Above the door in the Notre Dame Hounds' locker room, it reads "Do it for Mandi."

Mandi Schwartz is on the minds of many at Notre Dame every day, but her memory will be front and centre over the next four days.

The puck drops on the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament on Thursday with 16 of the best female midget AAA hockey teams from around Western Canada competing for the title in Wilcox and Milestone.

Schwartz passed away in 2011 after a lengthy battle with cancer and the tournament has been organized as a way to honour her legacy.

"She was our captain in 2006, some of the traits that she showed while playing here is exactly what we want in hockey players, her selflessness, her work ethic, the leadership abilities that she brought is something that we try to bring every day for the team," said Craig Perrett, the female hockey coordinator with the Notre Dame Hounds.

The tournament, which is in its 19th year, brings in teams from Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia to compete against the Hounds and a number of other Saskatchewan teams.

Perrett said that they make a point of sharing Mandi’s story with the teams coming to the tournament.

"When they get invited, they blurb on who Mandi was and they share with their players and parents to let them know the meaning behind the tournament and why it’s important," he said. "We try to keep her in our memory for the weekend, but over the year as well."

There will be a strong Moose Jaw contingent of players competing in this year's tournament with Kaitlyn and Raea Gilroy on the Hounds, Larissa Bohlken on the Regina Rebels, and Harper Davey and Crystal Wale with the Swift Current Wildcats.

Kaitlyn Gilroy is in her first season with the Hounds and she said she’s really looking forward to competing in this year's tournament.

"I'm super excited to play for Mandi," she said. "The older girls on the team have been telling me about the tournament and it's going to be fun."

Gilroy has a goal and three points this season. She said the Hounds are going to need to dig down deep to compete with the best teams in Western Canada.

"We're going to have to work as a team and shoot, pass and play like we always do," she said.

The tournament kicks off with a full day of games on Thursday, starting at 8 a.m. at the Duncan McNeill Arena and the Milestone Memorial Centre.

The Hounds face-off with the Edmonton Pandas in their opening game at 10:30 a.m. and then they meet up with the Rocky Mountain Raiders at 8:30 p.m. There will be a ceremonial puck drop, featuring Mandi's parents -- Carol and Rick -- held before the night game.

Click here for a full tournament schedule.

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