Canadian women's ice hockey history

Canadian women's ice hockey history
1919 Eaton's Red Wings, women's hockey team, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
The Canadian women's ice hockey team leaves the ice after a game against Kazakhstan at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
1917 Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.

The first instances of organized women's ice hockey in Canada date back to the 1890s when it is played at the university level. The Women's Hockey Association claims that the city of Ottawa, Ontario hosted the first game in 1891. In February 1921 a women’s international championship series that was be played in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. One of the first professional teams were the Vancouver Amazons from the 1920s. They were the first women’s hockey team from Vancouver to participate in the invitational women’s hockey tournament sponsored by the Banff Winter Carnival. On December 16, 1922, a meeting was held to announce the Ladies Ontario Hockey Association was formed. The Dominion Women’s Amateur Hockey Association was founded in winter 1933. Lady Bessborough, the wife of Governor General of Canada Lord Bessborough donated a championship trophy.

In April 1987, Toronto, Ontario hosted the first ever Women's World Championship, though the tournament was not recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The Ontario Women's Hockey Association hosted the tournament. During the tournament, representatives from participating nations met to establish a strategy to lobby the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for the creation of a Women's World Championship.[1] The first IIHF-sanctioned tournament was held in Ottawa, Ontario in 1990. women's hockey was included in the Olympics for the first time in 1998.


Early history

Women playing hockey at Rideau Hall circa 1890 (earliest known image of women's hockey)
Drawing of a female ice hockey player, from Hockey: Canada's Royal Winter Game (1899)
  • The first traces of women's hockey in Canada date back to the 1890s when it is played at the university level. The University of Toronto and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario were two of the first Canadian universities to field women’s hockey teams. There have been disputes over where the first women’s hockey game was played in Canada. The Women's Hockey Association claims that the city of Ottawa, Ontario hosted the first game in 1891.[2]
  • Lord Stanley of Preston's daughter, Lady Isobel Stanley, was a pioneer in the women's game and is one of the first females to be photographed using puck and stick (around 1890) on the natural ice rink at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada. By the early 1900s, women's teams were common throughout most of the Canadian provinces, the long skirts they were still required to wear giving them a goaltending advantage. On March 8, 1899, the first account appeared in the Ottawa Evening Journal newspaper of a game played between two women's teams of four per side at the Rideau Skating Rink in Ottawa.[3] On February 11, 1891, one of the earliest newspaper accounts of a seven-a-side game between women appeared in the Ottawa Citizen. [4] McGill University's women's hockey team debuted in 1894.[5] In 1920, Lady Isobel Brenda (Allan) Meredith of Montreal donated the 'Lady Meredith Cup', the first ice hockey trophy in Canada to be competed for between women in ankle-length skirts. Lady Meredith (the wife of Sir Vincent Meredith) was the first cousin of Sir H. Montagu Allan who had donated the Allan Cup for men's amateur ice hockey in 1908.
  • Elizabeth Graham would play hockey for Queen's University and is credited as being the first goaltender ever to wear a mask for protection. She used the mask in 1927, and the use of the mask was in the Montreal Daily Star. She actually wore a fencing mask and the speculation is that she had used the mask as a means of protecting dental work that was recently[when?] performed.[6]
  • Abigail "Abby" Hoffman, gold medalist in the 880 yard event at the 1966 Commonwealth Games,[7] first made a name for herself in hockey. She cut her hair short and pretended to be a boy in order to play with the St. Catharines Tee Pees, in a boys league.[8] Once it was discovered that Hoffman was masquerading as a boy, the story made headlines around the world. An Ontario Supreme Court decision barred her from participating, although her parents challenged the league's "boys only" rule, but the league's policy was upheld by the provincial high court. In later years, Hoffman would help organize a national women’s hockey championship (with representation from each province).[9]
  • During the 1960's, Cookie Cartwright and a group of dedicated students revived the women’s ice hockey program at Queen's University.[10] Cartwright and the Golden Gaels would go on to capture the first women's university championship.
  • The province of Ontario has seen growth in the number of women participating in hockey. In 2003, there were 31,122 hockey players in female leagues in the province of Ontario. These players were part of 2,060 teams. In 1993, Ontario had 7,848 girls registered on 557 teams.[2]

Early rules

For the early part of the 20th century, referees in the women’s game were male. When women fell to the ice, the male referee was expected to help them get back on their feet.[11] Until 1914, women participating in hockey in Western Canada were expected to wear long skirts.[12]

PCHA Tournament

As early as January 1916, Frank Patrick and Lester Patrick talked of the formation of a women’s league to complement the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.[13] The proposal included teams from Vancouver, Victoria, Portland and Seattle. The proposed league was never formed. In early January 1921, a team from Victoria, referred to in the Victoria Colonist as the Victoria and Island Athletic Association ladies team defeated a team from the University of British Columbia. This was the first reported occurrence of women’s ice hockey in Victoria since 1914.[14] In February 1921, Frank Patrick announced a women’s international championship series that would be played in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.[15]

