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  • Monday, April 3, 2000

    Two play close to home

    By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

      Cheryl Pounder will feel right at home playing in the world women's hockey championship.

     Pounder was born, raised, lives and works in Mississauga, where the majority of the games in the 2000 tournament will be played at the Hershey Centre.

     The 23-year-old has played several games at the Hershey Centre as a member of the Beatrice Aeros of the National Women's Hockey League on and regularly goes to the arena to watch the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Ice Dogs.

     HOTBED OF WOMEN'S HOCKEY

     As far as Pounder is concerned, Mississauga is the "hotbed of women's hockey." When she found out last year Mississauga would play host to the tournament, she set her sights on earning a place on the team.

     "When I got home I could really say 'Wow, it's in Mississauga, let's aim for that,' " Pounder said. "I thought to myself if there's one world championship I would really want to be at it, that would be it. It would be great to have my family and friends watching me.

     "I just plugged away all summer and worked hard and got here. When I finally found out I had made it in February, I screamed. I lost my voice.

     "I teach phys-ed at Iona High School and the next day I couldn't even talk to my kids because I had lost my voice."

     Pounder's teammate, Nathalie Rivard, also is excited about playing in Mississauga.

     Rivard lives in Mississauga and plays for the Mississauga Chiefs of the NWHL. She works for the commercial motor vehicle unit of the OPP Port Credit detachment and some of her fellow officers will be involved in the opening ceremony. They have purchased tickets for the Canadian team's games.

     "I'm excited for them and they're excited for me at the same time," Rivard said. "It will be a great chance to finally show them what we're all about. They hear about it so much but they haven't had a chance to see it."



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