, please contact the program in your region directly for instructions on tryouts and how to be considered.