The three teams that competed were the Vancouver Amazons, Victoria Kewpies, and Seattle Vamps. On February 21, 1921, the Seattle Vamps competed against the Vancouver Amazons in Vancouver, and were vanquished by a 5-0 score. Two days later, the Vamps played against a team from the University of British Columbia and won the game. Jerry Reed scored three goals (a hat trick) in the game for the Vamps. In both games, the Vancouver media referred to the Seattle team as the Seattle Sweeties.[16] The Amazons would travel to Seattle and defeat them again. On March 2, 1921, the Vamps were defeated by the Kewpies 1–0 in Seattle. In the rematch on March 12, the Vamps travelled to Victoria. The result was a 1–1 tie, and Jerry Reed scored the goal for Seattle. The goaltender for the Vamps was Mildren Terran.[16] After the 1921 season, the Vamps and the Kewpies ceased operations.

Western Canadian history

Reporters in Western Canada would refer to women not as hockey players but as fair manipulators of the twisted hickory.[17]


two women putting on hockey equipment
Preston Rivulettes post card Ruth Dargel on right; Nellie Lanscombe on left

The first mention of a women’s ice hockey game occurred in Medicine Hat in 1897.[18] Two years later, the Edmonton Ladies Hockey Team were the first Canadian women’s hockey team to endorse a commercial product. In an 1899 team photo, the Ladies Club is pictured lacing up Starr Acme Club skates.[19] In the winter of 1937, intergender matches were contested in Alberta. A ladies club from Nanton, Alberta was formed and they defeated a local men’s club by a 3–2 score.[20]

In High River, Alberta, a high school girls team was formed. The team played a boys peewee team, also from High River, and this game was won by the boys team.[20]

The Edmonton Rustlers were winners of the 1933 Alpine Cup, and defeated the Preston Rivulettes to become National Champions. It was one of the few times that the Rivulettes ever lost a game as Hazel Case scored the game winning goal and the Rustlers prevailed by a 3–2 score.[21] In 1934, the Rivulettes were slated to play the Rustlers in a rematch for the National Championship, but the Rivulettes were unable to raise the $1800 necessary.[22] By default, the Rustlers were champions.

British Columbia

Sandor holds the recognition of having the first women’s hockey team in the province.[23] The 1900 Rossland Winter Carnival added women’s hockey as an event.[24] After 1900, the Rossland Winter Carnival was recognized as hosting the Provincial women’s hockey championships. In 1911, the Rossland Carnival final between Rossland and a team from Grand Forks, BC was hailed as the women’s championship of the world.[24]


team picture of a women's hockey team
Fernie Swastikas in 1922

Calgary’s roots in women’s hockey date back to 1908. A Swastika skating club was formed in 1909 (at the time, the swastika was considered a sign of good fortune), and formations of teams in the Calgary Collegiate Institute and Mount Royal College provided women with many opportunities to participate.[25] Calgary’s first city team was the Calgary Crescents.[26] The Crescents played teams from Red Deer, Okotoks, Canmore, Banff, and Medicine Hat.

At the 1917 Banff Winter Carnival, the Crescents qualified for the championship game but were defeated by the newly formed Calgary Regents. As Banff carnival champions, the Regents were given the Bernard-Harvey Trophy. The Crescents would play their final game at the 1918 Banff Carnival and would defeat the Regents. The defeat of the Regents would allow the Edmonton Monarchs to win the tournament.[26]

In 1919, the Calgary Patricias were formed but they were never able to usurp the Calgary Regents as a better team. The Regents would win the Banff Winter Carnival tournament in 1919, 1920 and 1921. In addition, the Regents would go undefeated for four years.[26] In 1924, the Regents would dissolve and form a new team with some members of the Calgary Byngs Ladies club. The newly formed team was known as the Calgary Holliles, and they actually lost their first game, a 2–0 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Patricias.[27] The Hollies would win four Banff tournaments and be awarded the Alpine Cup.

