The Blackhawks Ice Hockey Club was born in Southbank, Victoria in 1947 when league hockey first resumed after the second World War in the famed Melbourne Glaciarium. This year marked the rebirth of Victorian league ice hockey when 2 teams from the Glaciarium joined the existing 4 Suburbs League teams from the St. Moritz Ice Skating Palais in a major re-brand of Victorian Ice Hockey. Described in their first year as : “the glamour boys of the set-up are the Blackhawks run by a manager in the truest American tradition, they are the best disciplined and organised club in the business.” – The Argus 23 August, 1947. The club began their season providing their players with all of their equipment except for skates – something that had never been done at the time and was unheard of.
The club remained at the Melbourne Glaciarium until its closure and then at St. Moritz until 1977 when it moved to the newly opened Coliseum Rink in Dandenong. In 1987, the club was forced to re-locate to the Olympic Ice Skating Centre in Oakleigh when Dandenong closed.
The Blackhawks operated out of the Oakleigh rink until a remodelled Iceland was opened at Ringwood in 1994 and housed the club through a growth surge that saw a great crop of juniors dominate the competition through to the clubs first “A” Grade championship win for 18 years in 2002. This rink also went the way of others and closed in 2003.
In 2004 the club was housed at the short-lived Eastern Ice Skating Centre in Bayswater. Its closure the following year saw the club return to Oakleigh which was the only rink in Melbourne and housed all the IHV clubs other than Bendigo. While this period saw stunted development of the league due to lack of available ice time, the club experienced sustained success through different grades.
2009 saw the opening of the long awaited Docklands rink (formerly known as the Medibank Icehouse and now known as O’Brien Group Arena) which is the playing location for the majority of IHV competition. The opening of the Icehouse saw a major re-structure of the junior competitions. IHV took over control of the juniors and it became more of a house league style development program. The increase in available ice time however allowed for the growth of a non-checking and recreational level.
In the IHV Summer Season, the Blackhawks host 5 affiliated teams competing across several different divisions. These divisions are decided through grading games held at the start of the season.
Blackhawks affiliated clubs are:
- “The Chiefs”
- “Young Guns”&
Information relating to the Blackhawks and its history can be found on the club website: