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ARCHIVED - Backcheck: a Hockey Retrospective

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On March 10, 1886, Queen's University defeated Royal Military College in what is thought to be the first formal game of hockey ever played in Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is home to the International Hockey Museum.

Headline reading WHAT IS THE GAME OF HOCKEY?

It is "Shinny" in disguise - Queen's Students Defeat the Cadets at a Match

Yesterday afternoon a hockey match was played on the Royal skating rink, between teams selected from the Royal Military College and Queen's University. The attendance of spectators was large, the ladies predominating. At intervals, before the game, people were heard to ask, What is hockey? Few essayed an answer. Several of the players were tackled, but they said little, and certainly did not dispel the prevailing doubts. Finally a cadet, who carried the rules upon a sheet of paper, said the game was very interesting. It was particularly popular in Lower Canada. Shortly after 8 o'clock the players were called together and told that the match would last an hour, and at the end of the first half hour a rest would be called. The team taking the most number of games in the hour would be awarded the palm. The referee was Mr. W.A. Logie; the umpires, for the cadets, Mr McColl; for Queen's college students, W.G. Bain. Those composing the teams were:

R.M.C.   QUEEN'S
Panet Goal G.J. Smith
Kerr Point H.P. Thomas
Rose C.P. H. Pirie
Gunn
Bremner
G. Johnson
Simpson
Forwards L. Irving
S. Griffin
F. Booth
F. Pirie

The ball was rubber and flat on the sides. The sticks were similar to those used in polo. The game was started, and before the ball had been moving many minutes it was clear to many that hockey was only a funny name for "shinny." After playing an hour, during which some of the players received some terrible falls, Lennox Irving, of Queen's, who is an expert skater, poked the rubber through the cadets' goal.