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Style Watch: Women’s Ice Hockey

February 13, 2010

(Above: Women playing hockey. Toronto, Canada. 1910)

[1921women.jpg]

(Above: A girls ice hockey team in 1921)

The history of women’s ice hockey goes back over 100 years.

Lady Isobel Stanley, daughter of Lord Stanley of Preston’s (Canada’s Governor General at the time), 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. By the early 1900s, women’s teams were common throughout most of the Canadian provinces. They were still required to wear the long skirts, which could be helpful at times. Players were able to crouch in front of their goalie with the hems of their skirts spread out and no shot was able to get past them to score a goal.  (More info here.)


Above: Isobel Stanley wore a long white dress when she played “shinny” with other ladies on the ice rink beside Government House in Ottawa. This photo (above), taken at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall (residence of the Governor General of Canada) is the earliest snapshot ever taken of women playing hockey.

Isobel had visited the Montréal Winter Carnival in 1888 and watched a men’s hockey game. She and two of her brothers fell in love with the game and they began playing it themselves. They even convinced their father, Lord Stanley, to donate a trophy for hockey, which became known as the Stanley Cup.

(Above: In 1893, Canada’s Governor General, Lord Stanley, donated a trophy to be given to the best Canadian hockey team each year. It became known as the Stanley Cup.)

(Above: Circa 1890’s women’s hockey team photo)

Queen's University Hockey Team (Kingston, Ontario), 1917.

(Above: The 1917 Queen’s University Women’s Hockey Team)

-N.

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