- Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
Guelph CMC'sBiltmore Mad Hatters of the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League"Hockey team | CAN_eng = 1|
team = Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
league = Ontario Hockey Association
operated = 1940-42 & 1947-1960
Guelph Memorial Gardens
New York Rangers
name1 = Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
dates1 = 1947-60
name2 = Guelph Royals
dates2 = 1960-63
Kitchener Rangers| dates3 = 1963-Present
altdates1 = 1936-40
altname2 = Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
altdates2 = 1940-42
|The Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters were a
junior ice hockeyteam in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1940 to 1942, and 1947 to 1960. The team was often known as the "Biltmores" and sponsored by the Guelph Biltmore Hat Company, and played home games at the Guelph Memorial Gardens.
The Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters were a brief note in junior hockey history, but left an impression on the game during 13 years of operation. The team that was sponsored by a local manufacturer in the Royal City would capture a national championship, several provincial titles, and send four men onto the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The team was founded as the
Guelph Indiansfor the 1936-37 season. After four seasons, the Guelph Biltmore Hat Company became the team's sponsors. After two more seasons of play, the team was put on hiatus for World War II. The team was resurrected in 1947 as a farm team for the New York Rangersof the NHL and coached by former Rangers forward Alf Pikeuntil the end of 1954. Eddie Bush, a former NHL defencman would take over the coaching duties from 1954 onwards.
The Biltmore Hat Company rewarded any player scoring three of more goals in one game the choice of hats at their factory, bringing new meaning to the term "hat trick." Some sources credit this as the origin of the term. [http://www.funtrivia.com/ask.cfm?action=details&qnid=46526]
After running into financial trouble in 1960, new ownership renamed the team the Guelph Royals, after the city's nickname. Three years later the team moved becoming the Kitchener Rangers, taking the name of the parent club from the NHL.
The Mad Hatters won the
Memorial Cupin 1952 as national junior ice hockey champions of Canada, and the George Richardson Memorial Trophyas eastern Canadian champions the same year. Guelph won the J. Ross Robertson Cupthree times as OHA champions. J. Ross Robertson Cup
*1942 Lost to
St. Catharines Teepees
*1957 Defeated St. Catharines Teepees
Regina Pats George Richardson Memorial Trophy
*1950 Lost to
Montreal Junior Canadians
*1952 Defeated Montreal Junior Canadians
*1957 Lost to
Ottawa Junior Canadians
Memorial Cup of 1952
The Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters played in the best-of-seven series for the Memorial Cup of 1952 versus the
Regina Pats, the Abbott Cup champions of Western Canada hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan.
Guelph that year broke the OHA record for single season scoring with 341 goals in a 54 game schedule, which was 34 goals more than the previous mark. Ken Laufman set on OHA record at the time with 139 points. Guelph defeated the
Montreal Junior Canadiensin a six game series for the Eastern Canadian final.
The Mad Hatters won the first game on home ice at the Guelph Memorial Gardens by a score of 8 to 2. The rest of the series would be played at
Maple Leaf Gardensin Toronto. Guelph won the next two games 4 to 2 and 8 to 2. The Biltmores completed the series sweep in game four posting a 10 to 2 triumph to win the Memorial Cup.
Four alumni of the Mad Hatters would be inducted into the
Hockey Hall of Fame. They are Andy Bathgate, Rod Gilbert, Harry Howell and Jean Ratelle. Players who also had impressive NHL careers are Dean Prenticeand Ron Murphywith the New York Rangers.
Red Tilson Trophy
"Most Outstanding Player in the OHA"
*"1955-1956" - Ron Howell
Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy
"Scoring Champion of the OHA"
*"1951-1952" - Ken Laufman, 139 points
*"1956-1957" - Bill Sweeney, 106 points
William "Chick" Chalmers
Bill McCreary Sr.
Mike McMahon, Jr.
Leo Reise Jr.
"Played as Guelph Indians, 1936-40."
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