Ice Age: Past, Present and Future, News, Novice A, 2011-2012, AA (Kitchener Minor Hockey)

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Ice Age: Past, Present and Future
Submitted By Jarid Peterson on Thursday, November 17, 2011
The NHL archives list the first ever Women’s Hockey Game as taking place in Ottawa Ontario in 1889, the CHA (Canadian Hockey Association ) counters with the first game occurring in Barrie Ontario 1892. One hundred and twenty years later girls of all ages continue the tradition of “The Game” that still sparks passion in young and old alike.

        The first version of Women’s Hockey was simple enough, any large patch of outdoor frozen water would do. A Uniform consisted of skates, long warm woollen skirt, heavy and bulky Turtleneck sweater, gloves, stick (straight blade), topped off with a typically Canadian Knitted Toque (Bobble Optional). Queens-University-Hockey-Team-Kingston-Ontario-1917.png

        Over the next 30-40 years, Women’s Hockey expanded becoming ever more evident and popular. Teams and Leagues began to sprout up all over Canada and into the United States. However, following the Second World War a severe decline in acceptance and participation began to erode and endanger the very existence of a sport that meant so much to many Canadian Women.  Before long there was no place for girls to play hockey




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        In 1956 a courageous nine year old girl cut her hair and asked her parents to register her in a local Little Toronto (St. Chatherines) “boys only” hockey league. Abigail Hoffman (Shown Below) excelled that year as a speed skating defenseman named “Ab” who would be named an All Star. Unfortunately when the need to provide her Birth Certificate come up for the final tournament registry, her secret would be exposed and she would be left in the stands to watch. Taking the case to the Supreme Court of Ontario would also prove fruitless and they held up the judgement that there was no place for girls in a boys sport.

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Although Abigail Hoffman would no longer compete in hockey, her drive and inspiration led her to compete in track and field winning Gold Medals for the Great Country of Canada.

            It was not until 1990, almost a century after it started, that girls would again be encouraged to pick up sticks and pucks again. This time the passion it would seem outweighed the social norm. It started with eight different Nations getting together to compete at a higher level, culminating in the 1998 Olympics in Japan and the “debut” of Women’s Hockey.

            In the two decades since then, girls hockey has continued to grow in enrolment with leagues and teams always expanding. Girls who don’t have an all female team to play with are finding it less challenging to join a local boy’s team. Manon Rheaume, Erin Whitten and Hayley Wickenheiser have all played the game on Men’s Teams. Wickenheiser, upon joining a Finnish Second Division Men’s Professional Team in 2003, became the first Female to record a goal at that level, a very poignant moment for every girl all over Canada who Continue to dream of playing competitive hockey.  With 2010s induction of Angela James (Canada) and Cammi Granato (United States), Women’s passion and drive has been forever enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

            Thank you to all of those who have and who will continue to pave the way for all young women to challenge their inspiration, and realize their dreams in any direction they wish to be taken.

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On January 22, 2011 all the Girls enrolled in Kitchener Minor Hockey will be welcoming the Community when they hold the first ever Kitchener Girls Hockey Day. The Ladies will have a chance to represent our city in Regular Season and Championship action from Novice House League to Senior A Lady Rangers.  Please join us at the Activa Sportsplex for a day of non stop Girls Hockey Action.



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