Winnipeg Falcons

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Picture of the Gold Medal-winning Winnipeg Falcons taken en route to the 1920 Olympics (photo includes an unidentified ships' officer and a woman)
Winnipeg Free Press, April 27th, 1920 on the Olympic win.)
Unveiling of prominent display at MTS Centre, Winnipeg.)
Winnipeg Falcons original sweater and jersey.)
Olympic Medal Replicas:)

The Winnipeg Falcons were a senior men's amateur ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In the 1919-1920 season, the Winnipeg Falcons won the Allan Cup. That team went on to represent Canada in the 1920 Olympic games held in Antwerp, Belgium. There the Falcons, soundly beating all their opponents, won for Canada the first ever Olympic Gold Medal in ice hockey.[1][2]

The Winnipeg Falcons hockey team was founded in 1911 with a roster of entirely Icelandic players who were not able to play on the other Winnipeg teams due to ethnic prejudice. In their first season, 1911–1912, they finished at the bottom of their league. The next year, Konnie Johannesson and Frank Frederickson joined the team. That team turned out to be a winner in the league.[1]

Early history[edit]

Its early roots can be traced back to the Icelandic Athletic Club which was formed in 1898.[3] The club consisted of a two team league called the Icelandic Athletic Club (IAC) and the Vikings. In 1908, the two teams agreed to become one team.[4]

During the 1910-11 season, the Falcons became part of a new senior league. Other clubs in the league would include the Kenora Thistles, Brandon Wheat City and Winnipeg AAA.[5] In 1913-14, the Falcons became part of the Independent Hockey League, joining the Strathconas from Winnipeg, and teams from Selkirk, and Portage La Prairie.[3] The Falcons finished the season with 4 wins and 8 losses. During the following season, the Falcons beat Portage by a score of 4-3 to become league champions.[6]

Road to the Allan Cup[edit]

In the 1919-1920 season, the Falcons won the Allan Cup. The Falcons were part of the Manitoba Hockey League with Brandon Wheat City and the Selkirk Fishermen. The first place team of the Manitoba Hockey League would play the champion of the Winnipeg Hockey League for the opportunity to represent Western Canada in the Allan Cup playoffs. The Falcons beat the Fishermen 5-3 to claim the Manitoba Hockey League championship.[7] Frank Fredrickson won the Manitoba Hockey League scoring title with 23 goals in 10 games.[8] Wally Byron led the league with 2 shutouts and had a 2.57 goals against average. Bobby Benson led the league with 26 penalties in minutes.

The team went on to play in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It was there that the team won the first Olympic Gold Medal in ice hockey. Although an official part of the Summer Olympic Games, hockey and figure skating events were held in late April and early May, while the weather was still cool enough for suitable ice conditions in the arena.

Falcons Olympic Roster[edit]

  • Hebbie Axford D.F.C.(Club President)
  • Bill Fridfinnson (Secretary)
  • Bill Hewitt (Canadian Olympic representative)
  • Gordon Sigurjonson (Coach, Trainer)
Players[9]

There were five other players who contributed to the Falcons 1919-20 season, but they were not part of the Olympic roster. These players were Harvey Benson, Ed Stephenson, Connie Neil, Babs Dunlop and Sam Laxdal.

The 1920 Winnipeg Falcons were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in the team category.

NHL Alumni[edit]

Winnipeg Junior Falcons

Post Olympics[edit]

The first member of the squad to pass away was Chris Fridfinnson. He died at the age of 40 in 1938. The last surviving member was Mike Goodman. He was 93 years old when he died in 1991.[10]

The Icelandic national hockey team honors the Falcons on their jerseys by using the Icelandic Falcon and the Canadian maple leaf as their emblem. http://www.ihi.is/gogn/LOGO_SAGA_ENGLISH.pdf

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.winnipegfalcons.com
  2. ^ Holland, Dave (2008). Canada on Ice; The World Hockey Championships, 1920–2008. Canada On Ice productions. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-0-9808936-0-1. 
  3. ^ a b Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.21, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  4. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.18, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  5. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.20, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  6. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.28, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  7. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.64, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  8. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.65, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8
  9. ^ The Official Olympic Games Companion: The Complete Guide to the Olympic Winter Games 1998 Edition, London - Washington: Brassey’s Sports, 1998, p. 128, ISBN 1-85753-244-9 
  10. ^ Long Shot, How the Winnipeg Falcons won the first Olympic hockey gold, Eric Zweig, p.105, James Lorimer and Company, Toronto, Canada, 2007, ISBN 1-55028-974-8

References[edit]

  • Square, David (2007), When Falcons Fly: The Story of the World's First Olympic Gold Hockey Team, Vancouver: Poppy Productions, ISBN 978-0-9782818-0-9 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Canada men's Olympic ice hockey team
1920
Succeeded by
Toronto Granites