The Legacy of the Montreal Winter Carnival

The Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament would see Canada’s (and the World’s) elite hockey clubs play for supremacy between 1883 and 1889. 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.

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Summary:

Year Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Location Champion # of Teams
1883 St. Lawrence River McGill University 3
1884 McGill University’s Rink Montreal Victorias 5
1885 Montreal Crystals’ Rink Montreal Hockey Club 5
1886 Cancelled due to smallpox epidemic* Montreal Hockey Club
3
1887 Various Rinks Montreal Hockey Club 4
1888 Cancelled due to AHAC none nil
1889 Montreal Victorias’ Rink Montreal Victorias 4

 * Tournament played in Vermont, USA.

 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Standings:

Team TGP TW TL TT TGF TGA TW/TP
Montreal Victorias 11 7 3 1 18 7 2/4
Montreal Hockey Club 7 5 1 1 8 2 2/3
McGill University 11 5 5 1 10 23 1/5
Ottawa Hockey Club 7 3 3 1 8 5 0/2
Montreal Crystals 8 2 6 0 10 13 0/4
Quebec Hockey Club 2 0 0 2 2 2 0/1
Montreal Wanderers 3 0 3 0 0 1 0/1
Montreal Football Club 1 0 1 0 0 3 0/1

TW = Tournaments Won / TP = Tournaments Played

 

Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament Cumulative Championship Points

Championships to 1889 Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament (Final)
Team # of MWC Championships MWC Championship Points
Montreal Hockey Club 3 (1885-87) 8
Montreal Victorias 2 (1884,89) 7
McGill University 1 (1883) 2

 

Al Young
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