What makes New England hockey and sports so special? It’s not Stanley Cups, Super Bowls, World Series or NCAA titles. It’s not cold winters and natural ice, and it’s not Boston’s legacy as an “Original 6” city. All of these characteristics are significant elements of New England hockey culture, but they are only part of the reason why New England hockey is so special.
To me, what makes New England so special is that our long hockey history was born on campuses. The roots of hockey here were planted in the late 1800s, well before the NHL game even existed. Seasonal team sports on New England campuses included hockey, crew, football, lacrosse, rugby and soccer, and they all trace roots back to students organizing themselves and gaining formal institutional support.