Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1924-25 Victoria Cougars Jersey

The Victoria Cougars were formed in 1911 as the "Senators" as a member of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). Their first season in the three team PCHA saw them finish last with a 7-9 record behind the New Westminster Royals and the Vancouver Millionaires. They were led in scoring by Tommy Dunderdale's 24 goals in 16 games, good for third in the league.

1912-13 Victoria Senators photo 
1912-13VictoriaSenatorsteam.jpg
The 1911-12 Victoria Senators in their original barberpole sweaters

The second season saw Victoria win the PCHA title with a 10-5 record. Dunderdale led both the club in scoring again but also the league this time with 24 goals and 29 points in 15 games. No other player had more than 14 goals, ten behind the prolific Dunderdale. Following the season the Senators defeated the National Hockey Association champion Quebec Bulldogs in an exhibition series

 photo 1912-13 Victoria Senators-Aristocrats team.jpg
The 1912-13 Victoria Senators Hockey Club

The club changed their name to the Aristocrats for the 1913-14 season and again won the PCHA title with an identical 10-5 record. They were led in scoring by Dubbie Kerr and his 20 goals and 31 points in 16 games followed by Dunderdale at 24 goals and 28 points. Now having established itself as a worthy league, the Aristocrats were able to travel to Toronto and challenge the Toronto Hockey Club (or Toronto Blueshirts) for the Stanley Cup, but came home without the cup.

 1914–15 Victoria Aristocrats team photo 1914ndash15 Victoria Aristocrats team.jpg
The Victoria Aristocrats during the 1914-15 season

After two more seasons as the Aristocrats, led in scoring by first Dunderdale and then Kerr, the club moved to Spokane, Washington where they were known as the Canaries for the 1916-17 season, but attendance was so poor that the team played their scheduled home games after mid February at the home rinks of their previously scheduled visitors! 

The 1918-19 season saw the franchise back in Victoria as the Aristocrats once more and led in scoring by Eddie Oatman, who had come from the now defunct Portland Rosebuds, as had many of the Aristocrats that season.

1919-20 saw the 10-12 Aristocrats in third place with Dunderdale now returned to the fold and doing the bulk of the scoring with 26 goals  and 33 points in the 22 game season to win the PCHA scoring title. Dunderdale had left Victoria following the 1914-15 season to play in Portland for three seasons, but was back with Victoria in 1918-19 when the Rosebuds player's contracts were transferred to the Aristocrats following the Rosebuds folding.

Another third place came in 1920-21 from a 10-13-1 mark. The Aristocrats' Frank Fredrickson led the PCHA in scoring with 20 goals and 12 assists for 32 points in 21 games.

The 1921-22 season saw the league standings decided by the narrowest of margins, with Seattle finishing first with a record of 12-11-1, the Millionares followed at 12-12-0 and the Aristocrats once more brought up the rear at 11-12-1. Fredrickson one more led the club with 25 points from 15 goals and 10 assists.

For the 1922-23 season, the franchise adopted the new moniker of the "Cougars" and it paid immediate dividends, as the club finally climbed out of last place for the first time. A 16-14-0 record was enough to beat the Metropolitans and qualify for the playoffs. Vancouver, newly renamed the Maroons, defeated the Cougars in a two-game total-goal series 3-0 and 2-3. Fredrickson again led the league in scoring with 39 goals and 55 points, 15 more than his next closest pursuer, in the 30 game schedule.

The final season for the PCHA saw the Cougars once more finish third with a record of 11-18-1. Fredrickson again led the club with 19 goals and 28 points in 30 games.

Changes were in store for the 1924-25 season, as the Cougars moved to the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL), now in it's fourth season, along with the Vancouver Maroons. The Metropolitans had folded and the Cougars were awarded four players off their roster prior to the season and they selected goaltender Hap Holmes, Gordon Frasher, Jack Walker and  Frank Foyston. While the Cougars finished third yet again, the WCHL was now a six team league, and the Cougars 32 points in the standings left them just behind the Calgary Tigers 34 and Saskatoon Sheiks 33. The prolific Fredrickson was the team leader in points for the fifth consecutive season with 22 goals and 30 points in 28 games.

Victoria Cougars team

The Cougars defeated the Shieks in their opening round two game series by a 6-4 total before upsetting the Tigers in the WCHL Finals in another two-game total-goal series by a combined score of 3-1 to earn the right to challenge the defending Stanley Cup winners and NHL champion Montreal Canadiens.

1925 Stanley Cup program

The finals were a best of five series and all games were played in British Columbia in keeping with the annual rotation of games between the east and the west. The Cougars took Game 1 with a score of 5-2 and put themselves in a position to capture the cup with a 3-1 win in Game 2 with Walker scoring a pair of goals in each game.

Montreal fought back with a 4-2 win on March 27th and the Cougars became the last team from outside the NHL to win the Stanley Cup with a dominant 6-1 win in Game 4 on this date in 1925, led by a pair of goals by Fredrickson to take the series 3 games to 1. The game winning goal was scored by Gizzy Hart and Walker led the Cougars with 4 goals in the series as the Cougars outscored Montreal 16-8.

Their roster included Hall of Famers Fredrickson (inducted 1958), Foyston (1958), Walker (1960) and goaltender Holmes (1972) and they were coached by the legendary Lester Patrick (1947), who also owned the club. Additionally, Fredrickson and defenseman Harold Halderson were previously members of the Winnipeg Falcons who won the first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey.

1925 Victoria Cougarsm

The following season the WCHL was renamed the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the defending champion Cougars finished in their traditional third place yet again with a 15-11-4 mark. Fredrickson dominated the scoring with 24 points in 30 games to lead the team fir the sixth consecutive season. The Cougars again won the league playoffs to earn the right to face the NHL champion Montreal Maroons for the right to defend the cup, which the Maroons won 3 games to 1.

That would be the end of the Cougars in Victoria though, as the WHL disbanded after the season, leaving the Cougars without a league. The rights to most of their players were purchased by the new Detroit NHL franchise, which used the Cougars name as a tribute to the former club of the majority of their roster. Eventually that team would rename itself the Falcons and later the Red Wings.

Today's featured jersey is a 1924-25 Victoria Cougars Frank Frederickson jersey. This original Cougars jersey can be seen in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and has it's own page in The Hockey News Greatest Jerseys of All-Time Collector's Edition.

1925 Victoria Cougars jersey

Today's video section is behind the scenes footage of the Hockey News Greatest Jerseys of All-Time photo shoot, which includes today's featured Victoria Cougars jersey. The Greatest Jerseys of All Time collector's edition is a must-have for any jersey collector or hockey fan alike.


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