1982 Huntsville Honeys – Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Provincial Champions

Team - 1982 Huntsville Honeys
1982 Huntsville Honeys – Ontario Women’s Hockey Association

Back Row L to R – Wendy McConnell, Manager; Afolake Aiyede; Cindy Kristiansen; Joanne Bennett; Gail Cummings; Deb Wolfe; Helen Payne; Gail Nicholls; Manuela Stevenson; Dan McConnell, Coach
Front row L to R – Judy Martin; Wendy McLennan; Lynda Thompson; Donna Westrop; Debbie Hoyle; Heather MacGregor. Absent from photo – Jackie Lovegrove

The 1982 HUNTSVILLE HONEYS were comprised of many of the same players that had grown up with the team, since its inception, in the early 70’s. By 1982, the nucleus of this team had already been together for 8 – 10 years. Due to this fact, the players, were more like family than team-mates. Girls hockey in the early 80’s, was just starting to come into its own. The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association had been formed, and as such,
regulated the teams, provided insurance, and of course created opportunities to compete at local, regional and provincial levels. Keep in mind, that the inclusion of women’s hockey as an Olympic sport, had not even been considered at this point. Most rural Ontario girls’ teams were struggling just to get ice time, let alone enough players to ice a team. The
Honeys were no exception, because of the size of our community and our draw area, the team was categorized in the Senior “D” division for Provincial championships. The girls on the team that year ranged in ages from 17 to 28, and had to rely on Tournaments as their main source of competition. The OWHA selected Huntsville to be one of 3 host teams for
the Danish Women’s Hockey Team who were travelling around the Province in 1982. That is how highly regarded the Honeys were in Women’s hockey circles, at that time.
In 1982 they qualified to play at the Provincials by defeating the teams in the North Eastern Ontario loop, and through tournament wins that year. Winning 8 out of 11 tournaments and placing 2nd or 3rd in the others.
Huntsville iced a team of 15 players for this Championship event. Playing teams from, London, Grimsby, Coburg, Sudbury, Havelock, Willowdale, St. Georges, Burlington, and Nepean. The Honeys edged out Burlington by a very close 3-1 score to win the Provincial title in Bridgenorth, Ontario, topping off a banner year.