PALMER— Over 100 hockey players from across the state gathered at the MTA Events Center hockey rink for the annual Ladies C Cup Ice Hockey Classic, a friendly tournament dedicated to bringing women together to enjoy a weekend of hockey for hockey’s sake.

“It was great, one of the best,” event co-founder Diane Firmani said.

Firmani said they were unable to put the event on last year, making this year even more special and memorable.

“Everyone was just so happy to come back,” Firmani said. “Everybody was just real positive and upbeat and glad to see each other on the ice.”

Women hockey players 18 and over are eligible to participate in this event every year. Firmani said that various established teams as well as groups of friends and colleagues across Alaska go head to head in a bracket style tournament that’s designed to be fun and friendly for all who partake.

Firmani participated in the C Cup tournament with her women’s hockey team, Pioneer Peak Orthopedics on top of helping put the whole event together.

Firmani is part of “The Hockey Sisters,” the core group of women that started the C Cup tournament nearly two decades ago. She said their original vision was simply to host an annual tradition around the holidays that brings women together over the over the love of the sport. She said they fundraise and essentially break even every year just to keep the event going.

“We used to have it Colony Christmas weekend. So, then we called it the C Cup for that reason and also because it’s funny. It’s really just for fun,” Firmani said with a laugh. “For the MVP prize, they get a sports bra with ‘MVP’ embroidered on it. They love that.”

Firmani said that she’s encouraged by the continued interest and support behind their beloved annual tradition, and they plan to keep this tournament going every year.

“We’ll keep doing it as long as we can, as long as we’re having fun,” Firmani said. “I’ve learned that the hockey world, the hockey family is just the best, so supportive and close knit.”

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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