Category: Early Hockey

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.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1887-1892 Summary

The Amateur Hockey Association played five of its first six seasons in a challenger format, a championship process we see in boxing where the winning party continues to hold the championship title until defeated. The AHAC did play its second season in 1888 in a balanced, round-robin format but switched back to challenge play from 1889 until 1892.

The first six seasons of 1887 to 1892 are summarized below as a single entity because so much changed in 1893:

  1. The AHAC would become the official premier hockey league when its champion was gifted the first ever Dominion Challenge Cup.
  2. The AHAC switched to an ongoing round-robin format for each subsequent season, a tradition that has been followed ever since.
  3. The membership of the AHAC would become set with five premier clubs: Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Victorias, Montreal Crystals/Shamrocks, Quebec Hockey Club, and Ottawa Hockey Club.

 

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA SW/SP
Montreal Hockey Club 30 24 6 0 103 54 5/6
Montreal Crystals* 18 5 13 0 39 57 1/5
Montreal Victorias 19 11 8 0 58 36 0/5
Ottawa Hockey Club 9 6 3 0 32 21 0/3
Quebec Hockey Club 5 0 5 0 6 14 0/4
McGill University 8 0 8 0 5 49 0/2
Montreal Shamrocks 3 0 3 0 5 17 0/2

* Includes three seasons as the Crystals,  one season played as the Dominions, and one season as the Crescents.

SW/SP = Seasons Won / Seasons Played

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1893

In 1893, 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 Crystals, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin format which was going to be an ongoing practice.

The seventh season played in 1893 (played from January 8 to March 7) saw The Montreal Hockey Club win the Championship. 1893 was the first year that the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Hockey Club also was awarded the Cup by virtue of its first place finish with the AHAC.

Championships to 1893 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 8 (1885-86, 88-93) 26 (+4)
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 beginning ice hockey and its leagues established their beginning.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1894

In 1894, 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 balanced, round-robin format which was going to be an ongoing practice.

The eighth season played in 1894 (played from January 5 to March 10) saw a four-way tie to determine the league champion and who would win the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. 1894 was the second year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. Because of the four-way tie in the standings, the first ever playoff needed to be arranged.

At the end of the 1894 AHAC season, four teams tied for the AHA championship with records of 5–3–0. This created problems for the AHA governors and the Cup’s trustees since there was no tie-breaking system in place. Quebec decided to not participate in the playoff. The Montreal Hockey Club faced off against the other local Victorias team, with Ottawa getting a bye into the cup final since they were operating as a road team. The results were:

March 17, 1894 – Montreal Hockey Club 3-2 over Montreal Victorias
March 22, 1894 – Montreal Hockey Club 3-2 over Ottawa Hockey Club

The Montreal Hockey Club won the League Championship and Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup.

Championships to 1894 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30 (+4)
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 beginning ice hockey and its leagues established their beginning.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1895

In 1895, 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, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin format which was going to be an ongoing practice.

The ninth season played in 1895 (played from January 3 to March 8) saw the Montreal Victorias win the Championship. 1895 was the third year that the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Victorias was awarded the Cup by virtue of a playoff that took place between the 1894 AHAC champion (Montreal Hockey Club) and the Queen’s University Hockey Club from the Ontario Hockey Association. The game’s result was:

March 9, 1895 – Montreal Hockey Club 5-1 over Queen’s University Hockey Club (OHA)

 

During the season the Montreal Crystals partnered with the Montreal Shamrocks, a non-AHAC team. This new combined team defeated the Quebec Hockey Club on February 2nd. Quebec HC protested the use of Shamrock players and convinced the league to disregard the game’s result, culminating in both teams officially playing one less game.

 

Championships to 1895 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30
Montreal Victorias 2 (1884, 95) 8 (+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.

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1896

In 1896, 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, Montreal Victorias, Quebec Hockey Club, and the Ottawa Hockey Club participated in a balanced, round-robin format which was going to be an ongoing practice.

The tenth season played in 1896 (played from January 3 to March 7) saw The Montreal Victorias win the Championship. 1896 was the fourth year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Victorias lost the Cup to the Winnipeg Victorias. The Victorias defended the 1895 title because of their previous year’s first place finish. Despite finishing first in the AHAC in 1896 they challenged their Winnipeg counterparts and had to wait until the end of the year to reclaim the cup.

February 14, 1896 – Winnipeg Victorias (MHA) 2–0 over Montreal Victorias (AHAC) played in Montreal

December 30, 1896 – Montreal Victorias (AHAC) 6–5 over Winnipeg Victorias (MHA) played in Winnipeg

 

Championships to 1896 Season for Amateur Hockey Association of Canada
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30
Montreal Victorias 3 (1884, 95-96) 12 (+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.