Herder Memorial Trophy

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The Herder Memorial Trophy, or Herder, is the championship trophy of senior ice hockey in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is the most prestigious hockey championship solely dedicated to Newfoundland, and as a result, has a significant following within the province. In recent years, Herder games were usually held at Mile One Centre (and before it was built, at Memorial Stadium) in St. John's and frequently sold out the 6,000 seat building. Games were also held in the Pepsi Centre in the city of Corner Brook, on the west coast of the island, when teams from that area were playing for the cup. In 2013 things changed, and the two teams playing for the 'Herder' got the right to play the games in their home stadiums.

In 1935, the trophy was donated by Ralph Herder, who was president of The Evening Telegram newspaper, in honour of his five hockey playing brothers. The trophy was to be awarded to Newfoundland's best ice hockey team.[1] Having been published by a member of the Herder family since the founding of the paper in 1879 until the retirement of Stephen in 1993, has meant that the Telegram has played an integral role in the promotion and sponsorship of the Herder, which continues to this day.

Originally donated by Ralph Herder in memory of his five brothers, it now honors the memory of eight Herders. The “original five” Herders were Arthur, William, Douglas, Augustus and Hubert and they were later joined by brothers Ralph and James. In 2009, Ralph's son Stephen was added in memoriam. The seven brothers were fine hockey players and often played together, with four of them sometimes playing together on championship teams. In fact, James Herder coached the 1935 Guards team that lost the initial Herder championship to Corner Brook in a two-game, total-goal series at the Prince’s Rink in St. John’s.

1. It was Ralph who first put the award in place.

2. Captain Arthur, a lawyer, died of First World War wounds in 1917.

3. Hubert was a lieutenant when he was killed at Beaumont Hamel July 1, 1916.

4. William was a vice-president of the Evening Telegram when he died in 1934. (see William James Herder (1849–1922), publisher, born Old Perlican, Newfoundland, Canada, founder of Newfoundland's first daily newspaper, The Evening Telegram).

5. Douglas died from illness in 1908.

6. Augustus was a vice-president of the Evening Telegram when he died in 1934.

7. Ralph, also a lieutenant, was seriously wounded July 1, 1916. He survived the war. He became Publisher on the deaths of his brothers in 1934, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Herder Memorial Trophy in memory of his five brothers who predeceased him. Ralph was the father of Rendell [Rex] and Stephen and he died in 1955.

8. James was the youngest of the seven brothers. He was vice President and General Manager of The Evening Telegram when his brother Ralph died in 1955. Jim, as he was known, took over as Publisher and piloted The Evening Telegram Ltd through a period of tremendous growth and prosperity during the late 1950s and through the 1960s. He died in 1970.

9. Stephen succeeded his uncle Jim and was the longtime publisher of The Telegram. An environmentalist long before his time he was known for saving Rennies River, and a bridge over that river is dedicated to his efforts. Steve was a proud proponent of the Herder memorial Trophy. He and died in 1993, at the age of 65.

The original base of the Trophy consisted of two tiers but as they were filled out with shields bearing the names and years of championship teams, two larger tiers were added to bring the award to its present size and shape.

St. Bon’s star Edward “Key” Kennedy was the model for the hockey player that stands atop the Trophy. Donor Ralph Herder took a photo of Kennedy, in playing pose, to New York where he had a model made and then had the figure cast in silver.

Hockey had been played on ponds and natural ice rinks in St. John’s, Newfoundland's capital, since the late 19th century. Not only was it good physical exercise but it provided a measure of relief from the tedium of long, cold winters. By 1924, the sport had been an organized one for roughly 30 years in St. John's, but in the Bay of Islands area of the west coast, hockey was still a novelty. If there were games, they were played on the frozen bay and were more recreation than competition.[2]

In 1925, a senior league had been organized in Corner Brook, a community in the Bay of Islands on Newfoundland's west coast, under the direction of the Corner Brook Athletic Association (later to branch out into the Corner Brook Hockey Association) and hundreds turned up on a regular basis to cheer for their favorite players.

The St. John's Guards had earned the right to compete for the inaugural Herder Memorial Trophy in 1935 by first defeating St. Bon's in a 2-game series to become St. John's city champions, and later toppling the Bay Roberts Rovers in a 2-game, total goal series to become the Avalon Peninsula champions. The championship match-up was then set - the Guards of St. John's would play host to the Corner Brook All-Star Team. Fans in St. John's eagerly awaited the arrival of the Corner Brook Royals; tickets to the 2 games were sold out quickly. The Royals edged the Guards 1-0 in Game 1, and were victorious in Game 2 by a 4-2 margin to become the island's top team, and Herder Trophy Champions.

Today, fan interest and competition is as keen as it was in the glory days of senior hockey. The Herder Memorial Trophy will liver forever in the minds and hearts of the people of Newfoundland.

The 1985-86 Herder Trophy champion Corner Brook Royals didn't stop at the provincial title alone. After the Herder finals, they went on to win the Allan Cup, the national 'AAA' championship trophy of Canadian senior hockey. The Royals defeated the Stephenville Jets in 6 games to win the Herder in their quest for the Allan Cup, and then became Eastern Canadian champions by defeating the Flamboro Motts Clamatos in a tough, 7-game series to hoist the G.P. Bolton Cup. In the final, the Royals downed the Nelson (B.C) Maple Leafs in 4 straight games to win the Province's first Allan Cup. The following year, the St. John's Capitals won the Herder, but were ousted in the Allan Cup semi-final in 6 games by the Brantford (Ont.) Motts Clamatos, led by the stellar goal tending of former NHL star Don Edwards. In 2010-11, the Clarenville Caribous became the second Newfoundland team to win the Allan Cup, defeating the Bentley Generals (Alberta) in the finals held in Kenora, BC.

