Saturday, April 26, 2014
The Winnipeg Falcons were founded in 1911 with a roster of players of Icelandic decent because they were not welcomed on other teams due to racial prejudice. The Falcons orginally played until 1917 and the team was then reorganized in 1919 after a number of their players returned from service in World War I.
The Falcons were chosen to represent all of Canada at the Olympic Games by virtue of having won the Allan Cup as the 1920 Canadian National Senior Amateur Champions.
Ice hockey was first introduced during the 1920 Summer Olympics, which were held in Antwerp, Belgium. The participating nations were the hosts Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Canada, who defeated Czechoslovakia 15-0 on April 24th to open their schedule thanks to Haldor Halderson's 7 goals and team captain Frank Frederickson's 4 with Magnus Goodman contributing 2 and Allan Woodman and Konrad Johannesson one each.
Canada next beat the United States in a close 2-0 game on April 25th Frederickson and Johannesson providing the scoring, which set up a meeting on this date in 1920 between the two undefeated teams, Canada and Sweden.
The game story from the Associated Press from that match documents the ease of Canada's victory.
Halderson opened the scoring for Canada at 1:15 of the contest and added a second goal, Canada's 11th, late in the game. Chris Fridfinnson's only goal of the tournament came 40 seconds after Halderson's opener, giving Canada a 2-0 lead before the game was only two minutes old.
Frederickson got on the scoreboard at 5:20 for the first of his 7 goals. Sweden got their only goal of the game at 15:58 to make it 3-1 prior to Frederickson adding completing a hat trick with two goals within 1:35 of each other at 16:00 and 17:35.
Goodman scored at 23:47 followed by Robert Benson joining the scoring parade at 28:09 to make it 7-1. Frederickson then put on a clinic with three consecutive goals for his second hat trick in less than six minutes, with the first two coming 15 second apart.
Halderson then netted his second of the game and Frederickson closed out the scoring with his 7th at 39:02, securing the gold medal for Canada.
On their return to Canada, they were honored with a parade, given gold pocket watches and honored with several banquets.
When the North American pool of the World Cup of Hockey began in 2004, the United States travelled to Montreal to take on Team Canada, who wore 1920 Winnipeg Falcons throwback jerseys. Team Canada won the contest by a 2-1 score on goals by Martin St. Louis and Joe Sakic. It would be the only time Team Canada's senior team would wear the Falcons jerseys.
The jerseys were worn one once more, in an exhibition game between Canada's World Junior Team and Team Finland on December 20th, 2004 at the MTS Center in Winnipeg, which ended in a 6-0 win for Canada before they would go on to dominate the 2005 World Junior Tournament in Grand Forks, North Dakota with a team that included Sidney Crosby. The full roster of players from the exhibition game can be found here.
The only time Crosby ever wore the Winnipeg Falcons jersey
Today's featured jersey is a 1920 Canada Frank Frederickson jersey as worn during the first ever ice hockey tournament at the Olympic Games.
This sweater is on display at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, home town of the Falcons. Note also their blue and green barberpole striped jersey which the Falcons wore during domestic league play in Manitoba.
Frederickson would go on to have a lengthy career as a professional, joining the Patrick brothers Pacific Coast Hockey Association's Victoria Aristocrats for the 1920-21 season. He would remain with the club through a name change to the Victoria Cougars in 1922 and a switch to the Western Hockey League in 1924.
He would win a Stanley Cup in 1925 with Victoria, but after the 1925-26 season the Cougars rosters was sold to interests in Detroit, who had been granted an expansion franchise in the NHL. In honor of the source of their players, the new franchise was named the Detroit Cougars, who would eventually evolve into the Detroit Red Wings after a change in ownership.
After just 16 games with Detroit, Frederickson was again on the move, this time to the Boston Bruins. He would spend four more years in the NHL with stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates before a second round with Detroit, who by now were on their second name, the Detroit Falcons, a fitting place for the former Winnipeg Falcon to close out his NHL career.
During his professional career Frederickson would play a total of 324 games, scoring 170 goals and 266 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2004 Team Canada Mario Lemieux "Winnipeg Falcons jersey as worn on August 31st, 2004. One unique aspect of the Falcons throwbacks is that all the jerseys had "CANADA" on the back instead of each individual player's name, similar to the 1972 Canada Cup jerseys.
The jersey also features the 2004 World Cup of Hockey logo patch on the upper left chest, along with Mario Lemieux's captain's "C".
Here is Team Canada in action wearing their Falcons jerseys in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey versus the United States.