When Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante surprised the hockey world by donning a fibreglass mask during a Nov. 1, 1959, NHL game, he had at least one supporter in the city of Montreal.
When Elizabeth Jenkinson, a wife and mother of three, learned of Plante’s actions, she casually told her family: “I used to wear a mask.”
Indeed she did.
On Feb. 7, 1927, Elizabeth Graham, the 21-year-old goalie on the Queen’s University women’s hockey team, became the first netminder to wear a mask in a game.
The Arnprior native did so in a 3-2 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues at Jock Harty Arena.
The Whig-Standard reported in its Feb. 8 edition that “The Queen’s goaler gave the fans a surprise when she stepped into the nets and then donned a fencing mask. It was safety-first with her and even at that she can’t be blamed for her precautionary methods.”
The Queen’s Journal reported that “Bessie Graham, resplendent in full armour guarded the net.”