The Western Prairie Junior Klippers don't have far to go for the Saskatchewan Junior Female Hockey League's first-ever "Championship Weekend". In Outlook this weekend, all six SJFHL teams will be in attendance vying for the chance to hoist the Bourgault Cup.

The weekend's games will be a grand finale of sorts for the opening season of SJFHL play. WestCentralOnline caught up with U22 Western Prairie Klippers coach Dale Jackson before the tournament begins Friday night.   

"Having it over in Outlook will be exciting for the community, having all the teams there." 

The first game of the weekend will be the Western Prairie Junior Klippers and Outlook Ice Hawks playing in a 4 vs 5 seed matchup. The two teams were evenly matched throughout the season, and should be eager to get the final weekend going at 5:30 Friday night.

"It's a team we've had really competitive games with," said Jackson as the Klippers are 0-2-1 in the last three versus Outlook. "Every game has been really close, so again we are excited to hopefully go over, get a win, and then move on to playing tomorrow."

Anyone wanting to follow along with the tournament opener can listen to the game live on Country 104, beginning with the pre-game show at 5:20 PM Friday.  

Western prairie Klippers Eston via Facebook.jpgThe Klippers had one player named to the all-star team this season (Photo via Western Prairie Junior Klippers on Facebook)

If the Klippers can get a win to move on in the tournament, there's a good chance forward Laiken Swan plays a key part. Named to the SJFHL's first ever all-star roster thanks to her team-leading 16 goals, 8 assists, and 24 points total, the bench-boss Jackson talked about her contributions all-year-long. 

"We're really excited for Laiken. Got the message from team president Mike Cullen Thursday morning, and I congratulated her," said Jackson on the team's top scorer. "For our team, having her make the first all-star team as a forward, it's a very competitive league with lots of really great players, so it's a feather in Laiken's hat. She has worked really hard all year long and definitely deserves the recognition that was bestowed upon her."

Swan was included on the list of First Team All-Stars, and you can find the full list here.

Not only will this weekend be a great chance to celebrate the new female hockey league, but it's the perfect timing as well with it being International Women's Day on Friday. Jackson reflected on the league itself, on the verge of completing it's first year.

"I think the league was fantastic." said Jackson, as any of the issues that did arise should be easily ironed out in year two. Every team started from step one, and a full year of recruiting, training, and excitement over U22 female hockey should raise the competition next season.

"Find a way to be more competitive against the bigger centres. Again that all comes with building a franchise, and a team, and a culture."

The team is already one step ahead of the process, as they announced spring camp details to begin March.

The league should only grow in popularity and interest following it's first year. For any girls that are hesitant on the thought of joining the league, Jackson had the following message.

"I think it was a great opportunity for all these girls, and I'm pretty sure in talking to them all the time, that they really appreciate it." finished Jackson. "They have really enjoyed the season, making new friends and teammates, and sometimes those friendships are for a life time.