Month: January 2017

Hockey’s Exhibition – Prequel to the Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament

As written earlier, Ice Hockey got its organized start through Montreal’s Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament, where the top organized clubs competed with each other. There are records that show that these top clubs playing against each other in an informal exhibition series of games from 1875 to 1882.

March 3, 1975 is the first recorded Ice Hockey Game played at the Victoria’s indoor rink between a split Montreal Victorias club. It is listed for posterity but the rest of the games listed below focus on the top marquee clubs such as the Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Victorias, McGill University, and the Quebec Hockey Club.

Year Date Team A Score A Team B Score B
1875 03-Mar Montreal Victorias A 2 Montreal Victorias B 1
16-Mar Montreal Victorias 5 Montreal Football Club 2
1876 05-Feb Montreal Victorias 1 Montreal Hockey Club 1
29-Mar Montreal Football Club 6 McGill University 0
1877 01-Feb Montreal Victorias 3 Montreal Hockey Club 1
15-Feb McGill University 2 Montreal Hockey Club 1
19-Feb Montreal Hockey Club 1 McGill University 0
1878 05-Feb McGill University 2 Montreal Hockey Club 0
1879 06-Mar Montreal Hockey Club 2 McGill University 0
1880 no games played no games played
1881 22-Jan Quebec Hockey Club 2 Montreal Hockey Club 0
05-Feb Montreal Hockey Club 4 Quebec Hockey Club 1
1882 20-Jan McGill University 0 Quebec Hockey Club 0
21-Jan Montreal Victorias 0 Quebec Hockey Club 0
16-Feb Quebec Hockey Club 2 Montreal Victorias 0

The exhibition games end up having an affect on the Montreal Winter Carnival as the three teams that participated in the first ever tournament played each other in a 1882 precursor exhibition series.

While no official seasonal champion can be declared, the standings of the five teams that played between 1875 and 1882 are as follows:

Team GP W L T GF GA Seasons
Montreal Hockey Club 8 3 4 1 9 11 1876-79, 81
Montreal Victorias 5 2 1 2 9 6 1875-77, 82
Quebec Hockey Club 5 2 1 2 5 4 1881-82
McGill University 4 1 2 1 4 10 1876-79, 82
Montreal Football Club 2 1 1 0 8 5 1875-76

 

The Legacy of the Montreal Winter Carnival

The Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament would see Canada’s (and the World’s) elite hockey clubs play for supremacy between 1883 and 1889. The MWC Tournament was the first ever organized ice hockey tournament that lead to the creation of the first ice hockey league, making the MWC Tournament the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes.

The Tournament helped establish Ice Hockey through the following important events:

  • First organized inter-city ice hockey competition, establishing Montreal as the premier ice hockey city in 1883.
  • First international ice hockey tournament when Tournament was moved to Vermont, USA for one year in 1886.
  • The top tournament teams went on to form first ice hockey league in 1887.
  • Canada’s Governor General Lord Stanley was inspired by watching MWC Tournament play in 1889 to the point that he considered donating a Championship Cup to Canada’s top hockey teams. He would later donate the Stanley Cup in 1893, ten years after the Tournament was established.

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Summary:

Year Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Location Champion # of Teams
1883 St. Lawrence River McGill University 3
1884 McGill University’s Rink Montreal Victorias 5
1885 Montreal Crystals’ Rink Montreal Hockey Club 5
1886 Cancelled due to smallpox epidemic* Montreal Hockey Club
3
1887 Various Rinks Montreal Hockey Club 4
1888 Cancelled due to AHAC none nil
1889 Montreal Victorias’ Rink Montreal Victorias 4

 * Tournament played in Vermont, USA.

 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Standings:

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA TW/TP
Montreal Victorias 11 7 3 1 18 7 2/4
Montreal Hockey Club 7 5 1 1 8 2 2/3
McGill University 11 5 5 1 10 23 1/5
Ottawa Hockey Club 7 3 3 1 8 5 0/2
Montreal Crystals 8 2 6 0 10 13 0/4
Quebec Hockey Club 2 0 0 2 2 2 0/1
Montreal Wanderers 3 0 3 0 0 1 0/1
Montreal Football Club 1 0 1 0 0 3 0/1

TW = Tournaments Won / TP = Tournaments Played

 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Championship Points

Championships to 1889 Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament (Final)
Team # of MWC Championships MWC Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 3 (1885-87) 8
Montreal Victorias 2 (1884,89) 7
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

 

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1887

In 1887, the teams that made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival decided to create a stand-alone hockey league that did not coincide with the popular winter festival. The powerful Montreal Hockey Club was joined by other MWC teams: McGill University, Montreal Crystals, Montreal Victorias, and the Ottawa Hockey Club. These five teams participated in a season of series challenges at the Crystal and Victoria hockey rinks, following the same format found in the predecessor Montreal Winter Carnival.

The first season played in 1887 (played from January 7 to March 11) saw The Montreal Crystals win the challenge Tournament by winning the last game of the season.

