A History of South Florida Women's Hockey


Women’s hockey in South Florida started over 25 years ago in 1995.

Most of the players back then were Canadian transplants who wanted to continue playing the sport they love. The leader of the few that did play was Karen Ota who was instrumental in bringing the women together to play as one team to play games against the few other women’s teams in Florida. 

Below are the critical milestones and accomplishments that have taken place throughout the years...

  • April 1996
    First Southeast ALL Women Florida Ice Hockey tournament team formed to play in the Quebec's Coup de Soleil Tournament.
  • Spring 2002
    Fort Lauderdale Freeze wins Sunshine State Games.
    Original players are now members of the USA Hockey National 40+ Lucky Puck Hockey Team
  • January 2003
    Ft. Lauderdale Freeze join the men’s league at Incredible Ice (now NHL Florida Panthers Ice Den) in Coral Springs, FL, becoming the FIRST all-women's team in South Florida area to compete in a men’s ice hockey league.
  • February 2003
    Florida Women’s Hockey League (FWHL) is formed of the Ft. Lauderdale Freeze and Lady Everblades from Ft. Meyers. The teams were sparked by the success of The Sunshine State Games that took place at TECO Arena (now Hertz Arena) in Estero FL. The league began with 11 teams from Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Brandon, Daytona, Ft. Lauderdale, and Ft. Meyers.
  • June 2003
    First FWHL Games played
  • February 2004
    Ft. Lauderdale Freeze finish the inaugural FWHL season with 11-1-1 record and become B Division champions and qualify to represent in USA Hockey Southeast District Championships.
  • March 2005
    Freeze team name changed to Florida Beaches. Become the first women’s team from Florida to qualify for USA Hockey National Championships.
  • Summer 2006
    Hosts of the 1st Annual Golf Invitational - To date the Lucky Pucks have raised thousands of dollars for charities, to name just a few of several great causes: St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital, the Leukemia and American Cancer Societies, Rose Charity in which we helped build a school in South Africa.
  • Spring 2007
    Florida Beaches C Team breaks out on their own to start a new team: The Lucky Pucks Ice Hockey Club was formed!
  • Winter 2007
    The Lucky Pucks win their first FWHL Tournament
  • Spring 2010
    Lucky Pucks enter their first 40+ win USA Hockey National Championships - Silver
  • Spring 2011
    Lucky Pucks 40+ win USA Hockey National Championships - GOLD
  • Spring 2012
    Lucky Pucks 40+ win USA Hockey National Championships - 2nd Silver
    Lucky Pucks also wins Florida State Championships in both Recreational and 'C' Divisions
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
    Lucky Pucks C Team Florida State Championships!
  • 2018
    Lucky Pucks 40+ win USA Hockey National Championships - 2nd Silver
  • 2021
    Lucky Pucks adds Novice team to the FWHL's Inaugural Novice Division
  • 2022
    Lucky Pucks 40+ win USA Hockey National Championships - 2nd Silver
  • 2023
  • Lucky Pucks 40+ Win USA Hockey National Championships GOLD
  • Lucky Pucks C, Rec & Novice Win Florida State Championships!
  • Junior Lucky Pucks U14/16 Girls Travel Team Formed 


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© Karen Ota