In mid January 1921, the city of Calgary introduced its own winter carnival to compete with the Banff Winter Carnival. A women’s ice hockey game was featured. The Calgary Regents defeated a team from Fernie.[28]

During the 1936–37 season, the Calgary Avenue Grills (named after their sponsor, the Avenue Grill restaurant) were the provincial champions of Alberta. They were scheduled to play the Preston Rivulettes in March 1937 at Maple Leaf Gardens but were prevented to. The Dominion Women’s Amateur Hockey Association intervened and ask that the Avenue Grills ladies team join the DWAHA. When the Avenue Grills refused to, a ladies team from Winnipeg was chosen to play the Rivulettes.[29]

Eastern Canadian history

The fastest ice hockey hat trick scored by a woman was done in Canada. The hat trick was scored in 35 seconds. This was accomplished in Canada by Melissa Horvat. At the time, she played for the Burlington 1 Bantams. Said hat trick was scored against Stoney Creek in Burlington, Ontario, on March 4, 2006[30]


With the involvement of future Olympian Stacy Wilson, various women at Acadia University formed a women's hockey team in 1984. There was no varsity hockey team at the university so the team was a club team. The team wore used Acadia varsity men's hockey sweaters, and raised funds to play in a few tournaments. Wilson and her teammates were part of two Nova Scotia provincial championships. In addition, the Acadia club team represented Nova Scotia at the Women's National Championship in 1986 and 1987.[31]

After Wilson graduated from Acadia University in 1987, she began to play senior women’s hockey with the Moncton Blades (later known as the Maritime Blades). New Brunswick did not have a senior women's hockey league, therefore, the Blades were forced to arrange competitive games against men's minor hockey teams and men's old-timer teams. In order to play competitive hockey against other women, the Blades had to travel to Quebec. From 1988-98, the Blades represented New Brunswick at the Women's National Hockey Championship.[31]


Preston Rivulettes

  • The Rivulettes were inducted into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.[32] Although there is no clear origin, speculation is that an incident occurred in 1930 at Lowther St. Arena. The Preston Rivulettes girls softball team were pondering their future and a member of the team suggested hockey. The story is that an onlooker scoffed at the idea and challenged them. The first nine members of the team were:
    • Hilda and Nellie Ranscombe
    • Marm and Helen Schmuck
    • Marg Gabbitass
    • Myrtle Parr
    • Toddy Webb
    • Pat Marriott
    • Helen Sault.

The Rivulettes played teams from Ontario cities such as Toronto, Kitchener, Stratford, London, Hamilton, Guelph and Port Dover. Over the years, other players represented the Rivulettes team. These included: Violet Hall, Sheila Lahey, Gladys Hawkins, Norma Hipel, Ruth Dargel, Elvis Williams, Fay Hilborn, Winnie Makcrow and Eleanor Fairgrieves, Midge Robertson and Marie Bielstein.

Between 1930 and 1940, the team played an estimated 350 games.[6] They lost only two and tied three. For the entire decade of the 1930s, the Rivulettes were the winners of the Bobby Rosenfeld Trophy. The trophy was given to the Ontario champions. In addition, the Rivulettes were six time winners of the Eastern Canadian championship and the Elmer Doust Cup (the honour for winning the Eastern Canadian championship). The team also won the Lady Bessborough Trophy (given to Canadian Champions) six times.

The Rivulettes were invited to play games in 1939 in Europe, but were unable to due to the start of World War II. In 1963, the club was inducted into the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame.

Rossland Ladies hockey team

The 1900 Carnival would see the debut of the Rossland Ladies Hockey Team (women could join the team for fifty cents, while men would be given an honorary membership for the same fee). Rossland played a ladies team from Nelson and won the game by a score of 4–0.[24] One of Rossland’s most notable players was Eva Blackman. She would play numerous positions over the year including goaltender. At the 1905 Carnival, no one would challenge Rossland, so the team split into two teams and played each other. The teams were known as the Reds and the Blues.[33] Rossland’s biggest upset came in 1917 when the club were defeated a ladies team from Grand Forks for the West Kootenay Championship.[34]

Vancouver Amazons

women's hockey team posing for a picture on the ice
Vancouver Amazons in Banff Alberta

The Vancouver Amazons were a women’s hockey team from the 1920s. They were the first women’s hockey team from Vancouver to participate in the invitational women’s hockey tournament sponsored by the Banff Winter Carnival. The Amazons competed in 1921. The Amazons qualified for the final that year but were defeated. The team was owned by Frank Patrick, who also owned the Vancouver Millionaires. Patrick would organize a tournament featuring the Amazons, the Seattle Vamps and the Victoria Kewpies. The Amazons went undefeated in the tournament and did not allow a goal. The Amazons were West Coast Women’s champions. As the tournament featured a team from the United States, many consider this the first ever international women’s hockey competition.[35] At the Banff tournament in 1922, Elizabeth Hinds, became the first woman from British Columbia to score a hat trick in a game Phebe Senkler was captain of the Amazons and her sister Norah played on defense. The forwards were Kathleen Carson and Nan Griffith, while the goaltender was Amelia Voitkevic. The bench featured Lorraine Cannon and Mayme Leahy.

