The Montreal Shamrocks


The Montreal Shamrocks: Winners of the Stanley Cup 1899 & 1900

The Montreal Shamrocks Ice Hockey Club was formed on 15 December 1886, at a Shamrock Lacrosse Club meeting. The Shamrocks Lacrosse Club preexisted the hockey team by twenty years, but both existed under the Shamrock Amateur Athletic Association of Montreal. In the initial year, the Shamrocks had both a Junior and Senior team, but an increased standard of play had the team under the Canadian Amateur Hockey League in two challenges in 1891 and 1892.

The Crystals began as one of Montreal’s original three Hockey teams in 1883 and enjoyed modest success until they suffered a devastating loss of home area to fire. The Crystals were amalgamated into the Shamrocks under the Athletic Association in 1895 and greater success followed.

The Shamrocks, or ‘The Fighting Irish’ enjoyed vast popularity due to their Irish Canadian fans and quickly rose in value when they claimed the Stanley Cup in 1899 and again in 1900.

The 1899 Stanley Cup game was played by the Montreal Shamrocks verses Queen’s University, and the 1900 Stanley Cup game was played by the Montreal Shamrocks verses the Winnipeg Victorias. Team Captain Harry Trihey lead the teams to both victories.

The Shamrock team returned in 1901 and faced defeat, players resigned their position and new players took their place to continue playing under the Shamrock team, but never seeing the success of the 1899 & 1900 players ever again.

In 1909 the Shamrocks joined with the Canadian Hockey Association and became one of three teams in Montreal, the team folded before 1911 due to political and financial issues.

The Montreal Shamrocks Team Jersey from Montreal Canadiens: The Dynasty.  Sweater Front.

The Montreal Shamrocks Team Jersey from Montreal Canadiens: The Dynasty. Sweater Front.

Sweater Back

Sweater Back

The Montreal Shamrock’s team, described in A. Mackerrow’s own words, quoted from Art Farrell’s book ‘Hockey: Canada’s Royal Winter Game’.  To view scans of this original volume, property of Dr. J. Malone, visit the link below to the Archives of Canada.

The team which won the championship of the Dominion last winter was perhaps the most scientific combination of players that ever played the game.
The names of the players of this team and their positions were as follows: –

J. McKenna …….. Goal.
F. Tansey …….. Point.
F. Wall …….. Cover Point.
H. Trihey …….. Captain.
J. Brannan, }
A. Farrell,  Forwards.
F. Scanlan,

Many of the Stanley Cup Winners from 1899 and 1900 went on to attend McGill University and continue with careers as doctors and lawyers.


Articles, Photographs and Memorabilia


1899 Shamrock Hockey Team

1899 Montreal Shamrock Team, Winners of the Stanley Cup. Photograph available at Musée McCord, Wikipedia and the Canadian Archives via the book written by Arthur Farrell titled ‘Hockey: Canada’s Royal Winter Game’.

Players Listing:
Left to right, back row: James Henry (Jim) McKenna, F. C. Tansey , F. Wall, A. Farrell
Left to right, front row: Brennon, F. Scanlan, H. Trihey, J. P. Brannen.





1899 Shamrock Hockey Team


1899-1900 Montreal Shamrock Team montage photograph by Rice Studios. Winners of the Stanley Cup. Photographs from the Hockey Hall of Fame Archives and a copy from a recent online auction. The original print sold for $1774.00 on 16 Jun 2009.

Players Listing: From Left to right in oval photographs along the top row are F.C Tansey (Point), F. Scanlan (Forward), H.J. Trihey (Team Captain), A. Farrell (Forward), and J. H. McKenna (Goalie).
Full body photograph on the left is F. Wall (Cover Point), full body photograph on the right is J. P. Brannen.
Two bottom players, left to right are Brennon and Hoerner.

Stanley Cup

1900 Shamrock Hockey Team

On the very night that the goal box described here was introduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia (January 6, 1899), a goal net was put into its first formal use by the Southern Ontario Hockey Association.

Newspaper article Source: The morning chronicle " Hockey Season Opened". -- The morning chronicle [microform]. -- [Jan. 7 1899]. -- Halifax, N.S. : Dept. of Education ; Legislative Library, [19--]. -- microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm. -- ISSN 0839-3982. -- P. 5 © Public Domain nlc-9941

Newspaper article
Source: The morning chronicle
” Hockey Season Opened”. — The morning chronicle [microform]. — [Jan. 7 1899]. — Halifax, N.S. : Dept. of Education ; Legislative Library, [19–]. — microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm. — ISSN 0839-3982. — P. 5
© Public Domain

Wanderers Seniors Win From Crescents –
Crescents Intermediate Win From Wanderers.

The hockey season was opened at the old exhibition rink last evening. The very disagreeable weather did not prevent people from going to see the games, as there was in the vicinity of 1200 persons present. The interest in the game hereabouts is always very great, but the numbers turned out to witness the games last evening was more than expected. There were two games, one of the senior league and one of the intermediate. The old rivals, the Wanderers and Crescents, were pitted against each other in both games, and it is needless to say that they were both well contested. The senior game was played first. The teams appeared on the ice shortly after 8 o’clock, with John Fitzpatrick officiating as referee.

The management had boxes erected at either end of the rink to receive the puck. The top was covered by a wire netting and the goal judges took positions right over the top of the same. The new device worked admirably and there was no disputes over goals. The colors of the respective clubs were suspended on each corner of the goal.

The first half was not very exciting, the players showing a lack of practice together, and not following on the puck very lively. Both teams tried a little combination work, but it did not amount to very much. The only score made in this half was by the Crescents, and the player who shot it was Mahar.

The second half was much better, and at times it was a little rough. Several times the players got mixed up, and on one occasion the referee ordered Bennett off the ice for rough play. He was off for five minutes, and during this times, Stephens shot a goal for the Wanderers and tied the score. There was a great outburst of applause, as the score was evened up. Both teams then played hard to score again, and several times came very near it. Crockett and Murray were starting in to settle a little grievance, when the referee’s eye caught them, and as a result, Murray was sent off the ice for five minutes. There were but very few minutes left before the call of time, and it was thought that the teams would have to play some extra time, but Stephen again came to the front and shot the second and winning goal for his team, just three minutes before the call of time. There was no further scoring, and the Reds and Blacks thus redeemed their lost laurels of last season with a score of 2 to 1 in their favor.

The intermediate teams then came out, with Charles Patterson as referee. The Wanderers’ team was considerably heavier than the Crescents, but the latter managed to hold their own against them.

The game was lively and interesting from start to finish. In the first half the Wanderers scored two goals and the Crescents one. In the second half the game was hotly contested, and the Crescents scored one goal, placing them on even terms. They were obliged to play extra time, and after some desperate work by both sides the boys in blue scored the winning goal. The game was a hard one, and the Crescents got a well earned victory.

Goal nets were tested at the Montréal Arena on December 30, 1899. Variations of the net had already been used in Halifax and Southern Ontario. Officials of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League were impressed by the tests and instructed the league secretary to order some sets.

Newspaper article Source: The Montréal daily star "THE HOCKEY GOAL NETS". -- The Montréal daily star [microform]. -- [Dec. 30 1899]. -- Toronto : Microfilming Services, [19--]. -- microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm -- ISSN 0842-1307. -- P. 16 © Public Domain nlc-9942

Newspaper article
Source: The Montréal daily star
“THE HOCKEY GOAL NETS”. — The Montréal daily star [microform]. — [Dec. 30 1899]. — Toronto : Microfilming Services, [19–]. — microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm — ISSN 0842-1307. — P. 16
© Public Domain

The above cut gives an excellent idea of the hockey goal nets which are to be given a trial by the Shamrock and Victoria teams at the Arena to-night. As will be noticed, the poles are placed at the usual distance from the end of the rink. The net is placed on a metal frame which fits into the top of the poles, the latter being of iron and hollow. The frame extends back six inches so that the goal keeper will have as much freedom as in the present system of goals. The net falls to the ice, being two feet from the poles at the bottom. The sides of the net are fastened to the poles and at the bottom two pegs are hammered flush with the ice and hold the net to the surface in such a manner as to retain the puck whenever it is sent into the net.

The first Stanley Cup to be decided in overtime was won on the strength of Dan Bain’s goal. Four players in the historic match of January 31, 1901 were eventually named to the Hockey Hall of Fame: Winnipeg’s Dan Bain and Mike Grant, and Fred Scanlan and Harry Trihey of the defeated Montreal Shamrocks.

Newspaper article Source: Manitoba morning free press "THIS CUP IS OURS! Winnipeg Vics Will Carry It Back". [February 1, 1901] -- [microform] -- Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Libraries, Dept. of Photographic Reproduction, [19--] -- 189 microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm. -- ISSN 0837-3590 -- P. 1-2, 6 © Winnipeg Free Press. Reproduced with the permission of Winnipeg Free Press. nlc-5037

Newspaper article
Source: Manitoba morning free press
“THIS CUP IS OURS! Winnipeg Vics Will Carry It Back”. [February 1, 1901] — [microform] — Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Libraries, Dept. of Photographic Reproduction, [19–] — 189 microfilm reels : ill. ; 35 mm. — ISSN 0837-3590 — P. 1-2, 6
© Winnipeg Free Press. Reproduced with the permission of Winnipeg Free Press.


First half —
1. Victorias, Bain, 18½ min.

Second half —
2. Shamrocks, Trihey, 2 min.

Extra time–
3. Victorias, Bain, 7 min.

Montreal, Jan. 31. — Hurrah for the west!

Once more the hockeyists of the effete east have succumbed to the Winnipeg “Bisons” and the Stanley cup closed up nicely in a box will soon be travelling towards the land of the setting sun. The second and deciding game in the series which brings about this result was played in the Arena to-night before an immense audience. The play was of the nerve-wracking kind and when time was called with the score a tie, the suspense was simply awful. Minutes seemed hours to the supporters of the two teams and although defeat did not mean so much to the Winnipegs as to the home team, for they still would have a chance to pull out in a third game, the strain was just about as great as on the admirers of the “wearers of the green.”

There was not a Winnipegger or ex-resident of the “Bull’s Eye” city at the game who under the excitement of the last few minutes would not have gladly given away a large share of their earthly possessions just to see the “wearers of the red” put the elusive gutta percha between the posts, so anxious were they to see success crown the efforts of the Victorias.

Their Ardent Desires Were Gratified

after a few minutes’ play and everyone was delighted that the man who did the trick was Danny Bain, captain of the seven, who has sacrificed so much for the team. He won the cup and the match with a dash which did not differ from scores of others made by him during the game except that it resulted in winning a goal, the game, and the Stanley cup.

The enthusiastic outburst which greeted his performance is beyond the power of pen to describe. Half the people in the rink sat motionless with the word disappointment written all over their countenances the other half rose as one man and broke into prolonged and frantic cheers. The immediate supporters of the team fell on one another’s necks, but unlike the prodigal son, did not weep, and if they did it was tears of joy that they shed. Scores of them poured over the sides of the rink and literally carried the boys into the dressing room, where they were hugged and mauled by their friends. In the outbreak of ecstacies which naturally followed the long period of high tension. The game itself was the best seen in the east this season, as quite as fast and furious as the best of the Stanley cup series a year ago. The “Bisons” played

Fifty Per Cent. Better

than they did on Tuesday evening, while the efforts of the Shamrocks were marked by the courage of despair. The ‘Pegs checked heavily from the outset and the Shamrocks retaliated with the result that they could not work their combination in the usual effective way. On the other hand the western men got together better and their combination was vastly superior to that of Tuesday evening. As far as the actual play was concerned they should have won by a larger score, as the Shamrock defence men played in great luck during the first half. There were short periods of play when every Winnipeg forward would plunk the puck goalwards, but in some miraculous way it would be prevented from going through. On the other hand it is doubtful if Brown had more than a couple of shots to stop in the first half. The puck never got past the two Fletts, who played superbly throughout the match. “Roddy” got the puck every time it came near him and Magnus used his body much more effectively than in the first game. He was a Veritable Stone Wall.

