Thursday, January 31, 2013

1950's McGill University Redmen Jersey

In March of 1876, the first organized indoor hockey game took place at Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink by James Creighton and several students from McGill University. Several of those students, Richard F. Smith, W. F. Robertson and W. L. Murray, helped refine seven rules of the game as well as introducing the puck, which was carved from a rubber lacrosse ball.

A little less than two year later, on this date in 1877, the world's first organized hockey club, the McGill University Hockey Club, played their first game at the same Victoria Rink against a team called the "Victorias" which was comprised of members of Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink with the addition of players from both the Montreal Lacrosse Club and the Montreal Football Club. The game ended with a 2-1 victory for McGill.

Members of the first organized McGill club included Archibald D. Taylor (president), Henry "Harry" Abbott (captain), Robert J.B. Howard, Frederick W. Torrance, Lorne Campbell (goaltender) William W. Redpath, George R. Caverhill and Rankine Dawson. Those pioneers are now the first in a long line of lineage of the oldest ice hockey club in the world, which is still playing today.

1881 McGill University team, 1881 McGill University team
Hockey's first known team photo with hockey jerseys, the 1881 McGill University Hockey Club

By 1929 the club had adopted the nickname the Red Men, in deference to the red uniforms the team wore. Over time, the name evolved to Redmen.

McGill's first Queen's Cup championship (the second oldest hockey trophy still being awarded after the Stanley Cup) arrived in 1993, followed by titles in 1903 and 1905 with more championships arriving in 1912, 1918 and 1921

1910 McGill University team, 1910 McGill University team
The 1910 McGill University Hockey Club

A period of dominance saw them take the title in 1930 and 1931 before seven consecutive championships spanning 1933 to 1939 before the final one of the era arrived in 1946.

1937 McGill University team, 1937 McGill University team
The 1937 McGill University Hockey Club

McGill would have to wait until 2006 for their next title, a span of sixty years since their last championship. They would not have to wait long, as their next title arrived in 2008, which sent them on a new run of domination, as they have now reeled off five consecutive titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and most recently in 2012, when they not only won the Queen's Cup as Ontario University Athletics championship, but also went on to win their first Canadian Interuniversity Sport University Cup championship, which dates back to 1963.

2012 McGill University team, 2012 McGill University team
2012 McGill University Hockey Club

Additionally, the university's women's team, known as the Martlets, has now won seven titles of their own, with the first coming in 1985. After winning again in 2003, the gave McGill both the men's and women's titles in 2006. After a second consecutive championship in 2007, they again duplicated the men's team's titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

2008 McGill University women's team, 2008 McGill University women's team
The 2008 McGill University women's championship team

Of note, Kin St-Pierre become the first woman in CIS history to win a men's regular season game when she was in goal on November 15, 2003 in a 5+2 win over Ryerson University.

St-Pierre McGill, St-Pierre McGill
Kim St-Pierre

Today's featured jersey is a 1950's McGill University Redmen jersey. This classic sweater, made of wool, features a tie-neck collar and an embroidered felt McGill coat of arms crest. It's a beautiful example of a vintage sweater from the days when identifying your teammates on the ice was the main function of a sweater, rather than providing the club with income from merchandise sales.

McGill University 1950's jersey, McGill University 1950's jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video segment is a look at some of the hockey research being conducted at McGill University.


1 comment:

  1. What's really cool about that sweater is that it has #1 (usually a goalie's number) AND an A for the alternate captain (almost never a goalie's attribute), making for a kind of clash on the sweater. Lovely write-up for my alma mater!

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