METCALFE – Local history buffs have come together to tell the tale of real classic hockey played in rural Ottawa more than a century ago.

The Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum (OTHSM) will launch its latest publication, 1907: Metcalfe Wins the Cup! during the first-period intermission of the Metcalfe Jets game at 9 pm on Fri., Dec. 8 at the Larry Robinson Arena. 

In 1907, the Metcalfe hockey team was pictured with the Shaver Trophy, donated by local businessman Morris Shaver, for winning the western division of the Russell County Hockey Association’s league final. The photo, along with local hockey history from more than a century ago, will be published in 1907: Metcalfe Wins the Cup! – a new book to be launched by the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum Fri., Dec. 8. Courtesy photo

Released to coincide with the NHL Classic game in Ottawa, this Canada 150 project is an entertaining and informative look at real classic hockey played in the Ottawa area 110 years ago.

1907: Metcalfe Wins the Cup! is the true story of the scrappy team from Metcalfe village that took home the trophy in the inaugural season of the Russell County Hockey Association in 1907.

Building on artifacts and photographs from the OTHSM collections, the book tells the story of local classic hockey through colourful pictures and short texts aimed to appeal to young readers.

The story looks back to the early days of organized hockey, when teams played with seven players on the ice, and no spares. At the time, all rinks were outdoors, with natural ice, plank boards, and square corners. Players and supporters also got to the game by horse-drawn cutters or by train, and had to announce the news of a big win by mailing a postcard. Win or lose, the home team had to cook up a dinner for the visitors.

“We think this book will spark some great conversations about local history between grandparents, parents, and kids, by starting with some hockey stories from the past century,” said Carolle Dallas-Arbuckle, president of the museum’s board of directors.

Author Jane Cooper is a research associate with the Conference Board of Canada. She learned to skate on a pond north of Metcalfe, and had a 10-year on-ice career with the Winchester and District Ladies Hockey League.

Illustrator Nelson Smith is a product support specialist by day, and freelance designer (graphic and video) by night. He grew up playing Tim-Bits hockey, and is an avid Ottawa Senators fan.

Publication of the book was made possible by contributions from the local community, including Shroomfest, Metcalfe Fare Bar and Grill, the Metcalfe Jets Junior Hockey Team, Metcalfe and District Hockey Association, the office of George Darouze, Campbell’s Metcalfe Variety, and Myra Kelly.

Books will be on sale for $10 at the Metcalfe Fare Bar and Grill, Barry’s Canteen at the Larry Robinson Arena, Campbell’s Metcalfe Variety, and at the museum in Vernon.

Click here to see more about the upcoming book launch.