Contemporary accounts of the games -

Abstracted from:
Citius, Altius, Fortius (became Journal of Olympic History in 1997) Volume 4, Number 2, May 1996
and thanks to Birger Nordmark in Stockholm.

To see the full article "The Birth of Swedish Ice Hockey - Antwerp 1920" by Kenth Hansen go to Article and use the PDF file.


The ice hockey rules of that time differed on several accounts from those of today. The offside rule had the greatest impact on the character of the play - you were not allowed to pass to a player in front of you, but could only pass sideways or to players behind you. The entire passing game was accordingly made more difficult and the rule invited solo rushes and dribble attacks.

An important rule that primarily affected the goalkeepers, was that you were only allowed to play the puck while standing on your skates. The goalkeepers' technique was thus to remain standing and to whisk away the puck with the stick instead of blocking it while lying down or kneeling.

The teams consisted of seven players with no substitutes. The extra player, compared with today, was a rover. If a player was injured and could not continue to play, the opponents had to take one player off the game as well, in order to compensate for the loss, so that the teams could continue to play with equal number of players. The playing time consisted of two halves, each of them 20 actual minutes long. There could be no ties, instead you had to play extra times of 2 x 5 minutes until one team had won.

The Falcons:

In Canada it was decided that the Allan Cup winner of the year would represent the country at the Olympic Games. Winnipeg Falcons and the University of Toronto played in the finals, and the Falcons won by 8-3 and 3-2. The final game was played on 29 March in Toronto, and the SS Melita, the boat for Europe, was to leave Saint John on the east coast of Canada five days later. There was no time to return to Winnipeg, almost 3,000 kilometers west of Toronto. Thus the players received 25 dollars each to buy clothes, and then they were on their way to Europe.

In Winnipeg they had followed their team's struggle in the Allan Cup through the newspapers and by news bulletins from loud speakers. A big reception was planned, but this now had to be postponed. With the telephone communications of those days, the players could not even call home and let their families know that they were on their way to Europe, but they had to read about it in the newspapers.

Except for Alan "Huck" Woodman, the team consisted of players of Icelandic origin. There was a large number of inhabitants of Icelandic origin in Winnipeg and in the Province of Manitoba. In the media the team was therefore often called the Icelanders. Top players of the team were, above all, the captain Frank Frederickson and the speedy skater Mike Goodman. The latter had only one month earlier won the North American speed skating championship.
The team consisted of the following people:
W.A. "Bill" Hewitt
Herbert "Hebbie" Axford
Gudmundur Sigurjonsson (Trainer)
W. Fridfinnson

Goalkeeper: Walter "Wally" Byron
Konrad "Konnie" Johannesson
Robert "Bobby" Benson
Allan "Huck" Woodman
Frank Frederickson (C)
Magnus "Mike" Goodman
Haldor "Slim" Halderson
Chris Fridfinnson

The team arrived in Antwerp on 14 April, warmly greeted by the British troops stationed in Belgium, but also by the Belgians themselves, who remembered what the Americans and Canadians had done during the first World War. Six members of the Canadian team had served in Europe during the war.

Reports of the games:

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