|1896 Stanley Cup Winners|
Winnipeg Victorias: The First Truly National Hockey Stanley Cup Champion
Winnipeg's first Stanley Cup in 1896 was the first time truly National championship because it was the first time east played against the west for the Stanley Cup. The defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Victorias played the Manitoba Hockey League champion Winnipeg Victorias on Valentine's Day 1896. Winnipeg defeated Montreal 2-0 to become the first team outside of Quebec to win the Stanley Cup. It was the first truly national Stanley Cup Challenge.
The team is in the Manitoba Hall of Fame. The following is an excerpt from the MHOF about the 1896 Stanley Cup Champions:
Over 2,000 spectators watched as Winnipeg gained the early advantage on a goal by team captain Jack Armytage and the Montrealers were shocked when C.J. Campbell gave the visitors a 2-0 lead prior to the end of the first half. In the second half, the Winnipeggers played a more defensive game and faced growing pressure from the Montreal squad. An exceptional effort by goaltender George “Whitey” Merritt, who was the first backstop to wear leg protection in the form of cricket pads, led the Winnipeg team to a stunning 2-0 triumph and brought the trophy westward for the first time.
Winnipeggers, who received the first ever play-by-play accounts via CPR Telegraph, were elated by the victory and celebrations lasted until the team’s return on February 24. The locomotive’s cow catcher was adorned with hockey sticks and brooms, emblematic of the clean sweep in Montreal. Following a parade on Main Street, thousands of citizens greeted the team in a mass display of civic pride. Read the full account here: Winnipeg Victorias: Manitoba Hall of Fame
The Winnipeg Victorias, champions of Canada and winners of the Stanley Cup in 1901 were lead by the famous Métis player, Antoine "Tony" Gingras, of St. Boniface, standing, 2nd from right.
|1900/01 Stanley Cup Winners|
|1901/02 Stanley Cup Champions|