Long before there was a ski slope in Dubai, there was an ice palace in Dallas.

With the Dallas Stars leading 3-1 in the National Hockey League conference finals, we remind you that the first professional ice-hockey games in Texas were played at Gardner Ice Palace in Oak Cliff almost 90 years ago.

The Stars franchise didn’t arrive in Dallas until the 1990s, but kids were playing hockey in Dallas years before that.

Take Ellen Weinberg-Hughes. She grew up in Dallas and was the only girl on her hockey team in the early 1980s. Watch the vintage KXAS story about her, below, courtesy of the Portal to Texas History.

Now Weinberg-Hughes is something like hockey royalty. Her middle son, Jack Hughes, was the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft. He plays forward for the New Jersey Devils, which did not make the playoffs. Ellen Weinberg-Hughes played collegiate hockey and for the U.S. women’s national team before becoming a coach and consultant. She also has worked as a hockey broadcaster for ESPN and the Big Ten Network. Her husband, Jim Hughes, is a former hockey player and professional coach. Their oldest son, Quinn, was selected seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2018 NHL draft. And their youngest son, Luke, played for the U.S. national development team last year and has drawn the attention of NHL scouts.

Watch for the moment, 53 seconds in, when young Ellen Weinberg takes a pass in the skates, kicks the puck to her stick, turns her feet backwards then forward and ends up with full control of the puck with her head up.

By the way, her father, the late Dr. Warren A. Weinberg, worked at Children’s Medical Center Dallas for many years and was a pioneer in the field of child neurology.


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