Monday, 1 October 2012

Hockey's First Hat Trick

You might know that the first recorded, organized indoor hockey game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal on March 3, 1875. You might also know that less than two weeks later, on March 16, the first such game played between two clubs; the March 3 match was made up of two sides of Victoria rink skaters while March 16 featured the Victorias versus the Montreal Football Club.

But do you know who scored hockey's first recorded hat trick? It happened on February 26, 1877. There are at least three matches before that date that might have featured a hat trick, but we don't know who scored all the goals in these games, so we have to satisfy ourselves with the first such recorded event. Who accomplished the feat? Would you believe a 37-year-old stockbroker?

Charles Geddes was involved in the creation of the Montreal Stock Exchange in 1874. But more importantly (for our purposes, anyway), he played hockey with James Creighton, the father of the organized game, who captained many a side and played back while coaching his players.

Creighton was captaining the Metropolitan club against the St. James squad on that February day. The Mets won the match 3 games to nil, Geddes taking each goal himself. The Montreal Gazette covered the game in some detail in their February 27, 1877 edition. Geddes' goals are described thusly:

"...Geddes soon came to the rescue, and toying with the ball in his particular and graceful way, succeeded in putting it through the goal and scoring the first game for the Metropolitans. Time, 15 minutes."

"...unfortunately for the St. James' men, Creighton made some admirable play into Geddes' hands, who put the ball through in a twinkling, thus scoring the second game for the Metropolitans. Time, 3 minutes."

"...and Geddes again took the ball...and sent it through the goal for the third time, making the third game for his side. Time, 7 minutes."

So Charles Geddes can be considered hockey's first scoring star. But, this game was also the last recorded game we have of him playing. In the 1870s we only have records of a few matches per season, and with a player of this age it's probably not surprising.

Side Note: The description of the second goal above suggests that James Creighton, besides being father of the game, should be credited with hockey's first recorded assist. Not bad considering he was a defenceman.

Credit goes to hockey historians and SIHR members Pat Houda and Carl Giden for the source of this information.

1 comment:

  1. You probably meant February 26, 1877, not 1977.

    Did Chelios assist on any of them?


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