Meet the winners of the first Stanley Cup—the Montreal Hockey Club, now known as the Montreal Canadiens.

Photograph courtesy Library and Archives Canada

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  • On March 22, 1894, the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association became the first team to win a contested Stanley Cup, one of ice hockey’s highest honors. (The city’s professional team, the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, have gone on to win the cup more than any other team.) The 1894 Montreal team beat the Ottawa Capitals, 3-1. 
     
    A year earlier, Lord Stanley, then the governor-general of Canada, had purchased a silver punch bowl in London, England. Stanley and his sons were supporters of the then-young sport of ice hockey, and he promised the bowl as a trophy to the top team in Canada. Montreal was awarded the cup the year before without any playoff games, so technically this was the second year of the Stanley Cup.
     
    Today, American and Canadian teams from the National Hockey League (NHL) compete for the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports competition in North America. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    amateur Adjective

    person who studies and works at an activity or interest without financial benefit or being formally trained in it.

    competition Noun

    contest between organisms for resources, recognition, or group or social status.

    ice hockey Noun

    sport played with two teams of six people on ice skates trying to score a goal by putting a puck in the opposing team's goal.

    purchase Verb

    to buy.

    trophy Noun

    object that symbolizes a victory or accomplishment.