The Amazons qualified for the 1922 final and played the Calgary Regents. In the third peiod, the Amazons were down 1–0, and Kathleen Carson tied the game. Carson would score the game winning goal in overtime and were awarded the Alpine Cup.[35]



On December 16, 1922, a meeting was held to announce the Ladies Ontario Hockey Association was formed.[36] The organization was structured similarly to the Ontario Women’s Softball Association in which women would run the organization but men served in an advisory capacity. During the December 16 meeting, Frank McEwen, president of the Toronto Hockey League, presided over the meeting. Members from ladies clubs in London, Ontario and St. Thomas, Ontario were present. A letter from the Ottawa Alerts ladies club was presented, indicating their interest to join.[36]

In 1923, Janet Allen was the first female to be elected LOHA president. In autumn of 1923, the LOHA suffered a setback when the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association held a meeting in Port Arthur. The Association voted not to give women official recognition as hockey players.[37] In 1927, LOHA president Janet Allen, and LOHA treasurer Bobbie Rosenfeld attended the 38th meeting of the Ontario Hockey Association and asked the OHA to help endorse the league. In the process, they announced that if the OHA would help boost its membership, the LOHA would create a provincial championship for its member teams.[38]

The Preston Rivulettes would join the LOHA in 1931. Although their early success would promote women’s hockey, by 1938, their later success would prove to be an organization challenge to the LOHA governing body. From 1931 to 1935, the Rivulettes were undefeated and won five consecutive provincial championships.[39]

Many ladies teams in Ontario did not want to join the LOHA because they felt they had no chance of winning. The Rivulettes success caused the number of member teams to decrease.[39] The decision was for the LOHA to create an A League and a B League. The B League would include first year teams, and teams that were not at a high skill level. LOHA president Bobbie Rosenfeld found it to be the only way to increase the number of member teams.[39]

In 1939, new LOHA president Roxy Atkins appealed to past OHA president Dudley to promote the LOHA B League. Atkins wanted Dudley to help increase membership by encouraging ladies teams from Northwestern and Western Ontario to join.[40] Despite the appeal, by 1941, the LOHA was dissolved and it amalgamated with the Ontario branch of the Women’s Amateur Athletic Federation.

Dominion Women’s Amateur Hockey Association

The Dominion Women’s Amateur Hockey Association was founded in winter 1933.[39] Lady Bessborough, the wife of Governor General of Canada Lord Bessborough donated a championship trophy.[38] The trophy would be contested between the Edmonton Rustlers and the Preston Rivulettes.[38]


The Canadian Women's Hockey League, preceded by the NWHL and COWHL was formed in 2007. Jayna Hefford became the first player in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League to record 100 career points.[41] She recorded the record-setting point milestone on January 17, 2009 in a win over the Montreal Stars. On August 12, 2010, the league hosted its first ever draft. The event was held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.[42] The first overall selection was former Ohio State hockey player and Olympic gold medallist Tessa Bonhomme.[43]


Women's Ice Hockey in Canada has 85 624 players in 2010.[44] Some of the more well known players are:

  • Shirley Cameron was a founding member of the Edmonton Chimos in 1972. She played in the first IIHF Women's World Championships (played in 1990). Cameron competed in 16 Canadian championships with the Chimos. After 1992, she became a coach. Two of Alberta’s women’s hockey teams, the Chimos and the Calgary Oval X-Treme play a ten game series, and the winner gets a trophy named in Cameron’s honour: the Cameron Cup.[6]
  • Fran Rider began playing hockey in 1967 with the Brampton Canadettes. Eight years later, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association was formed and Fran Rider became the executive director. The Association was formed to generate interest in women's hockey. An award is named after her and is given to the silver medal-winning team at the Canadian Senior Women's National Championships. The award is known as the Fran Rider Cup. Of note, Rider was the first female recipient of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association's Award of Merit. The Ontario Hockey Association's Minor Hockey Service Award was given to Fran, and she was the first woman to claim that honour. Other awards included the OHA's Gold Stick Award, the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Citizenship's Contribution to Sport Award and membership in the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Hilda Ranscombe played hockey in the Great Depression. She was considered the equivalent of many men. Besides hockey, she played baseball for a team called the Preston Rivulettes, that would later become a hockey team of that same name. Before her death, Ranscombe donated all her equipment to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.


Samanta Holmes

Samantha Holmes played for the Canadian National women’s team from 2000 to 2005.[45] Her part in women's hockey history was related to an activist role. As a child she attended the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Upon her arrival, she was disappointed to learn that there would not be a women’s hockey tournament. After the games she began a letter writing campaign to get women involved in women’s ice hockey. She began by writing a letter to her local newspaper She proceeded by writing to Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion,[46] Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.[citation needed]

She moved to Calgary in June 2002 and played hockey for the Calgary Oval X-Treme. She competed in two international tournaments for her country, but never participated in the Olympics. After she left the Oval X-Treme, she formed her own team. Her team was the Strathmore Rockies and they joined the Western Women's Hockey League. The idea stemmed from the fact that there were many elite hockey players in Calgary, but not all of them had the opportunity to play for the Oval X-Treme. Holmes also handled the day-to-day tasks of running the Strathmore team. Part of her accomplishments included player scouting, sponsorship and marketing campaigns to operate the team. She is also captain of the Rockies and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. Holmes runs local skills clinics in Calgary for young women's players.[47]

