On December 8, 1886, the teams that made up the circuit for the Montreal Winter Carnival (MWC) 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.
The AHAC was the first league dedicated to Hockey attracting the game’s best players, following the format established by Baseball’s National League. The biggest difference was that the AHAC was purely Amateur.
The AHAC decided to return to the balanced schedule format from 1888 and 1893, with each team playing one another twice. The season ended with a four-way tie, necessitating a playoff to decide the league and Stanley Cup championships. The Montreal Hockey Club defeated the Ottawa Hockey Club in the final playoff game to claim the title.
1894 was Season 8 of play for the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada and took place 129 years ago.
January 5, 1894 to March 10, 1894
Montreal Hockey Club
# of Teams
Season Playoffs (Stanley Cup Challenges)
The first Stanley Cup playoff game occurred on March 17, 1894. At the end of the 1894 season, four teams tied for the AHAC championship with records of 5–3–0. This created problems for the AHAC governors since there was no tie-breaking system in place. After long negotiation and the withdrawal of Quebec from the championship situation, it was decided that a three-team tournament would take place in Montreal, with Ottawa getting a bye to the finals (being the sole “road” team). The Montreal HC defeated the Montreal Victorias, 3 – 2. Five days later on March 22, 1894, Montreal successfully defended their title with a 3 – 1 win over Ottawa. The OHA champion Osgoode Hall challenged for the Cup, but this was abandoned due to the lack of natural ice.