the history of lacrosse in alberta

Alberta has a rich history of lacrosse without many people even knowing it. In fact as part of the September 1st, 1905 Inauguration Celebrations as Alberta joined Canada, lacrosse (among other sports) was played to entertain the masses in Edmonton. One of our finest moments saw the Calgary Chinooks winning the Mann Cup for being the Senior Lacrosse Champions of Canada way back in 1914. In truth, teams from Alberta have challenged for all 4 major trophies in Canadian box lacrosse and over the last 30 years Albertan teams have brought home five national championships.

     Lacrosse was in Alberta even before the turn of the 20th century. In 1882 lacrosse equipment was available in Edmonton, and several pickup games were played there during the summer. The following March, the Edmonton Lacrosse Club was organized but, because of a lack of competition, it disbanded in 1885. The Calgary Lacrosse Club was organized in 1884 with Captain Boynton serving as the club’s first president. The club’s membership swelled to thirty, with games among the club members being held periodically on weekends and, on several occasions, competitions took place between the citizens and the police.

     After lagging interest, the Calgary Lacrosse Club was re-organized in 1887. Mr. Boag, a teacher who was to be elected as the club’s president, organized a lacrosse meeting at the school house. A practice ground was secured on the prairie south of the railway tracks. Mr. Boag introduced the game to some of the older students in the school. The Calgary Lacrosse Club operated in a local manner for several years.

     Once the interest in the field game subsided and the interest of the box game grew. Teams sprung up from all over the province to battle for the provincial title until interest disappeared. Following the Second World War there is little recorded history dealing with lacrosse in Alberta. The teams likely didn’t vanish just compared to world events didn’t draw much attention at the time.

Referenced from the Outsider’s Guide to the NLL

the history of the rmll


League play in this province has developed in many forms over the years and details are spotty at best. The Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League in it’s current form is a growing league with a bright future in the Sr. B ranks. As for it’s own origins I’ve been able to roughly set the RMLL in it’s current form to being a 1998 introduction to Alberta lacrosse.

Sr. B Champions 
2002 – Edmonton Outlaws defeated the Calgary Mountaineers 3 games to none 
2001 – Edmonton Outlaws 
2000 – Calgary Mountaineers 
1999 – Edmonton Outlaws

Jr. B Champions 
2002 – Edmonton Miners defeated the Edmonton Warriors 3 games to 0 
2001 – Edmonton Miners defeated the Calgary Jr. Mountaineers 4 games to 3 
2000 – Calgary Jr. Mountaineers defeated the Edmonton Miners 2 games to 1 
1999 – Edmonton Miners 
1998 – Edmonton Miners 
1997 – Edmonton Miners 
1996 – Edmonton Miners 
1995 – Edmonton Miners

Tier II Champions 
2002 – Sherwood Park Titans 
2001 – Edmonton Warriors 
2000 – Edmonton Warriors

Year by Year Standings

Senior Teams

Team                          GP     W     L     T     Pts     GF     GA    Stk.
Edmonton Outlaws       20      17     1      2     36     249     113    1L
Calgary Mountaineers   20      14     3      3     31     209     146   3W
Red Deer Rage             20       9    10     1     19     184     180    5W
Calgary Knights            20       2    17     1      5      126     245    5L

Team                          GP    W     L     T      Pts     GF     GA   
Edmonton Outlaws        17     15     0     2      32      219    107
Calgary Mountaineers    16     11     3     2      24      138    103
*Edmonton Jr. Miners    17       8     7     2      18      151    132
Red Deer Rage             17       7     9     1      15      158    174
*Cgy Jr. Mountaineers   16       4    11    1       9       112    171
Calgary Knights            17       0    15    2       2        72     164

Edmonton Outlaws
Calgary Knights
Calgary Mountaineers
*Edmonton Jr. Miners
*Cgy Jr. Mountaineers

Edmonton Outlaws
Calgary Mountaineers
*Edmonton Jr. Miners
*Cgy Jr. Mountaineers

* Junior teams were listed in standings with the Senior teams.