Hazel McCallion

picture as an elderly women, Hazel McCallion
Hazel McCallion

Hazel McCallion is well known in Canada for her love of hockey. She played for a professional women's team while attending school in Montreal. McCallion started playing hockey in the late 1920s in the town of Port Daniel, Quebec. She played with her two sisters and was a forward on their team. McCallion later played hockey for $5 a game in the city of Montreal. The team was sponsored by Kik Cola and it was a three team women’s league.[6] At one time, she was a board member of the Ontario Women's Hockey League, and was instrumental in getting the Hershey Centre built for the city of Mississauga. McCallion provided assistance for Don Cherry’s group to bring an Ontario Hockey League franchise to the city in 1998, and she was instrumental in bringing the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships to the city in 2000. McCallion also sits on the OWHA Board of Regents.[48]

Maureen McTeer

Maureen McTeer was the wife of former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark. She was raised in Ottawa, to John and Bea McTeer. McTeer's father taught her and her older sister, Colleen, to play hockey, resulting in McTeer's childhood dream of playing in the NHL. Her commitment to feminism was born when her father reminded her that girls don't play in the NHL.

In 1982, McTeer and athlete Abby Hoffman were among the organizers of the Esso Women's Nationals championship tournament for women's ice hockey. One of the tournament's trophies, the Maureen McTeer Trophy, is named for her. It is awarded to the team that finishes in third place at the Esso Nationals.

Justine Blainey

In 1981, Justine Blainey won a spot on a Metro Toronto Hockey League Team (MTHL) but was denied the chance to play. This denial was attributed to MTHL regulations that did not permit women in the league. Blainey addressed a complaint to the Human Rights Commission but the Ontario Human Rights Code specifically allowed sexual discrimination in sports. Blainey chose to appeal the Ontario law, and she endured five different court cases before finally having her case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986.[49] Blainey played for the Toronto Lady Blues women's ice hockey program in the 1990's and assumed another activist role. In 1993, (although the Lady Blues won 13 of the last 15 provincial championships), a task force recommended that the University of Toronto cut the team for financial reasons.[50] Blainey, a member of the team, organized a "Save the Team" night that raised over $8,000. She personally called 100 alumni during a one-week fundraising blitz.

Patrick family

In the fall of 1907, the Patrick Family (consisting of five children, including future Hockey Hall of Fame members Frank and Lester Patrick) relocated to Nelson, British Columbia. By 1910, the Patrick family would have an impact on the Nelson Ladies Hockey Club. Myrtle, Cynda and Dora Patrick were all involved with the club. There were so many members, that the club was split into two teams: the Stirlings and the Wanderers. In 1911, the Nelson Ladies Club was coached by Lester Patrick, and Dora was the captain.[51] Once again, the team would eventually split into two smaller teams: the Cubs and the Athletics. After 1911, the Patrick family left Nelson and moved to Victoria. The Nelson Ladies Club would continue until 1916, but would lose to the Rossland team every year.[52]

Historical games

  • On February 11, 2000, the Ontario University Athletics women's ice hockey program saw its longest game take place. The University of Toronto's Rhonda Mitchell scored on a 35-foot slap shot. It was the 5:07 mark of the eighth period and the Varsity Blues defeated York University. Although the victory allowed the U of T to advance to the OUA gold medal game, it was the longest in the history of Canadian women's hockey (since broken).[53] The game lasted over five hours and ten minutes. York's player of the game was goaltender Debra Ferguson,[54] as she valiantly made 63 saves over 125 minutes.
  • March 3, 2011: A postseason match between the Queen's Golden Gaels and the Guelph Gryphons became the longest collegiate hockey game, male or female, Canadian or American — on record. The match began on Wednesday and it only ended on Thursday. The duration of the match was 167 minutes and 14 seconds when Queen's forward Morgan McHaffie placed a rebound past Gryphons goalie Danielle Skoufranis.[55]
  • On August 26, 2011, 40 women participated in the Longest Ice Hockey Game 4 CF, at Canlan Ice Sports Burnaby 8 Rinks in Burnaby, British Columbia. The goal was to play for the next 10 days as they attempted to set a new Guinness World Record for playing the longest hockey game while also raising funds and awareness for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.[56]

