Game Chronology

Chronology of Ice Hockey History

Time Line: 1800-1900 Copyright Dec. 5, 2000 – by Dr. Garth Vaughan
  • 1800 – “Hurley-on-Ice” began with King’s College students in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Hurley is an Irish field game.
  • 1829 – “Break Shins” played in Nova Scotia. “Idlers with skates on feet and hurley in hand”
  • 1800-1850 – Hurley-on-Ice gradually became known as ICE HOCKEY in Nova Scotia.
  • 1840-1860 – “Hurley” and “Hockey” used to describe the same game in the Windsor-Halifax-Dartmouth area.
  • 1853 – “Rickets-on-Ice” played in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
  • 1859 – Boston Evening Gazette reported that “Hockey” was being played in Nova Scotia
  • 1860 – “Wooden Pucks” were used in place of “Hurley Balls” as Ice Hockey was played in Nova Scotia. Ice Hockey is the only game that uses a “puck”. In sport, the use of the word “puck” originated with the game of Hurley, meaning to ‘strike’ or ‘hit’ the hurley ball, also called a ‘sliotar
  • 1862 – Halifax and Montreal opened covered skating rinks within days of each other in January.
  • 1863 – STARR “Spring Skates” were invented in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia by John Forbes and Thomas Bateman at The Starr Manufacturing Company Ltd. They were the first skates which were “self-fastening” to the soles and heels of boots. Patented in 1863, they became world-famous.
  • 1866 – STARR “Hockey” Skates were invented and patented. (Spring Skates modified for Ice Hockey)
  • 1867 – Young men of Dartmouth and Halifax played game of ‘Ricket’ with ‘Hurleys’ (name of stick) on ice.
  • 1867 – Military and Navy officers played ‘Field hockey’ on ice in Halifax.
  • 1870 – Windsor, N.S. opened its first covered skating rink.
  • 1872 – James George Aylwin Creighton, a 22 year old Dalhousie University B.A. graduate engineer, figure skater, football player and Ice Hockey player moved from Nova Scotia to Montreal and introduced Ice Hockey, Halifax Hockey Club Rules, Micmac hockey sticks, and wooden pucks to Montreal athletes.
  • 1875 – Ice Hockey played in Montreal, according to “Halifax Hockey Club Rules”, using a wooden puck (as in Nova Scotia), self-fastening “Starr Hockey Skates” (made in Nova Scotia and patented in 1866) and hockey sticks, hand-made by Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq carvers and sent to Montreal by Creighton’s Halifax friends especially for the game. Played in Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink, it was the first “indoor” Ice Hockey game played in Canada. This was a significant advance in the “development” of the game – often confused with “beginning” of the game.
    Played by two Montreal City teams = Montreal Amateur Athletic Association MAAA + Victorias. J.G.A. Creighton captained MAAA, and Torrance captained Victorias. MAAA won = 2games-1 J.G.A. Creighton – ‘The Father of Organized Ice Hockey’. (McGill University not involved! No McGill rink or team at the time.
  • 1877 – McGill University formed its first ice hockey club.
  • 1877 – “Montreal Rules” were published under the guidance of J.G.A. Creighton and fashioned after “Halifax Hockey Club Rules”.
  • 1878 – Ice Hockey changed from 2-30 minute periods to 3-30 minute periods. Entire game played by 7 players.
  • 1880 – Skaters (or skatists) did not allow Ice Hockey to be played indoors in Nova Scotia until 1880 – previously confined to outdoor natural ice surfaces of ponds and lakes as from the game’s origin.
  • 1880 – Ice Hockey was first played in Quebec City, five years after introduced to Montreal from Nova Scotia
  • 1884 – Ice Hockey arrives in Ottawa.
  • 1886 – Cadet # 149, Roddy McColl, of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, introduced Ice Hockey to fellow students at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario.
  • 1886 – Ice Hockey, using a rubber puck, was played in Kingston, Ontario, for first time, between the Royal Military College and Queen’s University. The Principal of Queens at the time was a Presbyterian minister, Dr. George M. Grant of Stellarton, Nova Scotia, who had been minister at St. Matthews Church in Halifax for the previous 14 years – while Ice Hockey was developing in Nova Scotia.
  • 1887 – Ice Hockey was played in Toronto for first time.
  • 1890 – Ice Hockey was played in Winnipeg and Victoria for first time. It had taken nine decades for the game to spread from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. By then it was also being carried into the United States by students from Queen’s University. (Winnipeg “Victoria’s” 1893)
  • 1897 Windsor’s first rink (1870) destroyed in ‘Great Windsor Fire’ that destroyed 4/5 of the town
  • 1897 – Stannus Sreet Rink built. Remains as the oldest standing natural-ice rink in Canada.
  • 1899 – In January, Nova Scotian “hockeyists” developed and first used hockey nets, called “Nova Scotia Box-Nets”. They were tried in Montreal the following season, in December, 1899, and quickly caught on across the country.
  • 1900 – Wooden, shingle-covered natural-ice rinks were built all across the nation as Ice Hockey was welcomed in out of the cold and became Canada’s Great Winter Game! Windsor’s second covered rink (1897) still stands today (2001).
  • 1900 – “Starr Skates” and one-piece, hard wood “MicMac” hockey sticks, hand-made by Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq carvers, remained the choice of “hockeyists” well into the 1930s.
  • 1938 – Starr Mfg. Co., having led the field for 75 years (making skates since 1863) ceased making skates and hockey sticks