Angela James, the first superstar of modern women's hockey. That’s what countless articles – and hockey players – call the prolific hockey scorer and former Team Canada hockey captain.
Her playing style is described as tough. Both she and her shot were quick and accurate, and she was known to leave competitors in her icy dust.
“She sounded like an absolute beast on the ice,” Sarah Nurse said. “She sounded like she could take over games when she decided to turn it on and she seemed like such a dominant force.”
With Team Canada and various leagues, James had a 20-year professional career at the highest level of hockey, competing in the world championships, Olympics, the Central Ontario Women’s Hockey League (COWHL), and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).
She first picked up hockey during her childhood in Toronto. With no girls team around, after a fight led by her mother, she played with boys before finding a women’s team. That led her to playing at the collegiate level at Seneca College.
At the professional and international level, she’s won countless medals and scored even more goals, check out the stats from Hockey Canada. She’s a foundational player - she played in the first women’s hockey world championships and was an early member in those professional leagues.
Having played top-level hockey from 1980 to 2000, James has received multiple honors, including induction into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, Canada Sports Hall of Fame, and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“Being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, being one of the first women, being one of the first Black women, and being one of the first openly gay women, and possibly the first openly gay person, for me I didn't know I ticked a lot of boxes off,” she said. “I just thought I was being inducted as a hockey player and that’s it. Being a young hockey player, I didn’t think you had to have a certain genetic background to play the game.”
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