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“The Coloured Hockey League was an all-black ice hockey league founded in Nova Scotia in 1895, which featured teams from across Canada’s Maritime Provinces. The league operated for several decades lasting until 1930. With as many as a dozen teams, over 400 African Canadian players from across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island participated in competition. The Coloured Hockey League is credited by some as being the first league to allow the goaltender to leave his feet to cover a puck in 1900. This practice was not permitted elsewhere until the formation of the National Hockey League in 1917.”
Hey so today in Canadian history things we somehow don’t hear much about: Canada had a separate African-Canadian hockey league for several decades back in the early 1900s.
Teams were not allowed to play for the Stanley Cup and the league received basically no recognition outside African-Canadian communities on the East Coast, but it looks like the league was the source of some pretty significant innovations associated with modern hockey, including slapshots on goal.
If you’re interested in this, some documentary filmmakers from BC have written a book about it.
Fascinating! From the article:
Even defensive play was more dynamic. Fosty says black goalies weren’t afraid to get down onto the ice if that’s what it took to stop a shot, a standard goaltending style today that was frowned upon 100 years ago. They were also more likely to skate out and take an active part in play.
Kind of wish YouTube was around 100 years ago. That would’ve been interesting to see.
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