Nova Scotia Firsts

Firsts In Ice Hockey For Nova Scotia by Garth Vaughan

1800 – Ice Hurley began in Windsor, N.S. c.1800 and developed into Ice Hockey in Nova Scotia.
First Hockey Rules – “Halifax Hockey Club Rules” – They were used by J. G. A. Creighton of Halifax to teach Montreal athletes to play the N.S. game from 1872-75 when they first played in public at Victoria Skating Rink. The 1877 Montreal Rules were fashioned after the Halifax Rules. .

1860 – First Wooden Pucks – Documented evidence of use in Nova Scotia from 1860. Used in Montreal in 1875 as Ice Hockey was introduced to the city by J.G.A. Creighton of Halifax.

1860 – First “Ice Hockey Sticks” – Hand-carved by Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq – Supplied to Montreal teams in 1875. – Supplied to Kingston teams in 1886.

1866 – First “Hockey” Skates – In 1866, Starr Mfg. Co., Ltd. of Dartmouth, N.S. patented their self-fastening “Hockey Skates”, designed with rocker-shaped wider blades, rounded in back and front for easy turns, and skating backwards, all necessary for maneuverability in playing Ice Hockey. The hockey skates were a modification of their 1863 patented, world-famous ‘Acme Club Skates’, which were held to boots by a cleverly designed self-fastening spring mechanism.

1872 – First Ice Hockey Export/Import – James George Aylwin Creighton of Halifax. For Nova Scotia he was the First Hockey Export: For Montreal, he was the First Hockey Import.

1890s -First “Rover” Position – 1890s. This 7th position allowed the star of the team to play where he pleased and to be set up by other players. As passing plays developed, the position of Rover was abandoned on East Coast in 1913, and on West Coast in 1923 as “team play” evolved increasing chances of winning without a rover. Team then became six players as today.

1899 – First “Goal Nets” – January 1899, Nova Scotia Box Net introduced in mid-season in Halifax. Montreal used them at the beginning of the following season in December, 1899. They became popular and were then used all across Canada.

1900 – First “Black Hockey League in World” – The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes operated for two decades, 1900-1920, with clubs in Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro, Amherst, and Charlottetown, P.E.I.

1900 – First time “Goal Keeper allowed down on ice to stop puck”.

1900 – African Nova Scotians of “Coloured” Hockey League of the Maritimes. Goal tenders were not allowed down on ice in the NHL until 1917.

1910 – First “Home and Away” Uniforms – Windsor Swastikas, a senior team which played in the Annapolis Valley Senior League, and traveled to Newfoundland for amateur competitions annually between 1905-1916, used Black with White trim uniforms at home and White with black uniforms when playing away. Photos on display at Windsor Hockey Heritage Society Museum.

1950 – First to score 3 goals in 6 seconds. Conrad MacNeil, of Reserve Mines, Cape Breton, playing for Acadia Axemen in a regulation C. A. H. A. game against Kentville Wildcats in Annapolis Valley Senior Hockey League at Acadia University Arena, scored three goals in six seconds, the most rapid scoring of a “hat-trick” in world hockey leagues.

1957 – “First Summer Hockey School in Canada” (World?)- Started by the outstanding Nova Scotia Ice Hockey foursome of George Warden and brother Abbie Warden, Ted Cumming, and Art Lightfoot, in the summer of 1957 in Kentville. Others who also participated as teachers at the school which ran annually until 1965, were Greg Currie, Harry Morrison, Harry Watson, Bill Durnan, Hank Goldup, Parker MacDonald, John ‘Junior’ Hanna, Scotty Bowman, and others.

1977 – “First use of Big Numbers on Hockey Jerseys” – 1974 – “Valley Jets” of Annapolis Valley Junior C League. – Lloyd Zwicker of Windsor, coach of Valley Jets, introduced big numbers as a promotional idea in 1974. The first time they were used in the NHL was when Wayne Gretzky used 99 in 1979.