Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponents net to score points. Ice hockey teams usually consist of six each, one goaltender. A fast-paced, physical sport, ice hockey is most popular in areas of North America, Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity. In North America, the National Hockey League is the highest level for mens hockey, the Kontinental Hockey League is the highest league in Russia and much of Eastern Europe. The International Ice Hockey Federation is the governing body for international ice hockey. The IIHF manages international tournaments and maintains the IIHF World Ranking, there are ice hockey federations in 74 countries. Ice hockey is believed to have evolved from simple stick and ball games played in the 18th and 19th century United Kingdom and these games were brought to North America and several similar winter games using informal rules were developed, such as shinny and ice polo.
The contemporary sport of ice hockey was developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, have been retained to this day. Amateur ice hockey began in the 1880s, and professional ice hockey originated around 1900. The Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion, in international competitions, the national teams of six countries predominate, Czech Republic, Russia and the United States. Of the 69 medals awarded all-time in mens competition at the Olympics, in the annual Ice Hockey World Championships,177 of 201 medals have been awarded to the six nations. In Russia and the Ukraine, where hockey can refer to bandy, the name hockey has no clear origin. The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word hockey when he translated the proclamation in 1720, the 1573 Statute of Galway banned a sport called hokie—the hurling of a little ball with sticks or staves. A form of this word was thus being used in the 16th century, though much removed from its current usage.
According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word derives from the Scots Gaelic puc or the Irish poc. The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his caman or hurley is always called a puck. Stick-and-ball games date back to pre-Christian times, in Europe, these games included the Irish game of hurling, the closely related Scottish game of shinty and versions of field hockey. IJscolf, a game resembling colf on a surface, was popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age. It was played with a curved bat, a wooden or leather ball
Western Pennsylvania Hockey League
The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, was a semi-professional ice hockey league founded in 1896 and existing through the 1910s. Based in Pittsburgh, the league was the pre-eminent ice hockey league at the time in the United States and it was the first league to openly hire and trade players. In 1895, Pittsburgh officials, constructed the Schenley Park Casino which featured the first artificial ice-making plant in North America, the 1895-96 winter season saw the first introduction of hockey in the city. On December 30,1895, the Pittsburgh Press made mention of an international hockey. The paper noted that 2,500 to 3,000 fans showed up to watch the game, no score or records were reportedly kept but the paper did note that the team from Queens University outplayed the Pittsburghers, who had never played the game before. The city quickly realized that in order to make money they would need to have more events than just speed skating, family skates and they decided that since hockey was a relatively new game, it could catch on in Pittsburgh.
The PAC was managed by Charles S. Miller, who became the leagues president, the league played at the Casino twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday nights. The first big league game was November 17,1896 between Duquesne and PAC, won by Duquesne 2–1. Play continued until December 16, when the Casino rink was destroyed by fire, the league dissolved without a championship. The league would remain dormant until 1899 and the erection of a rink at the Duquesne Gardens. The league was revived with three teams, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, Pittsburgh Duquesne and Western University, the PAC won the leagues first championship. The following season the Pittsburgh Bankers, which was composed entirely of bankers, were admitted to the league, despite the fact that the league could be traced back to 1895, the WPHL wasnt officially started until the 1901-02 season. In 1901, Arthur Sixsmith, a member of the Ottawa Senators, traveled to Pittsburgh. The two men, along with the manager of the Duquesne Gardens, James Wallace Conant, established the WPHL.
By 1902, Sixsmith convinced several Canadian players, including his brother Garnet Sixsmith, to come to Pittsburgh, in 1901, the Keystone Bicycle Club was admitted to the league, replacing Western University. The Keystones were instrumental in changing the league from amateur to professional, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club repeated as champions, although the Keystones were instantly competitive. In one memorable game occurred during this era, the WPHLs Garnet Sixsmith scored 11 goals in a game at the Duqesne Gardens. The 1901–02 season is considered the first season whereby the league was recognized as professional, the league had three teams in 1901-02, Pittsburgh Bankers, Pittsburgh Athletic Club and the Pittsburgh Keystones
The Duquesne Gardens was the main sports arena located in Pittsburgh, during the first half of the 20th century. Built in 1890, the building served as a trolley barn. The Gardens opened 3 years after a fire destroyed the citys prior sports arena, over the years, the Gardens was the home arena of several of Pittsburghs historic sports teams, such as ice hockeys Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Hornets. The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, which was the first ice hockey league to openly hire and trade players, the arena was the first hockey rink to ever use glass above the dasher boards. Developed locally by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Herculite glass was first tested in Pittsburgh, most rinks were using wire mesh before the shatterproof glass was invented. Finally, the Pittsburgh Ironmen, a member of the Basketball Association of America. Outside of team sports, the Duquesne Garden Ball Room, located on the second floor, was one of the largest dance halls in the country during the time.
