Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament in 1883


In 1883, the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) and McGill University were both asked to participate in the Montreal Winter Carnival by organizing for the first time ever an ice hockey tournament. The MAAA did not field a team, but McGill University fielded its own team, and two more teams were invited to play in a three-team tournament.  They played outdoors on the Saint Lawrence River.

Montreal Winter Carnival ‘Logo’

The first Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament (MWCHT) was held from January 26 to January 27. The Montreal Victorias, McGill University, and Quebec Hockey Club contested for a Tournament trophy called the Carnival Cup. This first MWCHT was a very modest affair, lasting only two days with each of the three teams playing one single game, but it became the beginning of the hockey league lineage that stretches to the modern day!

The MWCHT would play almost every year starting in 1883 until 1889 when its member teams decided it was better to focus play on the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) which it created in 1887.

Season Length

January 23 to 28, 1883

Season Champion

McGill University

# of Teams


Season Standings (Overall Champion Challenge Record)

Season Playoffs

There were no championship playoffs as the Champion Challenge system was being used. A team would hold the title of Champion until it was defeated by a Challenger as was done in Boxing. The team holding the title at the end of the season would be declared the overall Champion.

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