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Lightning and NWHL to host girls hockey clinics

The two leagues will pair up to host girls street hockey and ice hockey clinics in August.
U.S. Olympic women's hockey gold medal winner Kendall Coyne (26) gets a selfie with Jenna Ruedy as Ruedy and members of the Tampa Bay Lightning girls hockey team met the Olympians at Amalie Arena last year. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
U.S. Olympic women's hockey gold medal winner Kendall Coyne (26) gets a selfie with Jenna Ruedy as Ruedy and members of the Tampa Bay Lightning girls hockey team met the Olympians at Amalie Arena last year. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
Published Jul. 12

Girls will get a chance to lace up their skates and take to the ice with a pair of athletes from the National Women’s Hockey League next month in Tampa Bay.

Taylor Accursi and Mallory Souliotis, professional ice hockey players in the NWHL, will coach a pair of clinics for girls on Aug. 16. The clinics, sponsored by the Lightning and the NWHL, will be held at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum.

The clinics continue a strong relationship between women’s hockey and the Tampa Bay area. The American women’s hockey team trained for the 2018 Olympics at the Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel. The Lightning hosted the gold medal-winning women’s team to celebrate their Olympic championship in February 2018.

Accursi, a Mercyhurst product, currently plays for the Buffalo Beauts. Souliotis, a defender for the Boston Pride, played collegiately for Yale.

Related: RELATED: Hockey central? Ongoing effort to grow the girls game in Florida

Registration for the clinics, open to girls from six to 14 years old, can be found at the NWHL website.

The first session, a street hockey clinic geared toward hockey novices, is free for all participants. NWHL coaches will introduce girls to basic hockey skills. Equipment is provided, and girls will leave with a stick, ball and ticket voucher to a Lightning game. The street hockey session begins at 6 p.m.

The second session, featuring Accursi and Souliotis, will move from the asphalt to the ice. Registration for the on-ice session is $50 per participant.

“I’m very proud and excited to bring a dose of NWHL hockey to the girls of the Tampa Bay community,” Souliotis said. “The Lightning have done great work advancing our sport in their region."

The weekend continues with the Sunshine State Girls Hockeyfest on Aug. 16. The day includes appearances from NWHL and Olympic athletes, street hockey, and a barbecue.

The Saturday event is open to girls from 5 to 17 years old. Registration is $40 per participant.

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