The Gardens was originally built in 1890 as the Duquesne Traction Company, in 1895, Christopher Lyman Magee, a Pittsburgh politician, spent nearly $500,000 to purchase and renovate the building. He renamed the structure the Duquesne Gardens in 1896, although it was called the Arena by the locals. The Gardens, which had the worlds largest indoor ice rink, speed skating, roller skating, dance contests, musical performances, roller derby, bicycle racing, and college basketball were all hosted at the Gardens, as were rodeos and the circus. The Gardens featured Pittsburgh Golden Gloves boxing and housed a movie theater, the Duquesne Garden Ball Room, located on the second floor, has been used by some of the leading clubs and societies in the city for their annual dances. The building quickly became the site for all manner of gatherings, There were opera performances, boxing matches, the facilitys main attraction was its artificial ice surface, unrivaled in North America. Most other American cities lacked a facility that produced artificial ice at the time, on January 24,1899, the Gardens hosted its first ice hockey game in a match between the Pittsburgh Athletic Club and Western University of Pennsylvania.
Over 10,000 turned out for our three games there, the general admission being 35 cents and 75 cents for a box seat. The Pittsburgh rink is a dream, what a marvellous place it is. The teams of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, and the Pittsburgh Professionals of the International Professional Hockey League, the Gardens artificial ice surface helped make Pittsburgh a professional hockey pioneer, much the way the region had given birth to the first professional American football players in the 1890s. Players in the WPHL were paid to play hockey before 1904, the Pittsburgh Professionals joined Canadian Soo, Michigan Soo, Calumet Miners, and the Portage Lakes Hockey Club to form the IPHL in 1904. However, after the 1906–07 season, other leagues began popping up
International Professional Hockey League
The International Professional Hockey League was the first fully professional Ice hockey league, operating from 1904 to 1907. It was formed by Jack Doc Gibson, a dentist who played hockey throughout Ontario before settling in Houghton, the IPHL was a five team circuit which included Pittsburgh, Sault Ste. Marie, Calumet and Houghton, the IPHL was instrumental in changing the nature of top-level senior mens ice hockey from amateur to professional. In the time period around 1900, leagues in Canada fought against the professionalization of athletics, any player who figures on any of these teams must be banished from Ontario Hockey. However, it wasnt until the Portage Lakes Hockey Club and the formation of the IPHL in 1904 that any hockey league achieved full-fledged professional status, in the early 20th century, the mining industry was making huge investments in Northern Michigan. In the fall of 1903, James R. Dee of Houghton started discussions with Western Pennsylvania Hockey League representatives in Pittsburgh regarding the establishment of a national hockey association, houghtons team had played against Pittsburghs for a de facto United States national championship in ice hockey.
In 1903–04, the professional Houghton team, without a league of its own, marie and Michigan prompting the OHA to ban both the American Soo Indians and Canadian Sault Hockey Club from competing against Canadian amateur teams. As a result, the two teams had nowhere to go but to the professional league. A meeting was held on November 5,1904 which included prominent business leaders from Pittsburgh, a number of cities were considered for this new professional league including Montreal, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Grand Rapids, and Duluth. However, the league accepted teams from Houghton, the two Soos, and Calumet, the representatives of the Canadian Soo suggested a revenue sharing plan that would divide gate receipts in a 60–40 home-visitor split. This revenue sharing plan would make the journey to Pittsburgh possible, considering that team played at the 5. The WPHL, which had been paying players to play ice hockey since 1901, put its best professionals into one team, the Pittsburgh Pros, the Houghton Portage Lakes team played at what was a new facility at the time called the Amphidrome on Portage Lake.
The Calumet-Laurium Miners, a rival of the Houghton team. Marie, Michigan made the Ridge Street Ice-A-Torium, the curling club. Marie, Ontario team or Canadian Soo as it was called played at its local curling rink, the International Hockey League attracted some of the best players from established Canadian amateur leagues. Every player received a salary of at least $15 to $40 a week. Ottawas Hod Stuart, was paid $1,800 by the Calumet Miners to play for the team, cyclone Taylor was enticed into the league with a salary offer of more than $3,000. In many cases, this meant that IHL managers would have to completely new teams each season