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Grand moments

January 5th, 1910
THE FIRST VICTORY
On January 5, 1910, almost exactly a month after the team was founded, the Montreal Canadiens took to the ice for the first time. Captain Jack Laviolette, who also managed and coached the squad, rounded up the seven players needed to get his team’s inaugural National Hockey Association match underway. After convincing good friend, Didier Pitre to suit up for his team rather than the Canadian Hockey Association’s National de Montreal, he added goaltender Jos Cattarinich, rover Newsy Lalonde, center Ed Décarie and wingers Arthur Bernier and George Poulin.

Three thousand packed the Jubilee Arena to watch the Canadiens take on the visiting Cobalt Silver Kings. Wasting no time endearing themselves to the hometown crowd, Bernier and Lalonde each scored a pair but the evening’s hero turned out to be Poulin, who potted the overtime marker that gave the Canadiens a 7-6 victory.

The win was not in the record books for long. Days later, the CHA folded and two of its teams, the Shamrocks and Senators, were added to the NHA. The league wiped their slate clean, restarting the season two weeks later.

The Canadiens had to wait until the fifth game of the new schedule, savouring their first official taste of victory on February 7, when they prevailed over the Haileybury Comets, 9-5.