 

Championships to 1887 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Carried over from 1886 Burlington Winter Carnvial
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 2 (1885-86) 5
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4 (+4)
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

 

Starting in 1883 with only three teams playing three games over two days, the humble beginnings of the MWC Hockey Tournament lead to the creation of the first persistent league. Four Montreal-based teams plus one team from Ottawa played in the MWC and also formed the AHAC in 1887. It is because of this direct linkage the MWC Hockey Tournament is considered to be the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1888

In 1888, the teams that made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival played a season-long stand-alone hockey league that did not coincide with the popular winter festival. In fact, the MWC Hockey Tournament was cancelled as the teams decided to play for the first time a balanced schedule against each other instead of the series challenge format that had been played up to now. The Montreal Hockey Club, McGill University, Montreal Crystals, and the Montreal Victorias participated in a balanced schedule at the Crystal and Victoria hockey rinks.

The second season played in 1888 (played from January 13 to March 15) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship in a one game playoff against the Montreal Victorias after both teams were tied at the end of regular season play. This was the first ever playoff game and the first ever tie in regular season play.

Championships to 1888 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 3 (1885-86, 88) 8 (+3)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The MWC Tournament being the first ever organized Ice Hockey tournament lead to the creation of the first persistent league. The four Montreal teams plus Ottawa who all played in the MWC formed the AHAC in 1887 which became the first ever Ice Hockey League. Thus MWC Tournament is considered to be the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes. From this humble beginning ice hockey and its leagues established their beginning.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1889

In 1889, the teams that made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival played a season-long stand-alone hockey league that coincided with the popular winter festival. In fact, the MWC Hockey Tournament was cancelled as the teams decided to play for the first time a balanced schedule against each other instead of the series challenge format that had been played up to now. The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Crystals, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Montreal Victorias participated in a balanced schedule at the Crystal and Victoria hockey rinks, following the same format found in the predecessor Montreal Winter Carnival.

The third season played in 1889 (played from February 2 to March 27) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship.

Championships to 1889 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 4 (1885-86, 88-89) 11 (+3)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The MWC Tournament being the first ever organized Ice Hockey tournament lead to the creation of the first persistent league. The four Montreal teams plus Ottawa who all played in the MWC formed the AHAC in 1887 which became the first ever Ice Hockey League. Thus MWC Tournament is considered to be the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes. From this humble beginning ice hockey and its leagues established their beginning.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1890

In 1890, the teams that formerly made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival played a season-long stand-alone hockey league that was a successor to the popular winter festival. In fact, the MWC Hockey Tournament was cancelled as the teams decided to focus on their own league play. The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Dominions (use be the Montreal Crystals), Quebec Hockey Club, and the Montreal Victorias participated in a challenge schedule at the Dominion and Victoria hockey rinks, following the same format found in the predecessor Montreal Winter Carnival.

The fourth season played in 1890 (from January 7 to March 14) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship.

Championships to 1890 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 5 (1885-86, 88-90) 14 (+3)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The AHAC was the first ever organized Ice Hockey league. It was formed by four Montreal-based teams plus a team from Ottawa. Because these five teams all played in the preceding MWC Hockey Tournament, the AHAC is considered to be the direct descendant to the MWC for historical and statistical purposes.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1891

In 1891, the teams that formerly made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival played a season-long stand-alone hockey league that was a successor to the popular winter festival. In fact, the MWC Hockey Tournament was cancelled as the teams decided to focus on their own league play. The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Crescents, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a challenge schedule at the Crystal hockey rink, following the same format found in the predecessor Montreal Winter Carnival.

The fifth season played in 1891 (from January 2 to March 5) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship.

Championships to 1891 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 6 (1885-86, 88-91) 19 (+5)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The AHAC was the first ever organized Ice Hockey league. It was formed by four Montreal-based teams plus a team from Ottawa. Because these five teams all played in the preceding MWC Hockey Tournament, the AHAC is considered to be the direct descendant to the MWC for historical and statistical purposes.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1892

In 1892, the teams that formerly made up the main circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival played a season-long stand-alone hockey league that was a successor to the popular winter festival. In fact, the MWC Hockey Tournament was cancelled as the teams decided to focus on their own league play. The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Shamrocks, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a challenge schedule at the Crystal and Rideau hockey rinks, following the same format found in the predecessor Montreal Winter Carnival. Ottawa Hockey Club became a temporary Champion from January 8 (by defeating the Montreal Hockey Club) until March 7 which was the final game of the season, when the Montreal HC defeated them at their home Rideau Rink. It was the Montreal HC’s only win of the season.

The result is said to have displeased Governor-General Stanley, and after the season, he announced his donation of the Stanley Cup at the Ottawa HC end-of-season banquet, and asked for changes in the determination of the championship. 1892 would be the last season played in a challenge format.

The sixth season played in 1892 (from January 8 to March 7) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship.

Championships to 1892 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 7 (1885-86, 88-92) 22 (+3)
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4
Montreal Victorias 1 (1884) 4
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

The AHAC was the first ever organized Ice Hockey league formed by four Montreal-based teams plus Ottawa. These five teams all played in the MWC Tournament so that tournament is considered to be the direct predecessor to the AHAC for historical and statistical purposes. From this humble start ice hockey and its leagues established their beginnings.