On several occasions, when Johnstone felt the need of a little let-up he would drop back to cover point and Magnus would go on the rush line. This was part of the preconcerted plan which proved effective, for while Mag Flett could hold up his end on the forward line, Johnstone was taking a breathing spell and preparing for further rushes. The forwards all played magnificently, but the honors go to Bain and Gingras, with Charley Johnstone close behind. There was no shortcoming on the game Burke Wood put up either, for he played hard and consistently all through the game. He is not yet quite as good as the other three veterans of the forward line, but another season should make him the peer of any of them.

It was not until the second half that Brown got an opportunity to show the stuff he was made off, and then he played up to his reputation of “Wizard” Brown.
He stopped several shots which would have puzzled any player, particularly a hard one from Farrell which went between Flett’s legs.

On the Shamrock rush line Farrell and Brennan were the particular stars. Trihey was off color during the first half, but flashed out brilliantly in the second and was a very dangerous faction in the game until Magnus Flett stopped one of his rushes and incidentally strained his wrist, which was injured in the first match. Trihey had to retire and the ‘Pegs laid Wood off to even things up. The Shamrock defence was not weakened by the absence of Tansey for he could not have improved on Mike Grant’s play. The old Victoria cover point never showed up to better advantage. He played his usual steady game at cover point and his lifts were as dangerous as ever, but the Winnipeg defence men kept a keen look out for them.

Vics Not Appreciated.
He did not appreciate the heavy checking of the “Bison” forward men and was brought to the ice a score of times. McKenna played a magnificent game between the posts and if it had not been for his good work there would have been a large sized score against the Wearers of the Green. The Shamrocks expressed some dissatisfaction with the work of Referee Baird, but when he erred it was on the side of strictness. The Winnipeg team suffered just as much as their rivals. Baird easily attained the distinction of being the best man in the business.

The game commenced at the usual time. The Bisons appeared at 8.30, followed by the Shamrocks two minutes later. Both got the usual rousing reception from the spectators. Down in the 50 cent end dozens of

Green Flags Were Waved

frantically when the Shamrocks appeared. It was 8.50 when the puck was faced, and as on the previous occasion it travelled first in the direction of the Winnipeg posts. There it hovered, but not dangerously, for a moment or so, when Johnstone got it away and glided swiftly to the other end of the rink hotly pursued by the Shamrocks. Scanlan recovered with a rush and made a try for the ‘Peg goal, which Roddy Flett negotiated with ease. Bain and Wood relieved with a rush and there was a face for an offside near the Shamrock posts. Capt. Bain got the puck and passed to Johnstone, who put in a hot one, which was lifted out by Grant. Scanlan relieved again, but the disk did not stay long in Winnipeg territory. For the next few minutes the Winnipegs had the Shamrocks

Played to a Standstill

and things were looking dubious for them, when Grant came out and made a great run to the other end of the ice. Flett put it back with a long lift, and once more Scanlan came down with a rush. The puck hovered around the ‘Peg’s post for a time and the forwards seemed too fagged to carry it out. Wall’s lifts were dangerous. Finally, the Winnipeg forwards relieved, but the Shamrocks brought it back with a rush. Trihey, in his effort to score, went into Brown without the puck, and there was a mix-up between them. Both were put off for two minutes. The Shamrocks only managed to get in one dangerous shot while the Winnipeg goal-keeper was off, and Flett looked after that. A moment later Gingras made a break-neck rush up the side. Bain was in his position in centre, and when the puck came over he placed it between the post from a point 15 feet in front of the goal. Time, 17 minutes.

Shams Got Desperate.

