In 1897, the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada returned for premier hockey league play. The AHAC got started by teams from the Montreal Winter Carnival, eventually becoming the successor to the popular winter hockey tournament as the teams decided to focus on their own league play. The Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin league schedule.
The eleventh season played in 1897 (played from January 9 to March 6) saw The Montreal Victorias win the Championship. 1897 was the fifth year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Victorias also was awarded the Cup by virtue of its first place finish with the AHAC and the previous December Cup Challenge against the Winnipeg Victorias.
|Championships to 1897 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada|
|Team||# of Championships||Premier Championship Points|
|Montreal Hockey Club||9 (1885-86, 88-94)||30
|Montreal Victorias||4 (1884, 95-97)||16 (+4)|
|Montreal Crystals||1 (1887)||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 beginning ice hockey and its leagues established their beginning.