It’s time to step into the BLH time machine man!
1908, somewhere in eastern Canada. The trustees of Lord Stanley’s Cup have decided to only allow professional teams to earn the right to win it. Thus a massive void was left, no trophy to be had for the amateur teams.
Montreal Businessman & MAAA (Montreal Amateur Athletic Association) President Sir Hugh Montagu Allan donated the Allan Cup for the cause of Amateur hockey across Canada.
The idea behind the Allan Cup was much the same as the original Stanley Cup, open challenge from league to league across the country.
The first Cup Champions came out of the IPAHU ( Inter-Provincial Amateur Hockey Union ) the Ottawa Cliffsides Hockey Club.
Ottawa’s reign would prove short as the first ever challenge came from the Queens Golden Gaels who defeated them 5-4. The Golden Gaels were the first Allan Cup dynasty of sorts, defending their championship three more times before losing it to Toronto St.Michaels Majors in 1910.
The Challenge era of the Allan Cup would run from 1909 to 1918 with the Kitchner Greenshirts being the last to win it. Since then the format has changed a few times due to war and the ever changing landscape of the amateur game across the nation.
Starting in 1920 it was decided that the Allan Cup winning teams would represent Canada at the Olympic Games. The Winnipeg Falcons being the first to do so. They would play at the 1920 games in Antwerp Belgium where they would go on to win Canada’s first ever Olympic Gold medal for hockey. In more modern times we have seen NHL fueled teams represent countries like Canada, USA & Russia at the Olympic games which by and large is supposed to be a non professional competition.
Over time Ontario has had the most Allan Cup Championships with a total of 50 wins while Manitoba sits in second with 12 reigns. I should mention that two American teams have won the cup too; The Warroad Lakers & Spokane Jets.
Since 1984 Senior AAA teams have been competing for the rights to reign supreme. Unfortunately the media interest in this age old tournament has lost its luster, however TSN does show the final game each year now.
This upcoming year the Allan Cup tournament is being hosted by the Lacombe Generals (Alberta), the Generals are two time Champs having won the Cup last in 2016.
Will the reigning Champions the Stony Creek Generals be able to keep the Allan Cup in Ontario? Time will tell.
– Mat T.