As the world’s best under-18 women’s hockey players gather in St. Catharines for the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship this week, a group of students from Niagara College’s School of Media Studies will broadcast the international competition around the globe.

When the puck drops for the eight-country tournament this week, students and graduates from Niagara College’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) and Journalism programs will play a major role in broadcasting and reporting on the championship, which takes place at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.

BRTF students and graduates will handle both the production and on-air aspects of the broadcasts, which will be carried on Hockey Canada’s website, . The students and grads will broadcast 17 games up to the gold medal game, which will be broadcast by TSN.

“We’re very grateful for the expertise that Niagara College’s students, grads and faculty have brought to this event – they’ll play a significant role in bringing this event to the world,” said Matt Hill, general manager of 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship. “This is just one example of the many partnerships and opportunities that this event has generated right here in Niagara.”

While NC broadcasting students produce up to 40 mobile TV productions and 10 live news magazine shows each year, the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Hockey Championships marks one of the highest production-value opportunities the program has ever had. Eight cameras will be used to broadcast each game, and the productions will mimic professional broadcasts as closely as possible.

“Incredible opportunities like this allow our students to showcase the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in a real-world setting,” said television production professor Peter VandenBerg. “Participating in a high-calibre event like this closes the gap between student and professional.”

“This is a great opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience that we wouldn’t get in a classroom or lab,” added Kalyna Taras of St. Catharines, a third-year BRTF student who will serve as producer of the broadcasts. “We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to do something on this scale – it will definitely give us a leg up as we prepare to enter the industry.”

The event is also a bit of a homecoming for NC graduates who will participate in the broadcasts. Nicco Cardarelli, a 2013 BRTF graduate who now works as a freelance broadcaster with Dome Productions and Rogers Communications will call the games, and Ashley Carney, a 2015 grad currently working with Bell Media will assist with broadcast interviews and game commentary.

“My time at Niagara College taught me the skills necessary to broadcast on the world stage,” said Cardarelli. “As a kid I dreamed of playing on Team Canada, and thanks to what I learned at Niagara College, I get to call the play-by-play for Team Canada.”

The championship will also provide a unique learning opportunity for students in the College’s Journalism program, who will file games stories, features and video over the course of the championship via , a news site produced by students in the program. The students will also produce a special section of the print-version of the Niagara News, which will run Jan. 11.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our journalism students to work alongside professional journalists and international media,” said Journalism professor Charles Kopun. “They’ll be reporting live and in real time, filing stories, photos and video online. It’s invaluable experience and a great chance for networking.”

The 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship takes place in St. Catharines Jan. 8-15 with games at the Meridian Centre and Seymour-Hannah Centre. Participating teams include Canada, Finland, France, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Russia and the Czech Republic. Niagara College is also a major sponsor of the event.

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