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Banner: Backcheck: A Hockey RetrospectiveKids' Version
Graphical elementGreat Hockey StoriesBrowse by:ThemeDecadePhotoArticle
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Graphical elementIntroductionThe Origins of HockeyEarly Days of HockeyFrench-Canadian TraditionInternational HockeyAboriginal HockeyWomen's HockeyCommunity HockeyGraphical element Section title: Women's Hockey

"Women's Hockey: A Proud Past, A Bright Future", an essay by Brian McFarlane


Isobel Stanley, the graceful skater in white, was the daughter of the Stanley Cup's donor, Lord Stanley of Preston. This remarkable snapshot, taken at Ottawa's Rideau Hall, residence of the Governor General of Canada, is thought to be the earliest photograph ever taken of women playing hockey.


As a star with the Ottawa Alerts, Eva Ault was one of the best-known women hockey players.



1917 Queen's University team. Back: Flora E. Abernethy, Nelida Vessot, Jessie McArthur. Middle: Muriel E. Whalley, Charlotte Whitton, Bessie Farrell. Front: Bernice Clapp.


In 1955, at age eight, Ab (Abby) Hoffman cut her hair short and joined a boys' hockey team as a defenseman. Everyone thought she was a boy, until just before an all-star game that required players to submit their birth certificates. When her secret was revealed, Abby became an overnight sensation. Soon other young women began trying out for boys' teams.

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