History of the NSWHL

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The upcoming 2015/2016 season marks 21 years for the NSWHL!!!

The Nova Scotia Women’s Hockey League officially began play in the 1994/95 season, although women’s hockey in Nova Scotia had already been established for some time. In that season, a total of seven teams (Acadia, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, Halifax Breakers, East Hants, United Nations and Shannon Flyers) vied for the league championship that was eventually won by the Halifax Breakers. Cindy Miller of East Hants was instrumental in setting up the league and served as its first president.

Year two saw the election of Janice Cossar (Acadia) as league president. A total of eight teams participated in the NSWHL in 1995/96, with the addition of Pictou as the new member. Unfortunately, a shortage of ice time lead to the league being unable to declare a champion for the season.

In 1996/97 John Turnbull of Saint Mary’s was elected the league's third president, a position he held for a total of three years. Eight teams again played in the league that season, with Truro replacing Pictou in the lineup. Dalhousie University won the league championship with a 3-0 victory over the Halifax Breakers. In addition, a very successful All-Star Game was held at the Halifax Forum, to highlight the talent present in the league.

By 1997/98, the league had expanded to nine teams (Acadia, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, Saint Francis Xavier, Shearwater Flyers, Halifax Breakers, Bedford, Truro and United Nations). A second, successful All-Star Game was held at the Civic Arena and the first AUAA (University) Championships were held at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, with Saint Mary’s claiming that victory. The NSWHL champions that season were the Halifax Breakers; they beat Dalhousie 3-1 in the final.

By year five (1998/99) the league had expanded again, to a total of ten teams, with Ramey Investments being the newcomers that season. Saint Francis Xavier University won both the AUAA championship and the NSWHL championship, beating the Halifax Breakers 4-1 in the final game.

1999/2000 saw the election of a new league president, Ann MacMillan. This was an important year for the NSWHL since in this season the University teams breaking away to form their own league. The NSWHL continued with only five teams in its revamped format (Truro, Nova Blues, Hillcrest Flyers, United Nations and Sportwheels). Nova Blues, an elite midget team, won the championship in their first season in the league, beating Sportwheels in the final.

Year seven (2000/01) saw the league grow to six teams, with the addition of Angie’s, a team playing out of Dartmouth. United Nations beat the Flyers to claim the league championship.

In year eight (2001/02) the league expanded again, to a total of seven teams, with the addition of the Shearwater Mariners. Sportwheels won the league championship with a hard fought victory over the Flyers.

2002/03 saw the league expand again, and unfortunately growing pains plagued the league throughout the season. Nova Blues withdrew from the league before play began and original members, United Nations, folded during the season. Eight teams did manage to finish the season (Servitech, Flyers, Shearwater, Greenwood, Sportwheels, Wilson’s Fuels, Truro and Acadia University). The Flyers finally won the league championship, with a victory in the final over Sportwheels.

2003/04 Paul Service took over from Ann MacMillan as league president. The league expanded to nine teams with the addition of the Neighbours Pub Storm. This is the largest the league has been since before most of the university teams left. The league consisted of Sportwheels, Storm, Wilsons Fuels, Greenwood Gators, Acadia Axewomen, Servitech Shepherds, Hillcrest Flyers, Truro ProCresting and Shearwater Mariners. This was an exciting year for the league and women's hockey – the Women's World Championships came to Halifax in 2004. Wilsons Fuels won the league championship, beating the previously undefeated Storm 4-1 in the final game.

2004/05  The league grew again this season to eleven teams with the addition of new Halifax teams, D5 and the Frostbite. Ten years after it first began, the NSWHL had grown into two divisions and more than 100 regular season games were played. Wilsons Fuels led all "A" Division teams with only one loss in 20 games and led all teams in scoring with 114 goals, while allowing only 24 goals against. Truro Pro Cresting finished on top of the "B" Division. Playoffs were held at Dalhousie University. Wilsons Fuels again defeated the Storm 5-1 in the A Division Final. Truro defeated the Flyers 3-1 to win the B Division.

2005/06 Wilsons Fuels was renamed Quiznos. Playoffs were held at Dalhousie. They played Acadia in the "A" Championship game. In the B Division Final it was Truro and Athens.

2006/07 Simon Wilkin became league president. This season started out with 12 teams. (D5, Frostbite, Flyers, Quiznos, Storm, Valley Old Dolls, Truro, Sportwheels, Mariners, Athens, Shepherds and Acadia). The playoff location switched to Windsor this year. Storm beat Acadia to win the A Division championship and Shepherds beat Formation Halifax Mariners to win the B division.

2007/08 The league struggled a bit when teams Quiznos and District 5 folded and Sportswheels bowed out. The league had 11 teams. The "A" playoffs only consisted of three teams – Acadia, Valley and Neighbours Pub Storm. The B division playoffs had 6 teams participate, including new teams West Hants and Surge. Acadia won the A Division Final and Hillcrest Flyers won the B Division.

