Establishing a Hockey League

Early hockey team circa 1900.  Photo courtesy of "Homegrown Heroes: A Sports History of Sudbury".In the early years, teams from North Bay, Sudbury, Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, and Warren would compete against each other for the district championships, although no official league had been created yet.  It wasn't until the end of the hockey season in 1903 that the Sudbury Hockey Club decided to reorganize itself and along with Sturgeon Falls and North Bay, joined the Ontario Hockey Association's Intermediate Series as members of Group #9.  The regular season of 1904 went from January 1st to January 29th and consisted of six games.  Sudbury won the resulting championship with a three win, one loss record.  Sudbury stayed with the O.H.A. for another four years, playing hockey in the newly built Palace Rink.

In the 1907 season, Sudbury beat Copper Cliff, North Bay, Sturgeon Falls, and Little Current in the race to win the Group 12 O.H.A. Intermediate title, but a loss to Parry Sound ended the team's season.  Mayor O'Connor gave a banquet in honour of the Sudbury team's efforts and engraved gold lockets were presented to each player by local jeweler, Alex Beath.

Around this time, there was talk of establishing a Northern Ontario Hockey Association that would encompass teams from the Sudbury, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Nipissing, and Temiskaming areas.  However, the league was not created and northern teams continued to compete against each other for a silver cup that was donated by North Bay merchants, the Mackie Brothers.

As players aged and retired from the sport, imported players were often called upon to fill the vacant positions, despite the fans' preference for homegrown talent.


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