Based in the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club (CUIHC) attracts the combination of smart, determined and hard-working individuals to work hard and play hard. The teams play in the British University Ice Hockey Association (BUIHA) league.
The CUIHC is one of the oldest ice hockey clubs in the world. Its founding in 1885, only ten years after the first officially recorded ice hockey game in history, predates professional leagues, international federations and, in fact, almost everything else in the hockey world, making it one of the sport’s pioneering entities.
Along with its Oxford archrival, the CUIHC is part of the oldest ice hockey rivalry in the world, culminating each year in the annual Ice Hockey Varsity Match. In the Winter of 1885 the Oxford Blues and Cambridge Blues ice hockey teams travelled to St. Moritz to play the first ever ice hockey match between students from these historic Universities, the two oldest in the English-speaking world. This game became known as the Ice Hockey Varsity Match, and today it remains the oldest annual rivalry in the history of the sport of ice hockey, now approaching its 131st year and 96th annual game. These two teams returned to St. Moritz again in the winters of 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930 and 1931. In 1927 Major B.M. Patton, a founding member of the IIHF and IBSF/FIBT, presented the historic Patton Cup, the Varsity Match winners trophy still in use today, again in St. Moritz.
This rivalry, along with the varsity match, is recognised by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto as the oldest in the world and the 1885 varsity match is likely the first ice hockey match to ever have been played in Europe. Throughout the years, it has counted many distinguished alumni, such as Lester B. Pearson (Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Canadian Prime Minister), Michael Spence (winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics) and Mark Carney (current governor of the Bank of England).
The Cambridge Women’s Blues similarly pioneered women’s university ice hockey in the UK after their inception in 1981, as one of only three all-women teams in the country along with their Oxford counterparts. They are still today one of the only all-women ice hockey varsity teams in the UK.
The annual varsity match against the Oxford Dark Blues is both the focal point and the highlight of the season. The two rival men’s teams also battle annually for the right to hoist the Patton Cup, named after Major B.M. ‘Peter’ Patton, the founder and first President of the British Ice Hockey Association. There are also three trophies awarded to individual players after the match. The overall man of the match is awarded the Willie Turner Plate and the men of the match for Cambridge and Oxford are awarded the Cawthra Trophy and Pearson Cup respectively.