Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
|Oxford Blues |
|City||Oxford, United Kingdom|
|Division||Division 1 (Checking)|
|Home arena||Oxford Ice Rink
Ice size: 184 x 85 feet
|Colours||Dark Blue, White and Gold|
|Owner(s)||The Oxford Ice Hockey Trust |
Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, also known as Oxford Blues, is one of the world's oldest ice hockey teams. Tradition places the origin of the team in 1885, when a match is said to have been played against Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club at St Moritz. 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. However, there is no contemporary evidence that this match took place, and Oxford now claims that this was a bandy match.
The oldest surviving evidence of their existence is a team photo and roster from 1895, when they played Cambridge in another bandy match. In 1900, they played Cambridge at Princes Skating Club in the first official Varsity Match, winning 7-6. Their captain in this match was future cricketer Bernard Bosanquet.
With the introduction of the Rhodes Scholarship, the top Canadian players at Oxford University formed the Oxford Canadians, but after World War I, the Oxford University 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 1933, they tied the tournament with LTC Prague.
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. In 2004 the Blues joined the British Universities Ice Hockey Association league.
Today the team is based at the Oxford Ice Rink, and continues to compete in Division One of the BUIHA, having won the BUIHA league playoff title in 2009, 2010, and in 2014, as well as playing the annual Varsity Match against Cambridge.
Notable former players
- Mark Carney
- Charles Herbert Little
- H. Ian Macdonald
- Lester B. Pearson - Canadian Prime Minister & Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
- George F. Stanley- Designer of the Canadian Flag & Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick
- Danny Williams
- BUIHA Website Listing "OXFORD BLUES INFO", Retrieved on 13 September 2014.
- "THE OXFORD VS. CAMBRIDGE VARSITY MATCH: The Oldest Ongoing Rivalry in Ice Hockey"The FISU University Sports Magazine, Issue 87, p.74, December 2014.
- The team claims to be the second oldest, after McGill University, although the 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.
- Phil Drackett, Flashing Blades
- Oxford University Ice Hockey Club: Murky Beginnings
- Oxford Blues: Past Results
- Oxford Blues: History
- Martin C. Harris, Homes of British Ice Hockey
- A to Z Encyclopaedia of Ice Hockey
- British Universities Ice Hockey Association