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Girls are ready to hit the ice

   There are 17 public schools in Western New York that offer boys varsity ice hockey.

   Yet despite the hundreds of girls who strap on helmets and skates for community recreation leagues throughout the region, not a single school-sponsored varsity ice hockey program is available to public school girls.

   Not fair, say female hockey players and their parents.

   The Williamsville School District, which was one of the first area districts to offer boys varsity ice hockey, has wanted to create a districtwide girls varsity ice hockey team since last year.

   But it can't because no other area school district has been willing to do the same. On Thursday, Williamsville officials plan to meet with other area athletic directors to gauge the potential for some girls competition in 2009-10.

   Given the rough economic times, some districts might find it hard to justify creating a new sports program. But girls say they want school officials to drop the puck not pass the buck.

   --- Sandra Tan

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