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Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, sometimes known as Oxford Blues, is one of the world's oldest ice hockey teams. Tradition places the origin of the club in 1885, when a match is said to have been played against Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club at St Moritzmarker. This date is recognised by the Hockey Hall of Famemarker, and prior to the 1985 Ice Hockey Varsity Match, the International Ice Hockey Federation formally recognised it 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 Clubmarker in the first official Varsity Match, winning 7-6. Their captain in this match was future cricketer Bernard Bosanquet.

the introduction of the Rhodes Scholarship, the top Canadian players at Oxford Universitymarker formed the Oxford Canadians, but after World War I, the Oxford University team included Rhodes Scholars. Such players included Lester Pearson, Roland Michener, George F.G. Stanley, Clarence Campbell, Danny Williams, 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 club 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.

Today, the University team is based at the Oxford Ice Rinkmarker. They continue to play an annual varsity match, and also compete in the British Universities Ice Hockey Association.

References

  1. The club 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.
  2. Phil Drackett, Flashing Blades
  3. Oxford University Ice Hockey Club: Murky Beginnings
  4. Oxford Blues: Past Results
  5. Oxford Blues: History
  6. Martin C. Harris, Homes of British Ice Hockey
  7. A to Z Encyclopaedia of Ice Hockey


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