Famous Firsts

  • Lesley Reddon was part of the 1994–1995 UNB Varsity Reds men's team and became the first female goaltender to play in the Atlantic Universities Hockey Conference.[57]
  • In 2002, at the age of 16, Shannon Szabados became the first female to play in the Western Hockey League. Szabados played in four exhibition games for the Tri-City Americans.[58] On September 22, 2002 she played 20 seconds of a regular season game.[59]
  • November 15, 2003: Kim St. Pierre was the first woman in CIS history to be credited with a win in a men's regular season game. This occurred when the McGill Redmen defeated the Ryerson Rams by a score of 5–2.[60]
  • Catherine White scored the first goal in the history of the Canadian National Women's Under 18 program (on August 23, 2007 in Ottawa, Ontario).[61]

Timeline of Events

  • 1902: In 1902, a challenge match was held between the Ladies Hockey Clubs of Trois Rivieres and Montreal. At the time, it was hailed as the national championship of Canada as there were no organized leagues or tournaments.[62]
  • 1914:The first provincial championship in Ontario was held in 1914 in Picton. Six teams competed in the event.[62]
  • March 19, 1990: The 1st Women’s World Hockey Championship is played in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The European teams came to the event at their own personal expenses. The Canadian team wore pink sweaters and pink socks. TSN broadcast the game across Canada. The Canadian team beat the United States by a score of 5-2.[63]


  • The OWHA would lobby for a national championship for women. The first Canadian national women's championship was in 1983 and the first corporate sponsor of the event was Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • In 1987, Toronto, Ontario hosted the first ever Women's World Championship. Of note, the tournament was not recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation.[64]

Banff Winter Carnival

  • The following is a list of all the champions from the Banff Winter Carnival. The Banff Winter Carnival organizers were known to pay each team up to twenty-five percent of gate receipts to help cover team expenses. In later years, the Carnival would guarantee travel expenses for the competing teams.[65]
Year Winner
1917 Calgary Regents
1918 Edmonton Monarchs
1919 Calgary Regents
1920 Calgary Regents
1921 Calgary Regents
1922 Vancouver Amazons
1923 Fernie Swastikas
1924 Calgary Hollies
1925 Calgary Hollies
1926 Edmonton Monarchs
1927 Calgary Hollies
1928 Calgary Hollies
1929 Edmonton Monarchs
1930 Edmonton Monarchs
1931 Edmonton Monarchs
1932 Edmonton Monarchs
1933 Edmonton Rustlers
1934 Red Deer Amazons
1935 Red Deer Amazons


Canada Winter Games

Year Gold Silver Bronze 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
1991 Alberta BC Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland
1995 Ontario Saskatchewan Quebec Manitoba Alberta BC New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland
1999 Ontario Quebec Alberta Saskatchewan BC Nova Scotia Manitoba Newfoundland Prince Edward Island New Brunswick
2003 Ontario Quebec Saskatchewan Manitoba Nova Scotia BC Alberta Prince Edward Island Newfoundland New Brunswick Yukon
2007 Ontario[67] Manitoba Quebec Saskatchewan
2011 Alberta[68] Ontario Quebec Saskatchewan


  • The following were players who participated in the Canada Winter Games women's hockey tournament and would go on to represent Canada in ice hockey at the Winter Olympics
Player Team Year
Meghan Agosta Team Ontario 2003[70] (Gold Medal)
Cassie Campbell Team Ontario 1991[69] (Fourth place)
Nancy Drolet Team Quebec 1991[71] (Third place)
Jayna Hefford Team Ontario 1995 (Gold Medal)
Haley Irwin Team Ontario 2003[72] (Gold Medal)
Rebecca Johnston Team Ontario 2007[73]
Gina Kingsbury Team Quebec 1995, 1999[74]
Charline Labonte Team Québec 1999[75]
Caroline Ouellette Team Quebec 1995[76]
Cherie Piper Team Ontario 1999[77]
Colleen Sostorics Team Saskatchewan 1995[78]
Tammy Shewchuk Team Québec 1991 and 1995[79]
Sami Jo Small Team Manitoba 1991[80]
Sarah Vaillancourt Team Québec 2003[81]
Catherine Ward Team Québec 2003[82]
Hayley Wickenheiser Team Alberta 1991 (Gold Medal)

Lipstick tournament

The roots of the Lipstick Tournament can be traced to Wallaceburg resident Grace Small. In early 1966, she requested that arena manager Harold Ribson allow some ice time for teenage girls. Ribson agreed while Gus Lalonde and Doug Myers agreed to coach the local group of teenage girls. After a few games, Ribson arranged a one-day girls tournament (contested on February 27,1966.)

Although this was not the first Lipstick Tourney, eleven women’s teams participated. Under Wally Enterprises CEO Jack Lacey, a championship shield was provided for the tournament. The Six Nations girls team won the championship and were declared Ontario champions, (as sanctioned by the Ontario Athletic Commission office). Harold Ribson saw the potential of the concept. It was not only an opportunity for female hockey competition but a way to promote the city of Wallaceburg. Ribson (along with Terry Brodeur[83]) selected the Valentine’s Day 1967 weekend as the date for the first Lipstick Tournament.