Play was resumed at a terrific pace, the Shamrocks playing with desperation. Still the ‘Pegs had the upper hand and every one of the forwards made more than one try for a goal. The Shamrocks showed sign of tiring and commenced to use their sticks freely with the result that Brennan was sent off for slashing Bain. Trihey seemed to be tired out. He could do nothing with the puck when he got it but pass it over to the wing men. The game slowed up for a short time as the pace was too hot for human endurance and then flashed forth as brilliant as before. Wood and Farrell paid too much attention to one another to suit the ideas of the referee and he let them decorate the fence for a time. Scanlan stopped the game briefly and went from the ice limping. He had given his leg a twist, but was as spry as ever when he reappeared. The last 30 seconds of the first half were marked by a pretty rush by Bain and a return one by Grant. Flett was lifting the puck away from the Winnipeg’s goal when the bell rang. If the first half was

Fast and Furious.

It was not a marker on the second. For the first ten minutes the Shamrocks had the best of the play. At the end of three minutes they evened the score. The goal came after a beautiful bit of stick manipulation in which all the forwards participated. The Winnipegs were fooled by a series of short elusive passes and Trihey scored. Soon after Bain hurt his knee and the game was stopped, but he did not keep them waiting long. Gradually the superior strength and better condition of the Winnipegs was shown and as the game progressed defeat became plainly written on the faces of the Shamrocks. But they made some desperate efforts to turn the tide, which had apparently set in against them. Trihey would have scored but for a magnificent body check from Magnus Flett, which brought him to the ice with a sprained wrist. Wood went off to even matters up. The absence of Trihey from centre was fatal for the Shamrocks and it was quite evident that the Winnipegs would win out in time. They had not done so when the bell rang.

Bain’s Unaided Play.

The Shamrocks wanted a rest for 15 minutes, but the Winnipegs, knowing they had them going, would not listen to the proposition. It was a wise decision as the results showed. They had entirely the best of the play until Bain’s sensational rush down the centre, unaided, settled the match and the series in favor of the Bisons. The overtime played was about seven minutes.

C. P. R. Bulletins.

Second bout between the Victorias and Shamrocks. Vics appear on ice and receive warm reception. Boys all look well. Shamrocks on ice. Applause deafening. Referee appears on ice. Teams same as Tuesday night; Grant playing cover for Shamrocks. Bain not wearing the mask. Whistle blows; lining up. Arena packed to overflowing. Referee giving the usual lecture. Winnipeg chooses north goal. Grant on point, Wall cover.

The teams lined up as follows:
R. Flett.
M. Flett..
Bain (Capt.)
Johnstone. Wood. Gingras.
Farrell. Brennen. Scanlan.
Trihey (Capt.)

8.47 — Start. Brennan secures; loses to Gingras, who loses to Trihey. Wood breaks a stick. Off side. Bain passes to Johnstone. Off side. Bain passes to Johnstone, loses to Scanlan. Trihey shoots on goal; misses. Brown knocks disc out. Magnus clears; passes to Bain, who makes beautiful shot; loses in front of goal. Wall secures; loses to Wood, who shoots on goal; too wide. Off side. Face off in front of Sham goal. Brennan secures; loses to Gingras, who loses. Scrimmage. Brennan secures. Magnus takes it away. Trihey secures; loses to Wood. Scanlan loses to Gingras. Off side. Trihey shoots. Rod relieves. Wall lifts; Magnus blocks, loses. Wall lifts. Magnus blocks, and lifts to Sham end. Scrimmage in front of Shamrock goal.

