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Watch UWinnipeg hockey doc produced by CAT’s Will Jones

The Winnipeg Jets began their pursuit of the Stanley Cup this week, but should they climb to the NHL’s summit, they won’t be the first championship-calibre hockey club to make its home on Portage Avenue.

In Iced: The Lost History of Hockey at The University of Winnipeg, Will Jones, assistant studio coordinator for the Centre for Academic Technology, explores the rich and largely forgotten history of Canada’s national pastime at our downtown campus, which includes the title-winning women’s team that called UWinnipeg home throughout the early aughts.

For Jones, the film – which was intended to be a 10-minute short before it expanded into a 40-minute documentary – was a passion project that arose out of his surprise at learning about the game’s connection to The University of Winnipeg. Beyond covering the successful women’s team that bore the UWinnipeg name from 2000-04, the documentary examines the earliest days of the sport at the university, its successes and failures, and its eventual departure through interviews with players, coaches, and historians.

“At the time, I thought (the documentary) would be a good way to reengage people on it,” Jones said about the documentary, which was first released in October 2016 as part of MTS TV’s Stories From Home. “There had been one or two pieces on it in The Uniter and they really didn't go deep into the history of it. I was just flabbergasted the first time that I read about Wesmen hockey. I thought, ‘Wow. That's pretty substantial that we had that.’ And it was even more substantial when I found out the history of it goes back to 1898.”

Jones’ documentary was recognized by the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, receiving the Ed Sweeney Memorial Award for its significance to the province’s hockey history. Iced was also archived into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.

In addition to Iced, Jones has released Going Platinum: The Story of the Platinum Jets and Schmockey Night. Going Platinum tells the story of The Platinum Jets, a co-ed hockey team that has gone on to host a successful charity golf tournament raising money to support a variety of inner-city and educational initiatives. Schmockey Night reflects on a once-annual but since-defunct charity game that pitted media members against each other. The tradition began in 1953 and ended 40 years later, the final Schmockey Night outing taking place in 1992.