On November 26, 1925, the much-anticipated Border City Arena hosted its first hockey game between the Victoria Cougars and the New York Americans. The NHL was a fairly new concept entering it’s 9th year for the 1925/1926 season. The Victoria Cougars had beaten the Montreal Canadiens and won the Stanley Cup in the previous season. The Victoria Cougars were not an NHL team until they moved to Detroit and 1925 was the only time a non-NHL team would win the Stanley Cup. On November 26, 1925, 7,200 people crammed into the newly built artificial ice arena which had been built for the local junior hockey team and was designed to house 4,400 spectators. I can’t find the final score of the game but I can imagine the energy of the people gathered and players on the ice was electric.
The Victoria Cougars would soon play their first season as the NHL’s Detroit Cougars as the Olympia Arena was still under construction in Detroit. In that season they would face off with the Toronto St. Pats. The next game played, the Toronto St Pat’s were rebranded the Maple Leafs. For many years, after, the Cougars (later Red Wings) would host their training camps at Windsor Arena which is how the legendary Gordie Howe came to play on that ice in 1944.
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Can you imagine the electricity of that first game? Do you know someone who attended? Have you heard stories of that day? Let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org