Ice

Women in Hockey: Original Legends

Women in Hockey - Original Legends

How long have there been women in hockey? Women and girls have been officially playing ice hockey since the early 1990s, but it has been in existence for over a century. The first recognized female hockey game happened in Barrie, Ontario in 1982, according to the Canadian Hockey Association.

In 1889, the first game involved a government house team, which defeated the Rideau ladies’ team. Most women in hockey were on Canadian teams; the teams, leagues, and tournaments peaked in 1930s in Canada and a few areas in the USA.

Let’s look at two of the most talented and powerful women in hockey history.

Angela Ruggiero

During a home game of the Central Hockey League team in 2005, Angela Ruggiero made history after skating onto the ice for the Tulsa Oilers. She became the first woman in hockey to participate in a non-goalie position at men’s professional hockey competition in North America.

Being a two-time Olympic defense player, Ruggiero is one of the most inspiring among women in hockey. Her career on Harvard University’s ladies’ team ended in 2004, after getting a Patty Kazmaier Award, given to first women’s college hockey participant in the United States.

Jessie Vetter

Born in December 1985, Jessica Vetter was an associate of the United States women’s national ice hockey team. She was also a member of the 2008–09 Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team, who took a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title.

She was drafted20th by the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). During Vetter’s four year career, she achieved the NCAA record of 91 games played. Other records she held included goalie shutouts in a single season, with 14 completed in 2008 and 2009. The Women in hockey Sports Foundation named Jessica as the first ice hockey Sportswoman of the Year – she also collected a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic winter games.

Is hitting allowed in women’s hockey?

It depends on how you define “hitting.” Women in hockey should not board, charge, or hit from behind; as in men’s hockey, these will draw a penalty. Charging happens if a player makes three or more steps going into the check, and this may include allowing the feet to deliver the hit. These hits can be dangerous, and can increase the likelihood of causing severe injury. Women in hockey also get penalties resulting from game misconduct, which incurs a fine of $100 in the NHL.

Has there been a female in the NHL?

Hayley Wickenheiser was the first women in hockey to score a goal in men’s professional hockey team in Finland in 2003, and she doesn’t think other women in hockey can do it. According to Wickenheiser,

“It’s difficult for women to participate in game seasons at NHL level; the size of players and the speed involved will make it impossible for them to make it in the game…although European ice makes it a little easier during the game due to the larger ice surface.”

And while that may be, the women in hockey have made their sport one of the fastest growing games in the world. So whether or not women ultimately share the ice with men in the NHL, it is clear that there is a faithful following of this exciting and upcoming sport.