Amateur Hockey Association of Canada in 1887


On December 8, 1886, the teams that made up the circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament (MWCHT) decided to create a stand-alone hockey league that did not coincide with the popular winter festival. The league was called the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) and was made up by the Montreal Hockey Club, McGill University, Montreal Crystals, Montreal Victorias, and the Ottawa Hockey Club. These five teams participated in a season of series challenges at the Crystal and Victoria hockey rinks.

While the AHAC shared the same teams and play format as the MWCHT, the AHAC was its own entity, bringing together the best players in Hockey to play in a dedicated league. This was the first time ever that a league dedicated to Hockey was created, following the format established by Baseball’s National League. The biggest difference was that the AHAC was purely Amateur.

At the season’s final match, the Montreal Crystals won over the Montreal Victorias, 3–2 . The Victorias had won the previous two meetings between the clubs but the Crystals changed their lineup during this final matchup, replacing F. Dowd, R. Laing and J. McGoldrick. The Crystals took the early lead on two goals by S. McQuisten. The Victorias appeared to score a goal, but it was ruled to be too high and did not count. In the second half, D. Brown, one of the replacements, scored the third for Crystals before two goals by T. Arnton made it close. The Montreal Crystals was declared the overall Champion despite losing more games to the Victorias through the season.

1887 was Season 1 of play for the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada and took place 137 years ago.


Elite League

Season Length

January 6, 1887 to March 11, 1887

Season Champion

Montreal Crystals

# of Teams


Season Standings (Overall Champion Challenge Record)

Season Playoffs

There were no championship playoffs as the Champion Challenge system was being used. A team would hold the title of Champion until it was defeated by a Challenger as was done in Boxing. The team holding the title at the end of the season would be declared the overall Champion.

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