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McGill Redmen Hockey Quick Facts
School: McGill University, Founded: 1821
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Enrollment: 29,904 (tot), 18,356 (undergrad)
Team Nickname: Redmen (M)
Team Colours: Red & White
First Hockey Game: McGill 2, Victorias 1 J-31-1877
First Intercolleg. Game (USA): McGill 14, Harvard 1, F-23-1894
First Intercolleg Game (CAN): Queen’s 6, McGill 5, F-2-1895
Home Arena / Opened: McConnell Arena (1956)
Ice Surface: 200′ x 85′
Seating Capacity: 1,000
Affiliations: Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
All-time record in CIS league: (Since 1902-03) 622-637-110
Hockey Office: (514) 398-7006
Intercollegiate Office: (514) 398-7003
Communications Office: (514) 398-7012
General Information: (514) 398-7000
About McConnell Arena
McGill University’s McConnell Arena, situated atop University Street, behind Molson Stadium, underwent a $4 million facelift in the year 2000.
“This was a much-needed project that was long overdue,” said Robert Dubeau, director of athletics at McGill. “It was welcomed by the students, participants and spectators alike.”
The McConnell Foundation made a timely commitment to help upgrade the arena and make it a great place for the McGill community to attend and participate in winter sports activities.
The arena was originally opened in 1956, some 79 years after McGill students formed the first organized hockey club in 1877. Its initial construction was made possible through a generous gift from J.W. McConnell, then a senior governor of the university. For many years prior to the opening of McConnell Winter Arena, the McGill Redmen played their home games at the Montreal Forum.
Before playing at the Forum, McGill used a variety of local arenas for its home games, including the old Mt. Royal Arena, which was christened on January 10, 1920 with a McGill hockey game.
Other arenas used by McGill prior to 1920 included the old Victoria Skating Rink (where the first game of organized hockey was played in 1875), the Crystal Palace Skating Rink and the outdoor rink on the University’s lower campus.
With the most recent turn of the century, demands for the use of McConnell Arena have grown with the changing times. The Montreal Canadiens have frequently requested use of the McGill arena as a practice facility. Aside from the ice-time allotted to the McGill Redmen and Martlets hockey teams, more space was needed to accommodate some 70 intramural teams, in addition to numerous recreational and physical education activities.
“I was pleased that the project was scheduled to coincide with the 125th anniversary of our men’s hockey team in the 2000-01 season,”said Martin Raymond, head coach of the Redmen. “It will accelerate our recruiting efforts and definitely benefit our hockey program in search of that elusive championship.”
Peter Smith, head coach of the McGill women’s team, was equally pleased about the arena upgrade. “These renovations provide our student-athletes with a top-notch venue in which to train and compete,” he said.
The renovations were designed to be completed in two stages in order to avoid disruption of the busy winter schedule of intercollegiate contests, intramural activities and instructional courses. In the first phase of the arena project, conceived by Montreal architect Brian Burrows, the front of the building was re-designed and now includes a new entrance, lobby, concession stand, management and ticket offices, a classroom and a 2,200 square-foot alumni lounge, which overlooks the ice surface.
The second phase, completed in the fall semester, included new team dressing rooms for the Redmen and Martlets, increasing the number of locker rooms in the arena to seven. Also, two offices were added for use by McGill’s head coaches, in addition to a coaches changing room, a physical therapy mini-clinic and a weight-training room. The interior of the arena was redecorated, featuring new seating which extends down to the glass at ice level. The team benches and penalty box were re-designed, a new clock and sound system was installed and the ice-making plant was enhanced.
The official re-opening of McConnell Arena was marked by a souvenir square puck — a replica of the one used by the McGill hockey team in 1877 — which was handed out to all fans in attendance.
The most recent improvement, completed in December, 2002, was the addition of photos and banners — from McGill’s historic hockey past — in the lobby and alumni lounge.