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Cassie Campbell


Roughly one hundred years after Canadian women were first photographed playing hockey on the Rideau Canal, Canada's inaugural national women's hockey team was formed to play in the first Women's World Ice Hockey Championships, held in Ottawa in 1990. For over a century, women had been playing hockey in relative obscurity while their male counterparts became celebrated national heroes. The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) did not even recognize women's hockey until 1982. However, in only fifteen years Canada's National Women's Hockey Team attained a dynamic record of competitive excellence, sparking unprecedented excitement for women's achievements on the ice. Between 1990 and 2015 they captured ten world championship titles, and after women's hockey became part of the Olympic program in 1998, they won four consecutive Olympic gold medals. These victories attracted millions of viewers and helped inspire exponential growth in female hockey registration across Canada.

Many star players on Canada's National Women's Hockey Team have become ambassadors for their sport. Cassie Campbell first joined Team Canada in 1994, and over 12 years helped win six World Championships. As team captain, she also helped lead the team to win Olympic gold medals in 2002 and 2006 before retiring from competition. A versatile team player as well as an inspiring leader, Cassie switched from defense to forward in 1999, acquiring a unique depth of experience. Among Canada's most relatable, identifiable female hockey players, she was often chosen to handle the unprecedented media attention Team Canada attracted with each international victory. In 2006 she also became the first woman ever to offer colour commentary for Hockey Night in Canada, and since then has continued to work as a sports broadcaster on television.

Canadians have historically waxed poetic about hockey. Even more than the thrill of victory, those who love the sport celebrate its transformative nature. Armoured with protective gear, towering atop skates and flying across the ice at tremendous speeds, players often become larger than life heroes. For Canadian women this transformation has been even more dramatic, challenging popular assumptions about how female athletes should look and behave. For many years women who took to the ice were either ridiculed or ignored for their efforts. With their strong competitive record and inspiring play, Canada's National Women's Hockey Team helped usher in an exciting new era. With more girls taking to the ice and more competitive opportunities open to elite players than ever before, they have immeasurably enriched Canada's favourite national pastime, increasingly driving crowds wild with excitement from coast to coast at the phrase "She shoots! She scores!"

photograph of Preston Rivulettes Women's Hockey team
The Preston Rivulettes from Ontario are considered to be one of the finest hockey teams Canada has produced. They played during the 1930's and lost just two of 350 games. Their accomplishments included six Dominion Championships. Their passion for their sport and play as a team was a key factor in women's hockey gaining popularity across the country.
Collection: Hockey Hall of Fame

photograph of Hilda Ranscombe in Preston R jersey
As team captain Hilda Ranscombe was considered to be the heart and soul of the team. Despite the fact that she was the leading scorer, she never considered herself in that manner. She felt that the whole team was the most valuable player. Her teammates not only respected her for her skills as a player but for the way she shared her knowledge and love of the sport.
Collection: Hockey Hall of Fame

blue and white hockey jersey AEROS
Angela James was a pioneer in women's ice hockey. When women's hockey started to become more mainstream in the 1970's she and other women had to face limited access to rinks that were often far away and with odd starting times. She played professional hockey with the Toronto Aeros. With patience, perseverance and a passion for her game, she helped bring women's hockey to the attention of fans across Canada.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

photograph of Angela James in Team Canada uniform
Women's hockey finally achieved worldwide recognition with the first World Championships held in 1990. Angela James was a member of the gold medal team for Canada and was the team top scorer. Her excellence and competitiveness over the course of her career was honoured when she and American Cammi Granato, became the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The leadership shown by both these women helped to bring equality to the women's game.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

red Team Canada Jersey RHEAUME
Women's hockey was included at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano as part of the effort by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to increase the number of participantss. Manon Rheaume was the goalie on the Canadian team that won the silver medal. Manon broke a major barrier when she became to the first woman to play with an NHL team when she saw action in a 1992 pre-season game with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

photograph of 2002 Women's Olympic Team with medals
A Canadian loonie (one-dollar coin) was placed for luck at centre ice by one of the ice makers at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The 'luckie loonie' worked its charm as both the women's and men's teams won gold. This was the first gold for the Canadian women's team at the Olympic Winter Games. One of the cherished traditions of the game is this picture of the medal winning team at centre ice.
Collection: CP PHOTO/COC/Mike Ridewood

red and white Team Canada jersey CAMPBELL
Cassie Campbell was a member of the women's team from 1994 to 2006 and her performance on the team made her an important part of women's hockey during its formative years on the international scene. She was a versatile player, moving from a defensive to offensive position and was respected for playing with passion and tenacity. She represents a sport that has matured and developed, had a remarkable impact on Canadian society, and helped shape the minds and bodies of young girls who now have Campbell and her teammates to admire.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

photograph of Cassie Campbell with Olympic gold medal
Cassie Campbell won two Olympic gold medals in 2002 and 2006, the latter the one seen in this photograph. Her dedication to promoting women's hockey has brought her the respect not only from her peers but also by the average Canadian. She was the face of women's hockey when it needed publicity in order to grow the game. She has continued to break barriers when she became the first woman to do colour commentary during an NHL game broadcast on television.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

three gold Olympic medals
Danielle Goyette played on the women's national team for over fifteen years. During that period she helped the team win a silver medal and three gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games. She was a strong and versatile player making her one of the leading scorers for Team Canada. Her natural leadership was acknowledged when she was named the flag bearer for the Canadian team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Collection: Private Collection: Danielle Goyette

photograph of Danielle Goyette with medal Canadian flag
Danielle Goyette has continued to promote and develop women's hockey after her retirement as a coach. Known and respected for her commitment to hard work and making players better, she considers that it is important to leave something behind for kids to be inspired. "The fact that we have opened doors for young girls to be able to play hockey at the beginning of their career is something important."
Collection: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

gold medal on yellow and blue ribbon
Geraldine Heaney played on the National Women's team from 1990 to 2002, winning two Olympic medals with the team. This medal is from one of her many World Championship victories. She played ice hockey at a time when the women's game was beginning to be respected and saw it develop into one that enjoys international status and public attention.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

photograph of Geraldine Heaney playing hockey in Team Canada uniform
Geraldine Heaney was a team player, putting the goals of the team and the development of the sport first. Her gold medal goal at the first Women's World Championships in 1990 made her the face of women's hockey in Canada. She took her responsibility as a role model for young girls very seriously and continues to advance the game.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

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