Team photo courtesy: Galt Museum and Archives

Contact: Trevor Esau at

How to Read the Site:

We have tried to capture the story of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs and provide a site to post stories, documents, links and photos of their incredible journey to the Championship.

To read their great story from the beginning, scroll to the bottom of the site to part 1 and work your way up through the 34 parts (You may have to click on “older posts” at the bottom to get to part 1). Each part is in chronological order and describes a part of the journey and many contain photos (We continue to add new photos to these posts as we get them).

After part 34 we are posting current related activities, stories and photos from the Galt Museum & Archives, Lethbridge Hurricanes, City of Lethbridge and private collections, as they become available. If you have a photo or story contribution for the site we would be happy to post it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Germany: Unbelieveable Ice Hockey Conditions - Part 18

From Stan Obodiac's book, No Substitute for Victory P. 49

In Germany they were part of International Sport Week which featured many sports and athletes from around the world.They met the German people and saw a war torn country trying to rebuild, drove through dangerous blizzards, and played in outdoor rinks in deplorable weather conditions.

It was challenging to compete in the games and innovations had to be made.
To make the puck slide officials pounded tacks into it. At an outdoor rink it snowed heavy for all 3 periods and at one point had to be cleaned every 5 minutes. Jan 20 game in Munich, Germany they had hard driving rain for all periods and the Canadian  goalie warmed up in net with someone holding an  umbrella over   him.
Games were played  with 2 inches of water in some spots, it was near freezing and  players were wet to the skin. They called it, disgraceful conditions. Animal droppings were thrown on the ice after a disputed goal causing problems in one game that ended in a 6-6 tie.

12000 fans packed in the outdoor rink to watch the game in a driving snowstorm.
"…cleaned the ice every 5 minutes. There was so much snow the cleaners couldn't push it. At times we aided them and the 12000 crowd cheered wildly. Everything on us was wet, the flakes made us squint, the snow hid the puck, it was impossible to carry it" p. 59

However, hockey was played and the Canadians were getting stronger, leaving without a loss in Germany and with an overall record now at 9-5-1.Bunny Ahearne met them in Paris and seemed satisfied with their German results.

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