Early Hockey in the Last Mountain Area

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Hockey is a major part of the fabric of Canada, so it is no surprise that as soon as towns popped up in the prairies, hockey teams followed soon after. In the Last Mountain area, hockey teams sprang up wherever there was ice to begin with, but as time went on leagues began to form. By the late 1920s, Strasbourg, Semans, Govan, Nokomis, Duval and Bulyea were all competing against each other in a local league. Typically, E.E. Erickson’s truck was used to transport the hockey teams around. The players would sit in the back with a tarp over top of them and foot warmers and blankets to keep them warm. In case the truck went into a snowbank, the players would grab some shovels and begin shoveling out the truck. If the roads were blocked, a sleigh and team of horses was used for transportation. The covered rink that was built in Strasbourg in 1928 was one of the few covered rinks in all of Saskatchewan at the time.

Travel was also done by train, with one train going north in the afternoon and another going south at midnight. A lot of hours were spent waiting at the local pool hall.
The ladies also formed The Western Wonders hockey team in 1929.
In 1948, Semans opened its new rink and several players from the area formed the Last Mountain All Stars. In 1953, the Last Mountain Hockey League was formed with Govan, Semans, Nokomis and Raymore all joining up. An interlocking schedule was organized with the North Central League.
By the mid-1950s, hockey was incredibly popular in the area, with three teams in Pee Wee hockey alone, organized by the Booster Club. A house league was formed in Strasbourg in the early-1960s, with four teams and 40 players of all ages. The Pee Wee team proved to be highly successful, winning the largest Pee Wee tournament in the world in Weyburn in 1970. In 1972, the Strasbourg Bantams won the Provincial C championship, and the Bantam one in 1973.
One local hockey product who went on to play in the NHL was Greg Hubick, who was selected in 1971 by the Montreal Canadiens. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1975, where he played one full season. He played for the Vancouver Canucks in 1979 and in 1980. In his time with Toronto and Vancouver, he played 77 games and had 15 points.
For nearly 100 years, players have been putting on skates, hitting the ice and enjoying the greatest of Canadian pasttimes….hockey

Information for this article came from Hockey Heritage: 88 years of puck chasing in Saskatchewan and Between Long Lake and Last Mountain
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