Tag: Exhibition Play

Hockey’s Exhibition – Prequel to the Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament

As written earlier, Ice Hockey got its organized start through Montreal’s Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament, where the top organized clubs competed with each other. There are records that show that these top clubs playing against each other in an informal exhibition series of games from 1875 to 1882.

March 3, 1975 is the first recorded Ice Hockey Game played at the Victoria’s indoor rink between a split Montreal Victorias club. It is listed for posterity but the rest of the games┬álisted below focus on the top marquee clubs such as the Montreal Hockey Club, Montreal Victorias, McGill University, and the Quebec Hockey Club.

Year Date Team A Score A Team B Score B
1875 03-Mar Montreal Victorias A 2 Montreal Victorias B 1
16-Mar Montreal Victorias 5 Montreal Football Club 2
1876 05-Feb Montreal Victorias 1 Montreal Hockey Club 1
29-Mar Montreal Football Club 6 McGill University 0
1877 01-Feb Montreal Victorias 3 Montreal Hockey Club 1
15-Feb McGill University 2 Montreal Hockey Club 1
19-Feb Montreal Hockey Club 1 McGill University 0
1878 05-Feb McGill University 2 Montreal Hockey Club 0
1879 06-Mar Montreal Hockey Club 2 McGill University 0
1880 no games played no games played
1881 22-Jan Quebec Hockey Club 2 Montreal Hockey Club 0
05-Feb Montreal Hockey Club 4 Quebec Hockey Club 1
1882 20-Jan McGill University 0 Quebec Hockey Club 0
21-Jan Montreal Victorias 0 Quebec Hockey Club 0
16-Feb Quebec Hockey Club 2 Montreal Victorias 0

The exhibition games end up having an affect on the Montreal Winter Carnival as the three teams that participated in the first ever tournament played each other in a 1882 precursor exhibition series.

While no official seasonal champion can be declared, the standings of the five teams that played between 1875 and 1882 are as follows:

Team GP W L T GF GA Seasons
Montreal Hockey Club 8 3 4 1 9 11 1876-79, 81
Montreal Victorias 5 2 1 2 9 6 1875-77, 82
Quebec Hockey Club 5 2 1 2 5 4 1881-82
McGill University 4 1 2 1 4 10 1876-79, 82
Montreal Football Club 2 1 1 0 8 5 1875-76


Team: Montreal Football Club


Montreal Football Club


Back in the day when athletic clubs kept in shape by playing in different sports, the Montreal Football Club played hockey in the winter months. Besides lending a critical hand in helping establish Ice Hockey, the Montreal Football Club played only a single game in a single season in 1885 at the premier hockey level. They went on to play a critical role in Canadian Football.



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Team: McGill University Hockey Club


McGill University H.C. was an elite hockey club that was formed by students who played at Montreal’s McGill University. This team helped establish Ice Hockey by playing in the earliest games and played to a high enough level to win the first ever Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament in 1883. By the end of the 1880s it had stopped playing in the top leagues and instead switched over to recreational and college competitions.


McGill University


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McGill University H.C. has the distinction of being the first ever team to win a premier league championship after seven seasons of play in two different leagues. McGill had two of its Montreal Winter Carnival seasons cancelled and when it played in its first and only full round-robin season in 1888 it was painfully evident that it could no longer compete at the premier league level.