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Lot # 1279: 1889 Amateur Hockey Association of Canada Challenge League Championship Medal awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club

Category: Hockey

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 19 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Classic 2022",
which ran from 5/20/2022 7:00 PM to
6/11/2022 10:00 PM

Important Amateur Hockey Association of Canada Championship Medal from the 1888-89 season. The Montreal Hockey Club (their parent organization was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association) were the winners for the '89 season and awarded the AHA of C trophy. Each of the 8-member team were also awarded an AHA of C champion's medal.

To win the 1889 championship, play was held in a challenge series format. Six teams played an exhibition schedule from Dec 15, 1888, through Feb. 27, 1889, and Challenge play from Feb 2, 1889 - March 27,1889. The Montreal Hockey club went 6-1 through the entire season with a record of 3-1 in challenge play, winning the championship. The Montreal Hockey Club's Archie McNaughton led the Association in goals (7) and Thomas L Paton, was the Association's best goalie. In this very early form of hockey, teams used six skaters and a goalie on the ice, and each player normally played the full 60-minute game (divided into two 30-minutes halves), except in cases of injury.

Canadian interest in the early days of organized hockey grew, and in 1893, Lord Frederick Stanley of Preston, appointed by Queen Victoria to be the Governor General of Canada, spent approximately $50 to purchase a cup to be awarded to the best amateur hockey club in Canada. That cup was originally called the Dominion Challenge Hockey Cup (also called Governor's Cup) and today is the Stanley Cup. It was first awarded to this same Montreal Hockey Club for winning the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (A.H.A.C.) playoffs in 1893. This Montreal Hockey Club had 5 players return from the 1889 team to win the inaugural Stanley Cup.

The offered medal measures approximately 4.5" from top to bottom and is about 1.75" wide. The top bar of the medal is engraved " A. H. A. of C."; the bar below that is engraved, "1889," and the third bar is engraved, "Champions." Below the third bar are crossed hockey sticks and hanging from that part is the main part of the medal, featuring the crossed blades of skates. Medals of this caliber are extremely scarce with very few coming to auction. Overall excellent condition, and it possesses superb historical significance.

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