“It is exciting to partner with a brand with such a rich heritage in hockey that is deeply committed to the game for all players at every level,” said Knight, a six-time world champion with the U.S. National Team. “One of my key goals as a player is to positively impact younger athletes and create an opportunity for women and girls everywhere to lace up and compete. BAUER is just as dedicated as I am in growing the women’s game and I look forward to working alongside them to help achieve our collective goal of growing the sport for players of all ages while competing on the international stage.”
In addition to partnering with four of the best female players in the world, Bauer Hockey also announced that it will conduct a total of 10 female-only First Shift events throughout Canada this season. The First Shift was introduced by Bauer Hockey in 2013 to help grow, advance and protect the future of hockey. The program is designed to break down barriers to entry and create a welcoming environment for new-to-hockey families by delivering a program that is accessible, affordable, safe and fun. Poulin, who has won two straight gold medals with the Canadian Women’s National Team, will play a key role in the marketing efforts of The First Shift program, appearing alongside six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier and current NHL captain Jonathan Toews.
“As leaders in the sport, we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to help grow the game and part of that commitment is making sure we provide opportunities for young girls to experience the game we all love,” said Mary-Kay Messier, Vice President of Marketing, Bauer Hockey. “There’s no better way to demonstrate the values and life-lessons you can experience through hockey than to see and hear it directly from players like Hilary, Marie-Philip, Jennifer and Kacey. That’s what hockey is all about and we look forward to working with these talented, elite players in the future.”
Knight, who has also earned two Olympic silver medals, was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2015 and 2016 IIHF World Championships and received the Directorate Award for Best Forward. This past season, Knight led the National Women’s Hockey League in scoring with 15 goals and 18 assists and led the Boston Pride to the Isobel Cup in the league’s inaugural season. A 2012 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Knight is the Badgers’ all-time leader in goals (143), points (262), game-winning goals (30), power-play goals (37) and shorthanded goals (8). She also led Wisconsin to two national titles in 2009 and 2011 and was a three-time All-America selection. Knight also became the first female non-goalie to practice with a National Hockey League team when she skated with the Anaheim Ducks in 2014.
In addition to her two Olympic gold medals, Poulin has also earned a gold medal at the 2012 World Championships and three World Championship silver medals. Poulin graduated from Boston University in 2015 and finished her career with 81 goals and 100 assists in 111 games. The third overall pick by the Montreal Canadiennes in the 2015 Canadian Women’s Hockey League draft, Poulin was named the league’s Most Valuable Player last year after leading the CWHL in scoring with 23 goals and 23 assists in 22 games.
Wakefield has also been a key member of Team Canada, winning an Olympic gold medal in 2014, a World Championship gold medal in 2012 and two World Championship silver medals (2011, 2013). Wakefield began her collegiate career at the University of New Hampshire before transferring to Boston University, where she graduated in 2012. Unlike Bellamy, Knight and Poulin, who play professionally in North American, Wakefield has played overseas for the past three seasons, in both men’s and women’s leagues. Last year Wakefield jumped up to play in the men’s second division for six games before returning to Linkoping Hockey Club, her women’s league team. She finished the year with 38 goals and 17 assists for Linkoping and will play with the club again this year.
Bellamy, a two-time Olympic silver medalist and six-time world champion with the U.S. National Team, will play for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League this season. A top defenseman on the world stage, Bellamy graduated from theUniversity of New Hampshire in 2009 as the program’s third all-time leading defenseman scorer with 27 goals and 80 assists in 143 games. Bellamy is entering her sixth year of professional hockey.
For more information on Bauer Hockey’s elite roster of athletes visit www.bauer.com and to learn more about The First Shift, visit www.thefirstshift.ca
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