Sudbury's First Taste of Glory

In early 1908, Sudbury High School opened and with it, the next wave of hockey in Sudbury began.  The students organized a hockey club and appointed Daniel Baikie as vice-president, the school principal as president, and student club members to the remaining executive positions.  Two teams were formed and competition was encouraged with other northern clubs.  Donations were solicited from the locals for the purchase of team uniforms.  The Sudbury High School hockey club was a remarkable collection of talent and for the next two years, the club successfully won every game they played, whether it was against students from Copper Cliff or against older and bigger players.

Sudbury High School Hockey Team - 1910.  Photo courtesy of "Homegrown Heroes: A Sports History of Sudbury".In 1910, hearing of Sudbury's winning streak, the Sault High School team, defending champions of their league, challenged Sudbury to a match and lost 6-4.  The upset was noted by Orillia's High School and they decided to challenge Sudbury for the Intercollegiate Championship of Ontario.  Orillia's team held a perfect record for the past two years and were the reigning intercollegiate champs.

At the same time, Sudbury was challenged by the champions of North Bay's league.  Sudbury opted to accept Orillia's challenge and on March 11, 1910, the Palace Rink was filled past capacity as Sudbury competed for its first provincial title match.  An intense game ensued and a victorious Sudbury team became the new Intercollegiate champions of Ontario with a score of 9-6.  The knowledge that all of the players were born and raised in Sudbury and that no imported players were used in any of the games further bolstered the town's pride in their home team.

In September of 1910, the Palace Rink was destroyed by fire, leaving players to practice outside.  James Orr, a local journalist, and other citizens tried to encourage the Sudbury Rink Company to build a new rink with the insurance money from the Palace Rink, but they were refused.  The fire resulted in the halting of Sudbury's championship aspirations.


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