Tag: 1st Hockey League

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1897

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.

 

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, 1898

In 1898, 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 twelfth season played in 1898 (played from January 4 to March 5) saw The Montreal Victorias win the Championship. 1898 was the sixth year that the Dominion Challenge Cup was awarded. The Montreal Victorias also was awarded the Cup by winning a playoff game against the Ottawa Capitals of the Central Canada Hockey Association (CCHA).

IceHockeyLeagues.com Premier-League Championship Points span to 1883-98
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 9 (1885-86, 88-94) 30
Montreal Victorias 5 (1884, 95-98) 20 (+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, 1893-1898 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. In 1893 this all changed.

The six seasons from 1893 to 1898 are summarized below as a single entity because the AHAC adopted three critical practices in 1893:

  1. The AHAC would become the official premier hockey league when its champion was gifted the first ever Dominion Hockey 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 Victorias 48 34 13 1 233 158 4/6
Montreal Hockey Club 48 28 20 0 185 135 2/6
Ottawa Hockey Club 48 28 20 0 173 140 0/6
Quebec Hockey Club 47 17 29 1 141 204 0/6
Montreal Shamrocks 31 8 23 0 89 142 0/4
Montreal Crystals* 16 3 13 0 35 77 0/2

 

* The Montreal Crystals were absorbed into and replaced by the Shamrocks in 1895.

SW/SP = Seasons Won / Seasons Played

 

Legacy of the Amatuer Hockey Association of Canada

The Amateur Hockey Association of Canada would establish itself as Canada’s (and the World’s) elite hockey league between 1887 and 1898. 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.
AHAC Senior Division
Season Number of Teams Format Champions
1887 5 Teams Challenge Montreal Crystals (final challenge)
1888 4 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (playoff)
1889 5 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1890 4 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1891 6 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1892 4 Teams Challenge Montreal Hockey Club (final challenge)
1893 5 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (best record)
1894 5 Teams Series Montreal Hockey Club (playoffs)
1895 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1896 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1897 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)
1898 5 Teams Series Montreal Victorias (best record)


 

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada Cumulative Standings:

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA SW/SP
Montreal Hockey Club 78 52 26 0 288 189 7/12
Montreal Victorias 67 45 21 1 291 194 4/11
Montreal Crystals 34 8 26 0 74 134 1/7
Ottawa Hockey Club 57 34 23 0 205 161 0/9
Quebec Hockey Club 52 17 34 1 147 218 0/10
Montreal Shamrocks 34 8 26 0 94 159 0/6
McGill University 8 0 8 0 5 49 0/2

SV = Seasons Won / SP = Seasons Played

 


 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Championship Points

IceHockeyLeagues.com Premier-League Championship Points span to 1887-98
Team # of Championships Premier Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 7 (1888-94) 22
Montreal Victorias 4 (1895-98) 16
Montreal Crystals 1 (1887) 4