2020 global girls game feature

A game for the girls … and grandparents

Lauren Vaters will get her first chance to show off her skills in front of her grandparents at the 2020 IIHF Global Girls’ Game

Quinton Amundson
February 6, 2020

It’s been nearly two years since Marie Vaters has seen her granddaughter Lauren.

But grandmother and granddaughter remain in constant contact via phone calls and text messages. The latest adventures of P.K. Subban in the NHL are a frequent topic of discussion.

“She’s always been an avid fan of Subban, and he’s been moving around from Montreal to Nashville to New Jersey,” says Marie. “I keep asking her where her interests are now, and I think she’ll continue to cheer for him wherever he goes.”

Marie, a Glenwood, N.L., resident, appreciates hearing the latest about No. 76, and she loves it when Lauren, who lives 4,800 kilometres away in Dauphin, Man., chronicles her latest on-ice exploits with the Grand Plains Ice Dogs.

While they have seen Lauren on the ice before when she was just learning how to skate, Marie and Lauren’s grandfather Joe have not enjoyed the treat of witnessing their 13-year-old granddaughter play in an actual game.

But that will change this weekend in St. John’s.

Lauren is one of 40 Bantam-aged players starring in the Canadian leg of the 2020 IIHF Global Girls’ Game, an event that unites 40 countries from around the world for an empowering celebration of women’s hockey. For the fifth-consecutive year, the results of 40 individual one-hour matches – hosted in a chain sequence – will be tallied together for a final global score.

Puck drop for the Canadian segment of the global match is 3 p.m. NT on Saturday at the Mile One Centre (watch it LIVE at video.hockeycanada.ca). Nine of Hockey Canada’s members – including Hockey Manitoba – get two representatives, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association has six slots and the remaining 16 roster spots belong to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The way we run the event is meant to empower the players and allow them to make connections,” explains Lindsey Nielsen, a Grow the Game manager with Hockey Canada. “A lot of the feedback we get from the players across the country is they appreciate the chance to make new friends and connect with people with similar interests from different communities across Canada.”

The game is not the only aspirational event of the weekend; the participants will be treated to a seminar from Dr. TA Loeffler, a Canadian adventurer who has scaled six and four/fifths of the Seven Summits. She also completed a 3000-kilometre canoe expedition from Jasper, Alta. to the Arctic Ocean.

Each Hockey Canada member selected players who have an excellent track record of exhibiting positive values on and off the ice.

Lauren fits the bill perfectly – people in her community regard her as a girl with a generous and empathetic spirit. Away from the rink, she volunteers at the Parkland Humane Society for animals, and at the rink she gives as a second-year referee and mentor to young girls playing in the Grand Plains Minor Hockey Association.

“I try and teach the girls about the importance of working hard, communicating and showing respect on the ice,” says Lauren. “My family has taught me to be kind and respectful, and I want to share that lesson.”

While the forward cherishes the significant victories and clutch goals, it is the friendships she has made through the game that she treasures most.

Grandma Marie has imparted that lesson onto Lauren.

“When it comes to hockey, it is not about winning. It is about socializing and being able to get along and agree. Hockey is fun, and it's meant to be fun.”

Lauren is keen on adding to her network of friends this weekend in St. John’s. Seeing her grandparents again is another major impetus why she applied for the event. The opportunity to play in front of Grandpa Joe and Grandma Marie delights her.

“I am excited to show them how far I have come as a hockey player and how the game has helped me grow in confidence,” says Lauren.

Outside the game, Marie and Joe will spend evenings with Lauren and attend a Newfoundland culture party planned for the players.

“This is such an unreal and amazing opportunity for the players and families,” says Marie. “We’re going to make every minute count.”

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567


Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738


Recent News
Most Popular
2023 Men’s U18 Club Nationals: Day 4 – Thursday, April 27
The Blazers, Blizzard and Gaulois won to stay in the winner’s circle.
2023 Esso Cup: April 26 (Preliminary)
The Rush, Sabres and Rebels secured wins on Day 4 of the 2023 Esso Cup.
2023 Esso Cup: April 25 (Preliminary)
The Sabres, Rush and Étoiles earned points on Tuesday at the Esso Cup.
2023 Esso Cup April 24 (Preliminary)
The Sabres, Selects and Rush notched wins on Monday at the Esso Cup.