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Pro hockey began in Rhode Island on Dec. 3, 1926, when the Reds played the Springfield Indians of the old Canadian-American League at Rhode Island Auditorium. Springfield won the game, 7-1, but the fans went home happy and a tradition was born as the Reds' Brick Morrison won the fights.
Unfortunately, fights were about the only things the Reds won in their first two seasons in the Can-Am League. Then in 1928-29, general manager Jean Dubuc talked a shifty little forward named Johnny Gagnon to come to Providence and things changed.
With Gagnon, Art Chapman, Gizzy Hart and Leo Gaudreault in their lineup, the Reds finished second to the Boston Tigers in 1928-29. The following year, when young Lou Pieri became their general manager, the Reds went all the way.
The Reds had a 24-11-5 record in 1929-30 and finished 12 points ahead of Philadelphia in the Can-Am standings. Then with Gagnon supplying the offense and goaltender Mickey Murray and defenseman Art Lesieur the defense, the Reds easily swept past Boston in a five-game series for the Fontaine Cup.
Next: The 1930s >>
Johnny Gagnon, who would later play for the Montreal Canadiens, helped
lead the Reds to their first league championship.