Seattle’s Championship Teams

            Hockey has been played almost continuously in Seattle since 1915, and over the course of those 90 years the city’s teams have won eight league championships.  Here’s a brief look at Seattle’s best teams:

            1916-17 Metropolitans:  The Mets had a talented team that included three future Hall of Famers.  The PCHA championship came down to the last game of the season, with the Mets beating Portland 4-3 on the road to take the league title (there were no playoffs).  By virtue of winning the PCHA crown the club earned the right to host the Montreal Canadiens of the NHA for the Stanley Cup.  Montreal made the long trek out west and despite the tired legs won the series opener.  After that it was all Seattle, as the Mets won the final three games and took the series to become the first U.S. based team to win the Cup.

            1918-19 Metropolitans:  Seattle finished the regular season in second behind the Vancouver Millionaires, and the two teams faced-off in a two game playoff in which the team scoring the most goals over the course of the two games would be named league champion.  The teams split the games, but the Mets were named champs by virtue of outscoring Vancouver seven to five.  They once again hosted the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup, but with the series tied at two wins apiece (plus one tie) local health officials cancelled the final game due to the flu epidemic raging through the city.  Joe Hall of the Canadiens was one of the victims of the flu, and he died in a Seattle hospital shortly after the series was called off.

             1919-20 Metropolitans:  The Mets finished the regular season in first and knocked off Vancouver in the two game, total goal playoffs.  This time they traveled east to face the Ottawa Senators for the Stanley Cup, losing the best of five series three games to two.

             1935-36 Sea Hawks:  After falling into the cellar with a poor 3-7-0 start, the Sea Hawks rallied under replacement coach Frank Foyston to finish the season atop the standings.  They defeated Vancouver in the best-of-five league finals to give Seattle its first title in 16 years.

            1944-45 Ironmen:  The Ironmen took the PCHL North Division crown, then topped Portland in the best-of-seven division finals.  The Southern Division champs couldn’t make the trip north, so the Ironmen earned the right to play the Boston Olympics for the US Amateur Hockey Association Championship.  The Olympics came out west (the games were played in Seattle and Vancouver) and won the first two games in Seattle, but the Ironmen rallied and took the next four straight.  Playing coach Frank Dotten was the hero for Seattle, picking up 13 goals in the series including six in the third game.

            1958-59 Totems:  The high-scoring Totems finished atop their division, then beat Victoria and Vancouver to advance to the WHL Finals against Calgary.  They swept the Stampeders in four games to take the title, going an incredible 11-1 in the playoffs and outscoring their opponents 44-20 in the process.

            1966-67 Totems:  Led by rookie head coach (and recently retired player) Bill MacFarland, the Totems recovered from a slow start (4-10-3) to end the season in second behind Portland.  They beat San Francisco in the opening round of the playoffs then swept Vancouver in the finals.  The unlikely hero in the finals was bruising defenseman Noel Picard, who scored a game-winning goal and assisted on two others during the series.

            1967-68 Totems: Despite being the lowest scoring team in the WHL, the Totems still managed a second place finish on the strength of the league’s stingiest defense.  They dispatched Phoenix in the opening round before facing-off with the Portland Buckaroos in the finals.  Portland took a 6-2 lead into the third period of the second game in Seattle, and it looked as though the series would head back to Portland tied at one game apiece.  That changed when a pair of Totem goals in the first 1:16 of the third got them back into the game.  They tied it up with 19 seconds remaining, and Guyle Fielder got the game winner in overtime to give Seattle the two games to none lead in the series, which they eventually took in five games to earn their second consecutive WHL title.