Nov 192009

What the Preston Rivulettes were to women’s hockey in Ontario in the 1930s, The Roverines were to Newfoundland. According to hockey researcher — writer Bob White, the name of Roverines was derived from the Rovers’ moniker, a men’s team from Bay Roberts, Newfoundland. The Roverines, comprised of young women from the ages of 16 to 18, played in a women’s league for three seasons in the late 30s. In 1938 they captured the All- Newfoundland Ladies Championship.

“It was a long time ago,” says Mereida Roach Murphy, who now lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “What I remember was the good times we had playing and traveling around together. Oh, we enjoyed it a lot.”

Back then there were only five teams for women in Newfoundland, but they attracted a strong following wherever they played. They would travel from town to town by train. At first the fans were intrigued by the novelty of women playing hockey, but once they saw them in action, it became obvious these players had mastered the fundamentals and took the game seriously.

Spectators filled the small arenas to watch the women at play, and there were as many more outside “seaming” the game. “Seaming” was a term used to describe fans who watched as much of the action as possible through the cracks were scenes in the arena walls. The “seamers” were those who couldn’t raise the money [$.50] to buy a ticket for the game in those depression days.

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