Junior Teams

Team                        GP     W      L      T      Pts     GF     GA     Stk.
Edmonton Miners        20     14      6       0      28      205    164      1L
Edmonton Warriors     20      8      11      1      17      160     185     2W
Calgary Shamrocks     20      8      12      0      16      177     210     3L 
Calgary Warthogs       20      3      15       2      8       172     247     1W

Junior Tier II

North Division:     GP      W      L      T      Pts     GF     GA
Titans                   17       15      1       1      31      190     89
Rams                   17       12      3       2      26      177    105
Renegades           17         9      5       3      21      190    169
Warriors               17         6      9       2      14      165    159
Blues                   17         1     15      1       3       101    208
South Division:    GP      W      L       T     Pts      GF     GA
Mustangs             17        11      4       2      24      161    128
Bandits                17         9       8       0      18      138    134
Chill                     17         7       6       3      17      135    115
Rustlers               17         5      10      2      12       116    178
Rockies               17         1      14      2        4       139    215

Team                  GP      W      
 L       T      Pts      GF     GA
Warriors               15        9        5       1      19       151    126
Titans                   15       8         4      3       19       113    105
Rockies                15       8         7      0       16       147    129
Bandits                 15       6         8      1       13       135    136
Rustlers                15       5         7      3       13       120    163
Rams                    15       4        9       2       10       129    140

Referenced from the Outsider’s Guide to the NLL

previous lacrosse leagues in alberta


In 1979 a junior league in Alberta featured the Enoch Tomahawks, Calgary Clansmen and Calgary Mountaineers.

In 1974 there was a junior league in southern Alberta comprised of the Calgary Irish, Calgary Royals, Calgary Shamrocks, Lethbridge Native, Nanton Blazers and Taber Ebony Hawks.

Referenced from the Outsider’s Guide to the NLL

amateur lacrosse in alberta


Challenging for the Founder’s Cup         Competition for National Championship in the Junior “B” classification was initiated by the Canadian Lacrosse Association in September, 1964. A silver cup donated by Castrol Oils limited served as the winner’s trophy (1964 – 1971) but was retired to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, New Westminster, B.C. in 1972.

        In 1972, the C.L.A. inaugurated the Founder’s Trophy (1972 – Present) as emblematic of the Junior “B” Championship of Canada. this beautiful handcrafted unique trophy commemorates the founders of organized Lacrosse, particularly the contributions of “The Father of Organized Lacrosse”, Dr. George W. Beers of Montreal, Quebec who wrote the first rulebook and in 1867 was instrumental in organizing the National Lacrosse Association, predecessor to the Canadian Lacrosse Association. A full listing of Founder’s Cup winners can be found on the 2002 Founder’s Cup page.

        Alberta has been home to two Founder’s Cup champions with the most recent in 1999 and last hosted the Founder’s Cup tournament in 2001.

Year     Alberta Champions Result 
2002    Edmonton Miners Finished third at Founder’s Cup 
2001    Edmonton Miners Finished second at Founder’s Cup 
2000    Calgary Jr. Mountaineers Finished fourth at Founder’s Cup 
1999    Edmonton Miners WON FOUNDER’S CUP 
1998    Edmonton Miners 
1997    Edmonton Miners 
1996    Edmonton Miners Finished third at Founder’s Cup 
1995    Edmonton Miners Finished second at Founder’s Cup 
1983    Enoch Tomahawks Finished second at Founder’s Cup 
1982    Calgary 
1981    Calgary 
1980    Enoch Tomahawks WON FOUNDER’S CUP

        The 1981 Calgary team that went to the Founder’s Cup also represented Alberta at the Canada Games. They returned with a 4th place finish.

Challenging for the President’s Cup

The President’s Cup is emblematic of Canadian Champions at the Senior “B” level.

        The President’s Cup is in honour of the Canadian Lacrosse Association President and recognizes the contributions of all Past Presidents of the C.L.A. This beautiful silver trophy was donated to the Canadian Lacrosse Association in September 1964 by Mr. K.G. Thompson.

        The original Presidents Cup was retired to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in New 
Westminster, B.C. in the early 1980’s. The current trophy commemorates the history of leadership of the C.L.A. and lists the Presidents of the Association and the Chair of the Board of Directors under the new structure of the C.L.A. A full listing of President’s Cup winners can be found on the 2002 President’s Cup page.

        Alberta is home to the defending President’s Cup Champions! We’ve been home to three championship squads since the inception of the Cup. 2002 was the first year the Cup tournament was hosted in Alberta.

Year       Alberta Champions Result 
2002     Edmonton Outlaws 4-1 record – WON PRESIDENT’SCUP 
2001     Edmonton Outlaws 1-3 record – finished 5th out of 6 
2000     Did not send team. 
1999     Edmonton Outlaws 
1995     Edmonton Miners finished third 
1994     Edmonton Miners 
1993     Edmonton Miners finished second 
1992     Edmonton Miners finished third 
1991     Edmonton Miners finished second 
1990     Edmonton Miners finished second 
1989     Edmonton Miners finished third 
1983     Calgary Mountaineers WON PRESIDENT’S CUP 
1978     Sherwood Park Capitals finished second 
1976     Edmonton Fullers finished second 
1975     Edmonton Fullers WON PRESIDENT’S CUP

Challenging for the Alcan Cup

        The Alcan is an interesting trophy. It has been set up to be an invitational tournament hosted by the Okanagan Xtreme Lacrosse League. Normally it is attended by teams not going to the President’s Cup. Alberta last won the Alcan Cup in 2000 when the Calgary Mountaineers brought home the hardware.

