Bad­deck's Jes­sica Wong play­ing for CWHL expansion team from China

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - JEN­NIFER RI­P­LEY

Fam­ily and friends trav­elled from all over the coun­try to watch Jes­sica Wong and her new team, the Kun­lun Red Star, face off against Mon­treal's Les Cana­di­ennes at the Bell Cen­tre on Novem­ber 11. Over 5,000 peo­ple at­tended the game, but the 30 or so with Bad­deck con­nec­tions were es­pe­cially close to Wong’s heart.

"I've never been so happy and thank­ful to see fam­ily and friends. The last time I saw my fam­ily was Au­gust 23, and those that know me know my fam­ily and friends mean the world to me. I can­not thank them enough for com­ing to see me. I am very for­tu­nate to have fam­ily that sup­ports me in ev­ery­thing I do and will do any­thing for me," said Wong via text.

For her loved ones, the ex­pe­ri­ence was equally mean­ing­ful. "It was amaz­ing. The at­mos­phere, the mu­sic, even to see her name on the score­board. For her to be a part of that was so spe­cial" says Sam Wong, Jes­sica's sis­ter. Marvin Cook, Wong's for­mer high school hockey coach, trav­elled from Al­berta to watch the game. Says Cook via email, "It was the largest crowd I've ever wit­nessed watch­ing a Cana­dian Women's Hockey League game. The Bell Cen­tre made it even more in­cred­i­ble."

With a fi­nal score of 3-1 for Kun­lun, the play­ers did not dis­ap­point fans. Wong, num­ber 49, scored a goal dur­ing Satur­day's match and was named one of three stars of the game. The Red Star played again Sun­day, this time fall­ing to Mon­treal 5-3 but with Wong still com­ing out of the game with 2 as­sists.

The expansion of the Cana­dian Women's Hockey League to in­clude two teams from China, The Kun­lun Red Star and the Vanke Rays, has been es­sen­tial to the growth of the league. With the two ex­tra teams there are more games, more spon­sor­ship dol­lars, and more fans. CWHL Com­mis­sioner Brenda An­dress said in a CBC in­ter­view in June of this year that "China is a pow­er­house and the CWHL wants to be part of the pow­er­house."

Sub­mit­ted Photo.

Roughly 30 friends and fam­ily of Bad­deck na­tive Jes­sica Wong de­scended on the Bell Cen­tre in Mon­treal to watch Wong’s de­but game with the Chi­nese expansion team, Kun­lun Red Star. Marvin Cook, Wong's for­mer high school hockey coach, trav­elled from Al­berta to watch the game.

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