After broadcasting the Cup-winning games on Rogers Television (and province-wide using the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly Channel) in 2007 and 2008, games 3 to 5 of the 2009 finals were streamed online at thesportspage.ca.

Past champions[edit]

Year Winning team Series result Runner-up
2015 Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 4-0 Corner Brook Royals
2014 Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 4-2 Clarenville Caribous
2013 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 4-0 Clarenville Caribous
2012 Clarenville Caribous 4-1 Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts
2011 Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 4-0 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars
2010 Clarenville Caribous 4-1 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars
2009 Clarenville Caribous 4-1 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars
2008 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 4-2 Deer Lake Red Wings
2007 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 4-2 Deer Lake Red Wings
2006 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars 4-2 Deer Lake Red Wings
2005 Deer Lake Red Wings 4-3 Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars
2004 Southern Shore Breakers 4-2 Corner Brook Royals
2003 Flatrock Flyers 4-0 Corner Brook Royals
2002 Corner Brook Royals 4-0 Flatrock Flyers
2001 Deer Lake Red Wings 4-2 Flatrock Flyers
2000 Southern Shore Breakers Torbay West Side Charlies
1999 Southern Shore Breakers Badger Bombers
1998 Flatrock Flyers Southern Shore Breakers
1997 Flatrock Flyers Badger Bombers
1996 Southern Shore Breakers Flatrock Flyers
1995 Southern Shore Breakers Flatrock Flyers
1994 La Scie Jets Southern Shore Breakers
1993 Flatrock Flyers Gander Flyers
1992 Badger Bombers Flatrock Flyers
1991 No champion
1990 St. John's Capitals Corner Brook Royals
1989 Port aux Basques Mariners St. John's Capitals
1988 Corner Brook Royals St. John's Capitals
1987 St. John's Capitals Stephenville Jets
1986 Corner Brook Royals Stephenville Jets
1985 Corner Brook Royals Stephenville Jets
1984 Stephenville Jets Corner Brook Royals
1983 Stephenville Jets Grand Falls Cataracts
1982 Grand Falls Cataracts Gander Flyers
1981 Grand Falls Cataracts Corner Brook Royals
1980 Gander Flyers St. John's Blue Caps
1979 St. John's Mike's Shamrocks Gander Flyers
1978 St. John's Blue Caps Gander Flyers
1977 Corner Brook Royals St. John's Blue Caps
1976 St. John's Capitals Grand Falls Cataracts
1975 St. John's Capitals Corner Brook Royals
1974 St. John's Capitals Grand Falls Cataracts
1973 St. John's Capitals Grand Falls Cataracts
1972 Grand Falls Cataracts St. John's Capitals
1971 Grand Falls Cataracts St. John's Capitals
1970 St. John's Capitals Gander Flyers
1969 Gander Flyers Buchans Miners
1968 Corner Brook Royals Buchans Miners
1967 Conception Bay Cee Bees Gander Flyers
1966 Corner Brook Royals Conception Bay Cee Bees
1965 Conception Bay Cee Bees Corner Brook Royals
1964 Corner Brook Royals Buchans Miners
1963 Buchans Miners Corner Brook Royals
1962 Corner Brook Royals Conception Bay Cee Bees
1961 Conception Bay Cee Bees Gander Flyers
1960 Conception Bay Cee Bees Grand Falls Andcos
1959 Grand Falls Andcos Conception Bay Cee Bees
1958 Grand Falls Andcos Corner Brook Royals
1957 Grand Falls Andcos Bell Island Islanders
1956 Grand Falls Andcos Buchans Miners
1955 Grand Falls Andcos Buchans Miners
1954 Buchans Miners Grand Falls All-Stars
1953 Grand Falls All-Stars Buchans Miners
1952 Buchans Miners St. Bon's Bluegolds
1951 Buchans Miners St. Bon's Bluegolds
1950 Buchans Miners St. Bon's Bluegolds
1949 St. Bon's Bluegolds Corner Brook Royals
1948 St. Bon's Bluegolds Buchans Miners
1947 St. Bon's Bluegolds Grand Falls All-Stars
1946 St. Bon's Bluegolds Grand Falls All-Stars
1945 St. Bon's Bluegolds Bell Island Islanders
1944 Bell Island Islanders Corner Brook Royals
1943 Not held due to WWII
1942 Not held due to WWII
1941 Bell Island Islanders Corner Brook Royals
1940 St. Bon's Bluegolds Buchans Miners
1939 St. Bon's Bluegolds Bell Islands Islanders
1938 St. Bon's Bluegolds Grand Falls Papertowners
1937 St. Bon's Bluegolds Buchans Miners
1936 St. Bon's Bluegolds Corner Brook Royals
1935 Corner Brook Royals St. John's Guards

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Abbott, Bill: Herder Memorial Trophy. A History of Sr. Hockey In Newfoundland and Labrador, page 9. Breakwater, 2000.
  2. ^ White, Neil (2001) History of Hockey, The Western Star, Corner Brook, NL.

External links[edit]

  • Herder History
  • See also: Abbott, Bill. Herder Memorial Trophy: A History of Senior Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's: Breakwater Books, 2000), ISBN 1-55081-156-8