Alberta Representive Result
2000 – Calgary Mountaineers WON ALCAN CUP

Challenging for the Minto Cup

        “The Minto Cup is a beautiful silver cup donated by Lord Minto on May 31, 1901, for competition among the Lacrosse teams in the Dominion. Lord Minto was Governor General of Canada at the time. The amateur status of the competition continued until 1904. 
        The cup was placed under control of trustees and in possession of C.A. Welsh, of Nw Westminster, B.C., the last surviving trustee. When he died, the present Lord Minto of England, whose father donated the cup, was informed of the circumstances. He officially transferred the Minto cup to the care and management of the Canadian Lacrosse Association, who placed it into competition for the Junior Championship of Canada. 
         The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) were present at the first game played for the Minto Cup between the Capitals of Ottawa and Cornwall in 1901. It continued as a Senior Championship until 1934.

        When the Minto Cup was originally place into Junior competition in 1937, All-Star teams were built around Provincial Championship teams. This practice was soon discontinued and in 1960 the trophy became emblematic of the Canadian Junior “A” Championship.” 
– quoted from the Canadian Lacrosse Association.

        In 1979 Alberta sent a team that has been referred to in different publications by three names. The Alberta All-Stars, Alberta Tomahawks or Edmonton Tomahawks were composed of primarily Edmonton based players with a few Calgary Mountaineers and Calgary Clansmen added to the team for depth. Instead of the familiar best of seven series format that we are accustomed to today the Minto Cup was made into a round robin tournament followed by a single game final. The bulk of this team went on to form the Enoch Tomahawks that won the Founder’s Cup the following season. Our Alberta boys managed to beat Burnaby Cablevision, the eventual champions, once but dropped their other 3 matches. The full tournament results are as follows:

Peterborough defeated Alberta 8-5 
Peterborough defeated Burnaby 11-7 
Burnaby defeated Alberta 18-7 
Peterborough defeated Alberta 11-5 
Burnaby defeated Peterborough 10-4 
Alberta defeated Burnaby 14-10

Burnaby 8, Peterborough 6

Challenging for the Mann Cup

        In previous years there was more to the Mann Cup championships than the current East-West set up. Before the current system came into play, the host team, from British Columbia or Ontario, went straight to the Mann Cup while the opposition teams went through the Dominion Playoffs. The leagues of Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and one of BC or Ontario would send their champions to the Dominion Playoffs for the chance to reach the Mann Cup. The last recorded Alberta based squad to reach the Dominion Playoffs was the Medicine Hat Badmen in 1939 when they faced off against the St. Catherine’s Athletics and lost 32-8.

        The Mann Cup was presented by the late Sir Donald Mann, builder of the Canadian Northern Railway, for the Senior Amateur Championship of Canada and was originally a challenge cup. It is a gold cup valued at $25,000 and is one of the most valuable trophies in sport.

        In September, 1925, when the Canadian Lacrosse Association was organized and uniform rules adopted for all competing teams, the Mann Cup was turned over to the C.L.A. by the New Westminster Club who held the trophy at that time. It was then placed into annual competition, with the series alternating from east to west.

        Alberta’s lone Mann Cup win came on the heels of a protest surrounding a Vancouver player and the questioning of if he was given funds to play that series with the Vancouver club. Full details can be found here in a Vancouver Daily Province article from Sept. 30th, 1914.

Year     Alberta Champions Result 
1939    Medicine Hat Badmen lost in Dominion Playoffs – 32-8 to St. Catherine’s 
1938    Medicine Hat Badmen lost Western Final – 25-8 to New West. Adanacs 
1937    Calgary Rangers lost in Dominion Playoffs – 28-8 to Orillia 
1936    Calgary Pontiacs lost in Dominion Playoffs – 19-5 to North Shore 
1934    Calgary Shamrocks lost Western Semi-Final by default to Winnipeg 
1933    Calgary Shamrocks lost in Dominion Playoffs – 15-4 to Hamilton 
1932    Calgary Shamrocks lost Western Semi-Final – two game total goal series 32-11 to North Vancouver (17-6; 15-5) 
1931    Calgary All-Stars lost in Dominion Playoffs – 8-5 to Brampton 
1930    Edmonton Native Sons lost in Dominion Playoffs – 17-0 to New West. 
1929    Edmonton Native Sons lost in Dominion Playoffs – 14-1 to Oshawa 
1928    Edmonton Native Sons lost in Dominion Playoffs – 13-1 to Winnipeg 
1927    Edmonton Native Sons lost in Dominion Playoffs – 13-3 to Toronto 
1919    Edmonton Eskimos made Mann Cup round robin – defeated Lawson 13-3 lost two game series to Victoria 28-5 (19-4; 9-1) 
1914    Calgary Chinooks AWARDED MANN CUP  – A disputed Mann Cup Playoffs regarding a Vancouver player the Mann Cup Trustees awarded the Cup to Calgary

