The end of the MSWHL season is marked by an annual playoff weekend in late March known as the Ruicci Cup. The Ruicci Cup is named after Gil Ruicci, husband of long-time Polar Bears captain and league co-founder Michele Monson. Gil and Michele, along with their good friend, NHL Hall-of-Famer, Ted Lindsay, helped find and teach enough women the game of hockey to form a small league of their own back in 1988. Over the years, Ted Lindsay, along with a few other former Red Wings such as Joey Kocur and Steve Duchesne, have attended the championship Ruicci Cup games to drop the puck and award trophies to the hard-working teams participating in the finals.
Although participation in the playoffs is not mandatory, the MSWHL invites and welcomes all of its league teams to play, and most of them do. The first annual Ruicci Cup occurred in 1992 between just a few teams. Over the past 25+ years, the number of participating teams has expanded to consistently include 20 to 30 teams in five or six divisions, which are typically structured by skill and experience. As a result of this expansion, games sometimes commence on Thursday night of the weekend. All final games for each division are played on Sunday in the late morning or afternoon.
We welcome all supporting friends and family members of women playing in Ruicci Cup to come cheer on their favorite teams and players!