Hockey History

For more than a century, hockey historians have found that precisely tracing the
sports origin is not only a difficult task but, a virtual impossibility.

Therefore I can only try to deduce for myself, from the records, claims, and
accounts, which are available to me, when, where, and by whom the first ice
hockey was played. Iíll also discuss the early problems and obstacles that the

NHL encountered. Plus I will also tell a little bit about early equipment, along
with early game play and ice conditions that players encountered. Lastly, the

Stanley Cup, which is the most prized and oldest sports award of the NHL. It has
been won many times, by many different teams. Ice hockey is traceable to games
played on fields as far back as nearly 2500 years ago. In 478 BC, a Greek
soldier, Hemostocoles, built a wall in Athens which contained a sculpture scene
portraying two athletes in a faceoff-like stance holding sticks similar to those
later used in field hockey. (Hubbard & Fischler, page17) Perhaps native

Americans were the first to play hockey like games. The Indians of Canada
invented the field game lacrosse, which is known by the legislative act as

Canadaís and national sport. The Alogonquins who inhabited the shores the St.

Lawrence River played an ice game that was similar to lacrosse called "baggataway,"
played without skates and with an unlimited number of participants. French
explorers who visited the St. Lawrence River area and northern areas of United

States in the 1700ís witnessed these matches. (Hubbard & Fischler, page17)

According to the dictionary of language of Micmacs Indians, published in 1888,
the Micmacs of eastern Canada played an ice game called "oochamkunutk,"
which was played with a bat or stick. Another ice game played by the Micmacs was
"alchamadijik," which was referred to in legends of the Micmacs,
issued in 1894. (Hubbard & Fischler, page18-19) Early hockey-like games that
came from across the Atlantic include the Field game Hurley from Ireland, field
hockey from England, and the ice games English bandy and Kolven from Holland.

Hurley is a ground game that is still popular in Ireland. It was originally
played by an unlimited number of players representing one parish against
another. A flat field hockey-like stick and a large ball were used. Irish
immigrants, who came to work on the Shubenacadie Canal near Dartmouth, Nova

Scotia, in 1831, brought Hurley to Canada. Some believe that oochamkunutk is

Hurley on ice. (Dolan page 21-26) Field hockey was played in 1870 in England, as
well as Egypt and India. Although the rules for field hockey play a major role
in the early evolution of ice hockey in Canada. But most students of the game
doubt that field hockey was the forerunner of ice hockey, for the reason that
both sports started around the same time. Despite its overwhelming popularity as
primarily a woman\'s sport in North America, field hockey didn\'t arrive in

America until 1901, (when Miss Constance Applebee of England arrived at Harvard
summer school and organized a game with the group of students and teachers.
(Dolan page 29-31) The English played a game called Bandy, which is a
hockey-like game, who have been playing it as far back as the late 18th century
and it is still played today in Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the United

States (Minnesota). Many of the stars of the early Soviet hockey teams had been

Bandy players. It is played on a large sheet of ice with short sticks, a ball
and large goals. The Dutch, long known for their ice skating ability, have
played the game Kolven since the 1600\'s. It is played with a golf-like stick, a
ball, and posts stuck in the ice for goals. Evidence of this game can be seen it
in 17th century Dutch paintings. Emigrants from Holland who settled in New York

City played the game in their new locale. Another hockey-like game played on
both sides of the Atlantic was shinny. It was played on the frozen pans of North

American and northern Europe (Scotland in particular). A block of wood or of
ball served as a puck and a couple of a large rocks board chunks of wood were
used to mark-off the goals. For the faceoff players had to "shinny on their
own side," which meant they had to take it right handed. Ever since the
advent of organized ice hockey, the name shinny has been used to describe on
organized will or sandlot (if you will) hockey. There is an ongoing debate among
hockey historians as