Two Inter-League Exhibitions were played of note almost a hundred years ago. 
1908 – New Westminster Salmonbellies defeated Calgary 6-2 
1906 – Vancouver Maple Leafs defeated Calgary Strathcona 15-4

Information sources – 
Canadian Lacrosse Almanac by David Stewart-Candy, 2002 Vancouver 
(available through the New Westminster Salmonbellies or email David Stewart-Candy 
Canadian Lacrosse Association website)

Referenced from the Outsider’s Guide to the NLL

professional lacrosse in albrerta


Calgary Roughnecks

The first truly professional lacrosse team in Alberta is the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League. They entered the NLL during the 2001-2002 season as an expansion franchise. At the halfway mark of their initial season they had managed a 4-4 record with a couple of tight games but ultimately fell off the pace in the second half and hit a streak with 9 losses in a row to finish at 4-12. Two of those losses came in overtime while another saw the game winning goal scored with a mere 19 seconds remaining. In 2004, the Roughnecks won the League Championship and Champion’s Cup. The Calgary Roughnecks have made playoffs every season since 2004.

Final record of 4-12 in their first season of play. 
Finished last in the Northern Division out of the playoffs.

First Roughneck: Jason Wulder 
First Roughneck Goal: John Kilbride, Nov. 24 2001 vs. Montreal 
First Power Play Goal: John Kilbride, Nov. 24 2001 vs. Montreal 
First Short Handed Goal: Kaleb Toth, Nov. 29 2001 @ Montreal 
First Home Goal: John Kilbride, Nov. 24 2001 vs. Montreal 
First Road Goal: Jason Wulder, Nov. 29 2001 @ Montreal 
First Starting Goalie: Derek Collins, Nov. 24 2001 vs. Montreal 
First Goaltender Win: Matt King, Dec. 2 2001 @ Ottawa

First Team Win: 17-11 @ Ottawa, Dec. 2nd 2001 
First Home Win: 20-13 vs. Columbus, Dec. 14th 2001 
First Road Win:17-11 @ Ottawa, Dec. 2nd 2001 
First OT Win: 14-13 @ New Jersey, Dec. 28th 2001

Team                Year      W     L     GF     GA  
Roughnecks      2001      4     12     224     264   
Roughnecks      2002      6      3     116     111  
Roughnecks      2005     10     6      216     208 
Roughnecks      2006       9     7     183     178
Roughnecks      2007       9     7       –          –
Roughnecks      2008       7     9     183     178
Roughnecks      2009     12     4     206     167

Edmonton Rush

The Edmonton Rush’s first season in the National Lacrosse League was in 2006. The Rush became Alberta’s second professional lacrosse team.

Final Record of 1-15 in their first season of play
Finished last in the Western Division out of playoffs

First Rush Goal: Jamey Bowen, Jan. 6, 2006 vs San Jose
First Power Play Goal: Tyler Heavenor, Jan. 6, 2006 vs San Jose
First Short-handed Goal: Chris Stachniak, Jan. 21, 2006 vs Calgary
First Home Goal: Jamey Bowen, Jan. 6, 2006 vs San Jose
First Road Goal: Jordan Cornfield, Jan 13, 2006 @ Calgary
First Starting Goalie: Pat Campbell, Jan. 6, 2006 vs San Jose
First Goaltender Win: Pat Campbell, Feb. 17, 2006 @ Calgary

First Team Win: 12-11 @ Calgary, Feb. 17, 2006
First Home Win: 13-12 vs Philadelphia, Jan. 6, 2007
First Road Win: 12-11 @ Calgary, Feb. 17, 2006
First OT Win: 9-8 vs Portland, Feb. 23, 2007

Team       Year    W     L     GF     GA  
Rush        2006     1     15    150    202
Rush        2007     6     10      –        –
Rush        2008     4     12     141   197
Rush        2009     5     11    159    200

Information from
Referenced from the Outsider’s Guide to the NLL