Charles Graham Drinkwater - Born February 22, 1875 in Montreal, Quebec – Died September 27, 1946 in Montreal, Quebec was a Canadian ice Hockey rover, referee, trustee.
Born and raised in Montreal, Drinkwater was exposed to many new sports in the 1880s. His high school had affiliations with McGill College/University. He took a liking to ice Hockey and rugby-football and joined the Montreal Hockey Club / MHC and Montreal Football Club.
With the MHC, Drinkwater would would witness the birth of the Stanley Cup, as the senior team would be awarded the very 1st Stanley Cup in 1893, and then the 1st Stanley Cup playoff game, which occurred on March 17, 1894, won by MHC. Drinkwater was on their junior teams. The MHC had also won the Senior Championship Trophy of the AHAC 5 straight times, and another 2 times while Drinkwater was with the club.
Drinkwater then attended McGill University in 1894, later graduating with a degree at McGill College Science / BSc in 1897.
McGill is known to play in the 1st ice Hockey game in history that included 9 players aside, a set of rules and more. Game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink on March 3, 1875.
McGill then started the 1st organized Hockey club in 1877, they won the 1st Hockey trophy ever awarded at the 1883 Montreal Winter Carnival, and McGill College/University was involved in every aspect of the early development of ice Hockey, including establishing and modifying the first codified ice Hockey rules a number of times between 1873 and 1886.
McGill had established a relationship with the Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal (Montreal Victorias) as they played in the Victoria Skating Rink, a beautiful indoor arched building. The relationship between McGill and the Montreal Victorias would continue for many years.
McGill was also present when the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada / AHAC was formed in 1886, the 1st organized ice Hockey group anywhere in the world.
Drinkwater starred on the Montreal Victorias team and also the McGill rugby team, which played in the rugby-football union. He became good friends with Percy Molson, a soon to be star all-round athlete at McGill, who was keen to learn rugby-football. Molson also had ice Hockey skills, and joined the Montreal Victorias during his first year at McGill, and helped them win back the Stanley Cup in 1897. Molson focused on his track and field mostly while at McGill. Drinkwater helped McGill win the "Intermediate Championship of Canada in 1894 and 1896 rugby seasons.
Drinkwater did play ice Hockey for McGill while he was there as a student. Mostly with his science class vs other classes. McGill had built a outdoor rink 200 x 100 so the different classes could compete with each other locally. Drinkwater played in a game vs Queen's University on February 2, 1895 in Kingston, Ontario with Queen's winning 6-5. This series is still played today, and is the 4th longest active on-going rivalry in ice Hockey.
Drinkwater and the Montreal Victorias played a Stanley Cup challenge game vs the Winnipeg Victorias at Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal on February 14, 1896, with Winnipeg shutting out Montreal 2-0 becoming the first team outside the AHAC to win the Stanley Cup, and then bring it home West, which is what Winnipeg was considered then.
Drinkwater was a rare player in that he had the ability to play both forward and defence with equal skill. 5'11" so he wasn't the biggest n the rink, but strong and fast from his rugby skills. Excellent skating and smarts made him one of the best early players in the game of ice Hockey.
Drinkwater would win the Stanley Cup in 1895, 1896 (December),1897, 1898 and February 1899 as Captain with the Montreal Victorias. Drinkwater scored the winning goal 2-1 with just seconds to play in the first game of a 2 game total goal series vs Winnipeg Victorias at Montreal Arena on February 15, 1899. Montreal won the second game 3-2 and the series 5-3.
This would be the last time Drinkwater and the Montreal Victorias would drink from the Stanley Cup, as in early March, 1899 the Montreal Shamrocks were declared winners of the new Canadian Amateur Hockey League / CAHL and declared holders of Stanley Cup by it's trustees.
Drinkwater also won the AHAC Trophy (Amateur Hockey Association of Canada) in 1895, 1896, 1897 and 1898........the final year of this trophy.
In March of 1898, the Montreal Victorias went to New York City to play a 2 game exhibition series dubbed by their press, as the amateur international championship. With the attendance of 3000 people at the St. Nicholas Rink, the Victorias defeated the local New York Athletic Club 6-1 on March 4th. Drinkwater had 2 goals in the game. The Victorias defeated the St. Nicholas Skating Club 8–0 on March 5, to win the series.
At the age of 25, in his prime as a athlete, Drinkwater retired from playing ice Hockey. He apparently he continued to referee some local Hockey games in Montreal.
Drinkwater was involved in a major decision in the new CAHL, as he was part of a 3 person committee, along with Harry Trihey and Mr. James that were deciding on the use of nets during league play. All 3 were in favour of using the "Hockey Nets" after they were used in a exhibition game between the Montreal Shamrocks and Montreal Victorias. CAHL adapted the Hockey net for regular league play in 1900 and on.
After retiring from ice Hockey, Drinkwater became a stock-broker and started the firm Oswald & Drinkwater, later adding Graham as another partner. The firm Oswald, Drinkwater & Graham Ltd. would be eventually acquired by Levesque, Beaubien Inc. in 1974.
Montreal businessman and Montreal Amateur Athletic Association / MAAA president Sir H. Montagu Allan commissioned a beautiful trophy for the Amateur Hockey Championship of Canada, as the Stanley Cup was now allowing professionals. When the Allan Cup was ready to be awarded for the 1st time in 1909, he named 3 trustees to administer the trophy: Sir Edward Clouston, President of the Bank of Montreal, Dr. H. B. Yates of McGill University, (donor of the Yates Cup to the Intercollegiate Rugby Union in 1898) and Graham Drinkwater, 4 time Stanley Cup champion.
Graham Drinkwater was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950