Montreal Winter Carnival, 1889

In February 1889, the Montreal Winter Carnival returned for its sixth and final year after not being played the previous year. In addition to MAAA’s Montreal Hockey Club, other teams that competed was McGill University, Montreal Crystals, and Montreal Victorias. The four-team tournament took place at the Victoria hockey rink. The 1889 Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament would be its last but featured the first game of ice hockey witnessed by Lord Stanley, Governor General of Canada, who would later donate the Stanley Cup in 1893

The 1889 tournament (played from February 4 to February 18) saw The Montreal Victorias win the challenge Tournament. Higher-League (MWC) Championship Points span to 1883-89
Team # of MWC Championships MWC Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 3 (1885-87) 8
Montreal Victorias 2 (1884,89) 7 (+3)
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.

Al Young
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