Scoring goals is an essential part of hockey. Throughout the history of the NHL, there have been many great goal scorers, including Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Mario Lemieux. However, one often-overlooked aspect of scoring is the role of the defensemen. Defensemen are responsible for preventing the opposing team from scoring, but they can also be an offensive force, contributing goals and assists. In this article, we will explore the first NHL defenseman to score a goal, a player named Harry Cameron.
Early Life and Career:
Harry Cameron was born on February 6, 1890, in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. He grew up playing hockey in his hometown and eventually made his way to the professional leagues. Cameron began his professional career with the Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association (NHA) in 1910. He quickly established himself as a solid defenseman and was known for his physical play and strong defensive abilities.
Cameron's defensive skills did not go unnoticed, and he was eventually signed by the Toronto St. Patricks of the newly formed NHL in 1917. The NHL had just four teams at the time, and the St. Patricks were one of them. Cameron played for the St. Patricks for three seasons, from 1917 to 1920, and was one of the team's top players. He was known for his strong defense, but he also had a knack for scoring goals.
The First NHL Defenseman to Score a Goal:
On December 22, 1917, Harry Cameron made history when he became the first NHL defenseman to score a goal. The game was between the Toronto Arenas and the Montreal Canadiens, and it was only the second NHL game ever played. The game was played at the Montreal Arena, and there were around 700 fans in attendance.
Cameron's goal came in the second period of the game. The Arenas were on a power play, and Cameron was playing on the point. He received a pass from his teammate, Reg Noble, and fired a shot from the blue line. The shot sailed past the Montreal goaltender, Georges Vezina, and into the net.
The goal was a significant milestone for the NHL, as it was the first goal scored by a defenseman in the new league. It also helped the Arenas win the game, as they went on to beat the Canadiens 5-4.
After scoring the first NHL goal by a defenseman, Cameron continued to be a dominant force on the ice. He played for the St. Patricks for three seasons, during which time he scored a total of 22 goals and 10 assists. He was known for his strong defensive play, but he also contributed to the team's offense.
In 1920, Cameron was traded to the Ottawa Senators, where he played for four seasons. He was part of the Senators team that won the Stanley Cup in 1921, and he played a key role in their championship run. During his time with the Senators, Cameron continued to be a solid defenseman, scoring a total of 24 goals and 11 assists.
In 1924, Cameron was traded to the Boston Bruins, where he played for one season before retiring from professional hockey. Cameron's legacy as the first NHL defenseman to score a goal has been remembered throughout the years. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963, and his name is still recognized by fans of the game today.
Harry Cameron was a talented and skilled defenseman who made history when he scored the first NHL goal by a defenseman.