Entries from sixteen teams were accepted and it involved 256 players from Ontario and Michigan. Jean Walker, who had played in the early 1900’s, from Chippewa, ON, dropped the puck at the ceremonial face off. Jack Adams, general manager of the NHL Detroit Red Wings attended, along with retired Detroit Red Wings netminder Johnny Mowers. In addition, Ribson arranged for the Hockey Night in Canada TV production crew to visit Wallaceburg on Friday night to play an exhibition game with the local Wallaceburg Hornettes women’s team. Broadcaster Ward Cornell and Toronto Maple Leafs broadcaster Bill Hewitt attended. TV clips were shown between periods the following night on Hockey Night in Canada. Jack Lacey became involved again as he supplied a set of custom-painted pink-coloured hockey sticks to the Hornettes for use in the tournament. also donated trophies for top scorer, most valuable player and best goaltender. The Port Huron entry won the inaugural 1967 Lipstick Tournament. The second Lipstick Tourney in 1968 was affected by a devastating flood that hit the community in February. The tourney did continue with 16 entries. Hilda Ranscombe from Preston, a member of the 1935 Preston Rivulettes, Canadian champions was the guest of honour. Marian Coveny, who would later play for Team Canada, made one of several appearances in the tournament. Of note, the 1968 tournament would be the last tourney organized by Harold and Lila Ribson. The Wallaceburg Jaycees came forth and volunteered to convene the following Lipstick Tourney as a fund raiser.

The Lipstick Tourney was on a strong footing with the Jaycees at the helm and by 1975, the tournament grew to 21 teams. Over 4,500 fans total attended games in 1975, as the tournament was tied in to other events that involved Wallaceburg’s centennial. Mary Lou Atkins, coach of the first Hornettes team, dropped the puck at the ceremonial face off. Wallaceburg did not enter a team every year due to members leaving for further education and marriage. By 1978, the new local entry was the Knights of Pythias Hawks. In 1980, 28 teams were accepted into the tourney, resulting in some games competed in Dresden. Teams from as far away as Boston and Edmonton competed in the tournament. In 1985, the local entry was called Vanatters Panthers with Dina Celotto the MVP and Lynn McCreary, top goaltender. The last Lipstick Tourney of the 20th Century was held in 1993. In 2006 a group of local parents led by Lynn Vanderveeken revived the Lipstick Tourney.[84]


Abby Hoffman Cup

The Abby Hoffman Cup was first competed for in 1983. It was played for at the first Canadian National Women’s Hockey Championship. The event was held in Brantford, Ontario and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association presented the trophy.

Year Winner Province
2008–09 Westman Wildcats Manitoba
2007–08 Team Manitoba Manitoba
2006–07 Calgary Oval X-Treme Alberta
2005–06 Team Ontario Ontario
2004–05 Team Ontario Ontario
2003–04 Team Ontario Ontario
2002–03 Team Alberta[85] Alberta
2001–02 Equipe Quebec Quebec
2000–01 Calgary Oval X-Treme Alberta
1999–00 Beatrice Aeros[86] Ontario
1998–99 Equipe Quebec Quebec
1997–98 Calgary Oval X-Treme Alberta
1996–97 Edmonton Chimos Alberta
1995–96 Equipe Quebec Quebec
1994–95 Equipe Quebec Quebec
1993–94 Equipe Quebec Quebec
1992–93 Toronto Aeros Ontario
1991–92 Edmonton Chimos Alberta
1990–91 Toronto Aeros Ontario
1989–90 Sherbrooke Quebec
1988–89 Sherbrooke Quebec
1987–88 Sherbrooke Quebec
1986–87 Hamilton Hawks Ontario
1985-86 Hamilton Hawks Ontario
1984–85 Edmonton Chimos Alberta
1983–84 Edmonton Chimos Alberta
1982–83 Burlington Ladies Ontario

Angela James Bowl

  • The Angela James Bowl is awarded to the highest scoring player in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.
Season Winner Team Pts Win #
2007–08 Botterill, JenniferJennifer Botterill[87] Mississauga Chiefs 61 1
2008–09 Hefford, JaynaJayna Hefford Brampton Canadette-Thunder 69 1
2009–10 Harbec, SabrinaSabrina Harbec Montreal Stars 54 1
2010–11 Ouellette, CarolineCaroline Ouellette Montreal Stars 71 1

Isobel Gathorne Hardy Award

Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy's role as a pioneer of women’s ice hockey in Canada is acknowledged with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award. The award is given to an active player (at any level) whose values, leadership and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.[88]

Year Winner
2002 Andria Hunter[89]
2003 Tanya Leone[90]
2004 Jane Legacé[91]
2005 Cathy Phillips[92]
2006 Melanie McFarlane[93]
2007 Karen Mamchuk[94]
2009 Charla Currie[95]

