Friday, June 4, 2010

Stanley Cup Hockey History

Chilliwack and the Vancouver Millionaires
In March 1915, the Stanley Cup championship hockey series was played in Vancouver, at Denman Arena, between the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires and the National Hockey Association’s Ottawa Senators.

A special British Columbia Electric Railway train, bound for the first game in the series on March 22, 1915, left from Chilliwack at 5:00 PM. The train stopped at all points along the Fraser Valley line and a roundtrip single fare cost 50 cents. About thirty individuals from Chilliwack saw the game that was won by Vancouver 6 - 2. Afterwards the cheering fans boarded the B.C.E.R. train at 11:30 PM for their return journey. Chilliwack’s hockey fans arrived home at 3:00 AM undeterred by the wee hour of the morning and very pleased with the results.

Two more games were played on March 24 when the Millionaires defeated the Senators 8 to 3, and on March 26 when Vancouver defeated Ottawa 12 – 3 the Millionaires won the Stanley Cup. So what did adoring Chilliwack hockey fans see on their visit to Vancouver? Denman Arena and the Millionaires team were owned by hockey legends and future Hockey Hall of Famers Frank and Lester Patrick. Some of the players on the Vancouver Millionaires squad were also future Hall of Fame inductees including, team captain Si Grifts, Frank “Cyclone" Taylor, and Frank Nighbor who later became the first winner of the National Hockey’s League’s Hart Trophy and Lady Byng Trophy. Three other Hall of Famers from the Millionaires team later played for the National Hockey League’s Chicago Black Hawks, Mickey MacKay, Barney Stanley and goaltender Hughie Lehman.

The Chilliwack Museum's collection of ice hockey related objects is very small. Most of the items in the collection were collected at the time of the destruction of the Chilliwack Coliseum in 2005. Let us know if you have any gear reflective of Chilliwack hockey. Where are those leather gloves, shin pads, jerseys, goalie gear and sticks?

World Championship Hockey Ad, Chilliwack Progress, March 18, 1915, page 3

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