In Canada, to grow up with ice in your veins is considered a terrifically good thing. For well over a hundred years, Canadians have lived -- almost symbiotically -- with ice hockey. While their American neighbors claim ownership over a multitude of cultural identities -- like baseball and basketball -- to varying degrees of seriousness, Canadians truly eat, sleep, and breath hockey as the sole definition of who they are. This site, produced by the National Library of Canada, does an exceptional job of providing visitors with very well arranged material reflecting on the history of hockey in Canada. In fact, while very few Web sites provide much of interest on their home pages, the letter of introduction by Roch Carrier truly makes you want to delve into Backcheck and take in some of this fascinating history. The site includes several historical articles, the gems of the site, that take you all the way back to the patent of the ice skate and the introduction of women in hockey -- including a picture of Lord Stanley's daughter playing hockey circa 1890 (thought to be the earliest photograph of women playing the sport). Also a part of the site is a small, but interesting, educational resources section including lessons for grades 4 through 12. Check it out.
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