Other notable awards

See also


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  3. ^ Ottawa Evening Journal. March 8, 1899. 
  4. ^ McFarlane 1994, p. 18
  5. ^ McFarlane, Brian (January 28, 2003). "Women's Hockey: A Proud Past, A Bright Future". Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Notable women hockey players". National Hockey League. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Honoured Members:Abigail "Abby" Hoffman". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame website. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport, M. Ann Hall, p.58, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55277-021-4
  9. ^ "Abby Hoffman Cup:History". National Hockey League. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Norton 2009, p. 17
  12. ^ Norton 2009, p. 18
  13. ^ Norton 2009, p. 120
  14. ^ Norton 2009, p. 116
  15. ^ Norton 2009, p. 115
  16. ^ a b Norton 2009, p. 119
  17. ^ Norton 2009, p. 22
  18. ^ Norton 2009, p. 52
  19. ^ Norton 2009, p. 53
  20. ^ a b Wong 2009, p. 216
  21. ^ Norton 2009, p. 106
  22. ^ Wong 2009, p. 145
  23. ^ Norton 2009, p. 27
  24. ^ a b c Norton 2009, p. 28
  25. ^ Norton 2009, p. 123
  26. ^ a b c Norton 2009, p. 124
  27. ^ Norton 2009, p. 125
  28. ^ Norton 2009, p. 62
  29. ^ Norton 2009, p. 108
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  34. ^ Norton 2009, p. 33
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  40. ^ Wong 2009, p. 151
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  54. ^ "Profiles Online - August 2000 - Dispatches: Saving Grace". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
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  58. ^ "PLAYER PROFILE - Shannon Szabados". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  59. ^ Fowler, Annie, Ams reassign goaltender Szabados,, October 1, 2002. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
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  62. ^ a b Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport, M. Ann Hall, p.30, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55277-021-4
  63. ^ IIHF Top 100 Hockey Stories of All Time, p. 68, Szymon Szemberg and Andrew Podnieks, Fenn Publishing, Bolton, Ontario, Canada, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55168-358-4
  64. ^ "Timeline — Evolution Of Women's Hockey". National Hockey League. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  65. ^ Norton 2009, p. 19
  66. ^ Norton 2009, p. 153
  67. ^ Canadian Press (March 10, 2007). "Ontario wins Winter Games hockey gold". CBC News. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
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  69. ^ a b "Athletics" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  70. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 134
  71. ^ Who's Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 4, p.118, Bob Ferguson, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd., Markham, ON and Allston, MA, ISBN 1-55041-855-6
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  75. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 152
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  77. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 160
  78. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 164
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  80. ^ Who's Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 5, p.409, Bob Ferguson, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd., Markham, ON and Allston, MA, ISBN 1-55041-855-6
  81. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 170
  82. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 172
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^ "Esso Canadian National Championships 2003". Ontario Women's Hockey Association. March 16, 2003. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  86. ^ Collins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009-10, p.545, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6
  87. ^ "London hockey concussion summit 2009". Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  88. ^ Lord Stanley:The Man Behind the Cup, p.421, Kevin Shea and John Jason Wilson, Fenn Publishing, Bolton, ON, 2006, ISBN 978-1-55168-281-5
  89. ^ "2002 Esso Canadian National Championship". Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  90. ^ "Team Alberta captures seventh national title". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  91. ^
  92. ^ "2004–05 OWHA Annual Report". Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  93. ^ "2006 Esso Women’s National Championship Award Winners Announced". Hockey Canada. March 20, 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  94. ^ "Award Winners announced at Esso Women's Nationals". Hockey Canada. March 8, 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  95. ^ "In the Crease Hockey PEI". Hockey PEI. April 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  96. ^ Podnieks 2010, p. 174
  97. ^ Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport, M. Ann Hall, p.82, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55277-021-4
  98. ^ IIHF Top 100 Hockey Stories of All Time, Szymon Szemberg and Andrew Podnieks, p. 145, Fenn Publishing, Bolton, Ontario, Canada, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55168-358-4
  99. ^ Paul Hunter (June 23, 2010). "Angela James going to Hockey Hall of Fame". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 


  • McFarlane, Brian (1994). Proud past, bright future: one hundred years of Canadian women's hockey (1994 ed.). Stoddart. ISBN 0773728368. 
  • Norton, Wayne (2009). Women on Ice: The Early Years of Women's Hockey in Western Canada (2009 ed.). Ronsdale Press. ISBN 1553800737. 
  • Podnieks, Andrew (2010). Canadian Gold (Mar 15 2010 ed.). Fenn Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1551683849. 
  • Wong, John Chi-Kit (2009). Coast to Coast: Hockey in Canada to the Second World War (2009 ed.). University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-9532-9. 

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