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Helen Edwards: The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria B.C. 1911-2011

The first penalty shot in history: The major rule change for the 1921 season involved the awarding of a penalty shot if a player were fouled while...
  1. Helen Edwards
    The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria is available in the Victoria area from Bolen Books, Munro’s Books, and Tanner Books. It is available online through Friesen’s at https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000067775471 and from major online booksellers.

    About the Book

    The History of Professional Hockey in Victoria is an in-depth examination of professional hockey in Victoria. It includes details on the different leagues, statistics on every game played by a Victoria team, and information on every player to dress for at least one regular-season game.

    From the Patrick family to RG Properties, this book covers the ownership of teams and records the highlights and low points of every team.

    It was produced as a “thank-you” to the players who entertained Victorians over a century, giving us reason to cheer on many occasions and to be disappointed as well. Victoria enjoyed three championships, including the Stanley Cup victory in 1925. Little did the Cougars know that they would go down in history as the last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup, and the last non-NHL team to play in a Stanley Cup series. They were also the last West Coast team to win the Stanley Cup until Anaheim did it in 2007. The 1950-51 Cougars, led by their “kid line” of Andy Hebenton, Bob Frampton, and Reg Abbott, won the league title while the Maple Leafs (with Hebenton in the lineup) won the Lester Patrick Cup in the1965-1966 season.

    Included in the narrative is the story of the construction and operation of the different venues in which games were played. The politics behind arena construction are examined as well, with editorial cartoons to make the reader laugh about the folly of some ideas.

    Biographies of selected players tell the story of individuals and how they came to play hockey in Victoria. Learn from behind-the-scenes stories told by the players themselves.
    Lavishly illustrated, this is a book for those who love hockey history and its connection to Victoria, BC.

    Here is the story of Moose Johnson night March 4, 1921.

    “The entire city of Victoria was excited about the next home game. Based on a suggestion from a young fan, the Aristocrats held Moose Johnson night. Five hundred young fans who had stood in line for free tickets made the crowd noisier than ever. It was a game for the ages.

    The evening began with presentations to Ernie “Moose” Johnson reported in the Victoria Daily Times as:

    As Referee Ion poised the puck over the crossed sticks in centre ice, Murray Patrick, a wee youth, pushed off from the boards bearing in his hands a huge loving cup. He handed it to the Moose and immediately a great chorus of applause went up from the gods, where the 500 boys were quartered. The cup was inscribed: “Presented to Ernie 'Moose” Johnson by his pals, the Kids of Victoria, BC.” Referee Ion tried to start the game again, but a stalwart man skipped out onto the ice and handed “Moose” a beautiful pair of diamond cufflinks, a present from the fans of Victoria. Referee Ion then took a hand in making presentations and waltzed out with a huge silver cup, which was engraved as follows: “Presented by PCHA to ‘Moose'” Johnson as a token of appreciation for his brilliant career as the greatest defense hockey player in the PCHA during the past 10 years.” The Kewpies ladies hockey team then presented the “Moose” with a big kewpie, and some dear mother trotted out a big birthday cake for Ernie. The proceedings wound up with the new police Commissioner, Jo north, doing skating act on the ice and announcing a bouquet of beautiful flowers for “Mrs. Moose.”

    The game did not start well for the Aristocrats, as Seattle scored the first 2 goals. However, they outscored their opponents 2-1 in the second period to trail by only 2 goal. In the third period, Victoria's offence came to life and they scored 2 goals which put them in the lead 4-3. Unfortunately, Seattle scored just before the end of the game making overtime necessary. The first overtime period solved nothing. Nor did the second. The teams played a third overtime period, at which point they were totally exhausted. At that point, the managers of both teams agreed to call off the game, with the understanding that it will be played again if it would make a difference in the final league standing. It was the longest game ever played in the Pacific Coast hockey Association and, perhaps, in the whole of professional hockey. Victoria had played in the four longest games in PCHA history; they had won three and tied one of them.”

    The first penalty shot in history.

    “The major rule change for the 1921 season involved the awarding of a penalty shot if a player were fouled while he had a clear goal-scoring chance. Three dots were painted on each end of the rink, 35 feet from the net. The player could choose from which he would shoot on the goaltender. The first penalty shot goal in history was scored by Tommy Dunderdale on December 12, 1921. In the entire season, there were 98 attempts, of which only 28 ended up in the net. Another change was the limiting of games to one overtime period. It was generally felt that the 3-overtime game played the previous season between Seattle and Victoria had such an effect on the players that it took them days to recover — and that was not good for the health of the players or, indeed, the game itself.”

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    About Author

    Helen Edwards
    Helen Edwards has been a fan of professional hockey in Victoria since the 1950s when a local radio station offered tickets to Victoria Cougars games for a nickel. She was a season ticket holder for the Victoria Maple Leafs and later for the Victoria Salmon Kings. Spurred by the demise of the Salmon Kings and the death of Bill Shvetz who had played defence for the Victoria Maple Leafs, she embarked on an ambitious project to document the stories of the 483 men to play at least one game for a Victoria team. After over seven years of meticulous research, the book is finally complete.
    Helen is an architectural historian by training but was able to combine her two passions, historical research and hockey, to bring to life long-forgotten stories about personalities who deserve to be known to today’s hockey fans. She has lived in Victoria, BC all her life and is married with four children and three surviving grandchildren.​
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