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Oxford University Ice Hockey Club

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Oxford University Blues[1]
CityOxford, United Kingdom
LeagueBUIHA
ConferenceSouthern Conference
DivisionDivision 1 (Checking)
Founded1885
Home arenaOxford Ice Rink
Capacity: 1,025
Ice size: 184 x 85 feet
ColoursDark Blue and White
CaptainMen's Blues: Joseph Ghoussoub;[2] Women's Blues: Kim Slessor and Hildelith Leyser
Websitehttp://oxforduniversityicehockey.com/

The Oxford University Ice Hockey Club (OUIHC) is home to the Men’s and Women’s Blues ice hockey teams of the University of Oxford, England. The Men's Blues, also known as Oxford University Blues,[1] is one of the world's oldest ice hockey teams.[3] Tradition places the origin of the team in 1885, when a match is said to have been played against Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club in St Moritz, Switzerland.[4] This date is recognised by the Hockey Hall of Fame, and prior to the 1985 Ice Hockey Varsity Match, the International Ice Hockey Federation formally recognised the 1885 game as the first ice hockey match played in Europe.[5] However, there is no contemporary evidence that this match took place, and Oxford now claims that this was a bandy match.[6]

History

The oldest surviving evidence of their existence is a team photo and roster from 1895, when they played Cambridge in another bandy match at Blenheim Palace.[7] In 1900, they played Cambridge at Princes Skating Club in the first official Varsity Match, winning 7-6.[8] Their captain in this match was future cricketer Bernard Bosanquet.[7]

Ice hockey in Europe; Oxford University vs. Switzerland, 1922. Future Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson is at right front.
Ice hockey in Europe; Oxford University vs. Switzerland, 1922. Future Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson is at right front.

With the introduction of the Rhodes Scholarship, the top Canadian players at the University of Oxford formed the Oxford Canadians, but after World War I, the University of Oxford team included Rhodes Scholars. Such players included Lester B. Pearson, Roland Michener, George F.G. Stanley, Clarence Campbell, Allan Blakeney, Ronald Martland and Otto Lang. Thus strengthened, it won the Spengler Cup in 1923, 1925 and 1931. In 1932, they tied the tournament with LTC Prague.[7]

In 1931, the team entered the first English League, winning both the inaugural season and the second. When the League disbanded in 1936, they did not follow most of the teams into the English National League, but in 1938 joined the lower level London and Provincial League. From 1948 to 55, they played in the Southern Intermediate League. After a long break from league competition, they entered two seasons of the Southern League in the 1970s, then joined the Inter-City League and finally played in the first season of the British Hockey League.[9] In 2004 the Blues joined the British Universities Ice Hockey Association league.[citation needed] Today the team is based at the Oxford Ice Rink, and continues to compete in Division One of the BUIHA, as well as playing the annual Varsity Match against Cambridge.[citation needed]

Notable former players

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The Club attracts many Canadian students at Oxford, with most of its prominent former players assuming visible roles in Canadian public life.

References

  1. ^ a b BUIHA Website Listing "Oxford University Blues", Retrieved on 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Oxford University Blues at eliteprospects.com". www.eliteprospects.com.
  3. ^ McGill Team, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Bulldogs and Ottawa Hockey Club pre-date its organization in 1885, and competed in the Montreal Winter Carnival ice hockey tournaments which started in 1883. see Amateur Hockey Association of Canada.
  4. ^ Phil Drackett, Flashing Blades
  5. ^ Oxford University Ice Hockey Club: Murky Beginnings
  6. ^ "Oxford Blues: Past Results". Archived from the original on 31 October 2006.
  7. ^ a b c "Oxford Blues: History". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2007.
  8. ^ Martin C. Harris, Homes of British Ice Hockey
  9. ^ "AZhockey.com - The Best Ice Hockey Slots Online". www.azhockey.com.
  10. ^ "Philanthropist John McCall MacBain O.C. receives the University of Oxford's highest award". www.development.ox.ac.uk.
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Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
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