To understand the history of the Ottawa Ice NRL team is to follow the journey of the Ice jersey.
The Ottawa Ice first entered the NRL stage as an expansion team in the 2005-06 season. It was another first in a long line for of City of Ottawa Ringette Association. The journey to get there is paralleled by the history of the Ice jersey.
Back in the early 1990’s the City of Ottawa Ringette Association aka “CORA” had 7 rec teams and a single maroon jersey for each player with a white stripe across the top and down the side. The jersey was used for home and away games and featured the maple leaf logo, as the association did not have a logo of its own. Funny thing about those maroon jerseys – when you washed them – a little bit of the maroon would seep into the white creating a pink tone.
The small “recreational” Association grew rapidly in the mid-nineties and with that growth came the establishment of a competitive program starting with our first Petite AA team in the 1995-96 season. The time had come to find a new jersey and a new look. The general feeling was that maroon (or purple) was a good choice as Ottawa was the only association using that shade as its main colour. Also the Anaheim Mighty Ducks were sporting a flashy new jersey that was a nice change from the more standard NHL jerseys and it featured eggplant purple in the home and away designs. It was a perfect fit and the new look for Ottawa was born.
Ottawa Ringette now had great colours and a sharp new jersey design, but no nickname or logo, so in the late 90’s a contest was run to name our teams. We almost became the Orcas, a name that appealed to the younger players. The majority, though, preferred the nickname “ICE” and a polar bear coming out of the “Ice” logo was born. Our jerseys had their first unique logo, and Ottawa finally had its own name – the ICE.
The jersey and its players have come a long way since then, competing across Canada and even in Europe. Along that way there have been many successes, including Provincial, Eastern Canadian, and National Championships, so, ten years after the introduction of those first Mighty Duck jerseys, and 25 plus teams strong, it was time for Ottawa to take the final step by entering a team in the National Ringette League.
The puzzle was now complete, as Ottawa boasted a team at every age group and skill level, but the journey was just beginning for Ottawa’s NRL team and its players. In 6 seasons we have grown from a team that could barely put 10 skaters on the ice and rarely won a game, to last year’s National Ringette League Bronze Medallists. We look forward to the 2012-13 season with excitement. The journey continues….