Bain Makes Good Run,
loses to Brennan. Trihey secures loses to Wood. Johnstone shoots on goal. Grant blocks and lifts. Magnus lifts. Trihey shoots on goal. Brown blocks. Rod lifts. Magnus secures, passes to Wood. Off side. Bain secures, loses. Johnstone after it hard. Magnus makes great run. Johnson secures and loses to Trihey, who loses. Wood secures; loses to Wall; Magnus lifts. Bain after it down ice. Johnstone gets it and makes good run; loses to Grant, who takes it down on Vic goal. Brown blocks, Wood loses to Trihey, who loses to Johnstone. Magnus lifts on Sham goal. Stopped by Wall. Magnus passes to Wood, who shoots; no good. Scanlan blocked by Rod. Bain secures. Off side. Game

Very Fast and Exciting.
Bain draws, passes to Tony, who loses to Brennan. Magnus running down, passes to Bain. Wall blocks, lifts. Scanlan running on Vic goal. Rod relieves. Magnus lifts to other end. Grant lifts back. Rod sends down again, Brennan blocks. Tony shoots on goal. Trihey secures. Off side. Bain draws, loses to Wall. Bain passes to Wood, who loses to Scanlan. Scrimmage at Shamrock goal. Brennan loses to Rod. Scanlan secures, Bain takes it. Loses to Scanlan, who shoots: Rod blocks. Wall made dangerous lift. Rod relieves. Magnus running down ice. Passes to Tony. Brennan loses to Johnstone. Rod lifts to other end. Wall sends back. Magnus blocks, lifts to other end. Wall sends back. Magnus passes to Bain, who makes a good run on goal, but off side. Bain draws, passes to Tony. Scanlan and Tony at it. Bain takes it. Scrimmage. Bain brings to Shamrock goal, where most of play is. Johnstone shoots, loses. Scanlan secures, passes to Brennan. Trihey loses. Game Stopped.

Sent off for Scrapping.
Trihey sent to fence for scrapping in goal. Brown sent to keep him company. Facing right in front of Vic goal. Excitement intense. Bain relieves. Wood secures, loses to Brennan. Tony making great run [illegible] Farrell, who loses to Johnstone. Tony making a run on goal. Grant relieves. Johnstone loses to Trihey. Trihey shoots. Magnus lifts back. Wall secures. Johnstone secures, loses to Brennan, who loses to Wood. Wall lifts. Rod lifts. Off side.

Scanlan Injured.
Bain makes a great run. Shoots on goal, too wide. Trihey secures, passes to Farrell. Off side. Bain passes to Johnstone. Tony loses to Wall. Off side. Bain passes to Johnstone, who shoots; blocked by Grant. Johnstone runs down the ice. Trihey secures, but falls. Wall shoots on goal. McKenna stops. Wall lifts. Rod lifts back. Game stopped. Scanlan has to go off the ice. Joe hurt. All off the ice.

Play on Sham. GOAL.
Most of the play is at the Shamrock end to-night. Game is fast and furious. Referee calling them out. All out. Facing off. Bain draws, passes to Johnstone. Wood shoots on goal, too wide. Wall secures, loses to Wood, who shoots. Trihey running on Vic. goal. Loses to Bain, who passes to Wood. He shoots, no good. Farrell loses to Bain. Brennan loses to Johnstone. Trihey secures, shoots too high. Tony secures, loses to Brennan. Wood secures, loses to Wall. Mag. lifts. Tony after it. Wood shoots. Grant relieves. Lost to Johnstone.

Newspaper article Source: La presse «Les Shamrock Défaits». [1 février 1901] -- [microforme] -- Montréal : Société canadienne du microfilm, [19--]- -- bobines de microfilm : ill. ; 35 mm. -- ISSN 0317-9249 -- P. 3 © La Presse. Reproduced with the permission of La Presse. nlc-5038

Newspaper article
Source: La presse
«Les Shamrock Défaits». [1 février 1901] — [microforme] — Montréal : Société canadienne du microfilm, [19–]- — bobines de microfilm : ill. ; 35 mm. — ISSN 0317-9249 — P. 3
© La Presse. Reproduced with the permission of La Presse.


Archives of Canada
Backcheck: A Hockey Retrospective
Montreal Canadians The Dynasty
Direct Link to Arthur Farrell’s ‘Hockey: Canada’s Royal Winter Game’ PDF version.
Harry Trihey’s Biography Fred Scanlan’s Biography
Arthur Farrell’s Biography National Hockey League
History of Concordia University – The Montreal Shamrocks
Musée McCord
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