2008/09 Christina Lamey took over from Simon Wilkin as league president. The NSWHL leaped ahead again this season to 15 teams. Millers joined the A Division led by league founder Cindy Miller. Warriors and Conrads Cougars also joined the league. Sportwheels rejoined. The teams were divided into A, B and C divisions. Playoffs were played in Windsor/Brooklyn and were very competitive with almost all games decided by a goal or two. In the "A" Division Final, the Conrads Crushers (formerly the Storm) defeated Truro 2-1 in overtime. In the "B" Division, the Shepherds defeated the Formation Halifax Mariners 1-0 and in the "C" Division, Athens defeated Frostbite 3-2. At the end of the season, Acadia Axewomen, the last of the university teams, left the league.

2009/10 The league grew to its largest size yet with 16 teams and celebrated its 15th season this year. The Scotia Stars and Eastern Shore joined this season. Ice time constraints led to an 18 game season for all teams. Playoffs were held at the Windsor and Brooklyn arenas on the Easter weekend. The league was split into a 4 team A division, a six team B Division and a six team C Division after the first half of the season. Truro won the "A" Division championship for the first time since joining the league in 1996. The Valley Old Dolls team folded after playoffs.

2010/11 The league grew yet again to an all time high of 19 teams and new ice times were acquired at Halifax's new BMO Centre. Four new teams joined the league this season: Re/Max, Giants, Dynamos and the Rams. Playoffs were held at the BMO Centre on April 8-10 and all teams participated in four divisions. Crushers defeated Truro 7-3 to win the A division, Mariners defeated Shepherds 8-2 to win the B1 division, Frostbite defeated Eastern Shore 5-1 to win the B2 division and West Hants shut out Re/MAX Nova 4-0 to win the C Division.

2011/12 Kevin Rafferty took over as league President. The league grew by four teams to 23, more than double in size from four years ago. Teams played a 22 game regular season. New teams included the Ravens, Truro HubCraft Hawks, APS Believe and Chester SheDevils. Acadia rejoined the league for part of the season. Playoffs were held on the April 13-15 weekend at the BMO Centre. All teams participated in four divisions.  A Division Winner: Conrads Crushers, B1 Division Winner: Conrads Cougars, B2 Division Winner: APS Warriors, C Division Winner: Giants.

2012/13 – The NSWHL grew again to 28 teams with over 600 players and coaches in 4 divisions. The league has more than tripled its size in the past 10 years. New teams include the Sackville Wild, the Chill, Ama La Vida Her-icanes and Harmony Bazaar. Acadia University also rejoined for a partial regular season. Playoffs were held at the BMO Centre from April 9-14 and Truro teams dominated. Truro Wynn Park defeated Conrad Crushers by a score of 1-0 to win the A Division championship and Truro HubCraft Hawks defeated the Chill 3-1 to win the B1 championship. In the B2 Division championship, the Hillcrest VW Flyers edged Athens 3-2 and in the C Division the Scotia Stars downed Re/Max Nova 4-1.

2013/14 Leanne Lomond took over as league President. The league continued to grow by welcoming new teams again this year - Bubba Rays, Brookfield ProCresting Elks and Storm - making a total of 29 teams enjoying another season in the ever expanding NSWHL. This year we said goodbye to 2 teams. Playoffs were again held at BMO Centre from April 9 - 13. All teams participated in four tiers with Bubba Rays winning the Accel Physio Tier, Brookfield ProCresting Elks winning the APS Tier, Athens winning the Young Kempt Physio Tier and Puckers winning the Comfort Foam & Fibre Tier.

2014/2015 With Leanne Lomond still the league President, the NSWHL celebrates its 20th season!


Competitive Division - Accel Physio Tier Champions: Bubba Rays
Recreational Division - APS Tier Champions: Brookfield Pro-Cresting Elks
Recreational Division - Young Kempt Physio Tier Champions: Athens
Recreational Division - Comfort Foam & Fibre Tier Champions: Puckers

A Division Champions: Truro Wynn Park
B1 Division Champions: Truro HubCraft Hawks
B2 Division Champions: Hillcrest VW Flyers
C Division Champions: Scotia Stars

A Division Champions: Conrads Crushers
B1 Division Champions: Conrads Cougars
B2 Division Champions: APS Warriors
C Division Champions: Giants

A Divison Champions: Conrads Crushers
B1 Division Champions: Form. Halifax Mariners
B2 Division Champions: Frostbite
C Division Champions: West Hants

A Divison Champions: Truro Wynn Park
B Division Champions: Shepherds
C Division Champions: Surge

A Divison Champions: Conrads Crushers
B Division Champions: Shepherds
C Division Champions: Athens

A Division Champions: Acadia Axewomen
B Division Champions: Hillcrest VW Flyers

A Division Champions: Neighbours Pub Storm
B Division Champions: Shepherds

A Division Champions:
B Division Champions:

A Division Champions: Wilsons Fuels
B Division Champions: Truro Pro Cresting

2004 League Champions: Wilsons Fuels
Runner Ups: Neighbours Pub Storm

2003 League Champions: Hillcrest Flyers
Runner Ups: Sportwheels

2002 League Champions: Sportwheels
Runner Ups: Hillcrest Flyers

2001 League Champions: United Nations
Runner Ups: Hillcrest Flyers 

2000 League Champions: Nova Blues
Runner Ups: Sportwheels  

1999 League Champions: StFX Women's Team
Runner Ups: Halifax Breakers

1998 League Champions: Halifax Breakers
Runner Ups: Dalhousie University

1997 League Champions: Dalhousie University

1996 – no playoffs held

1995 League Champions: Halifax Breakers