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Blog Author: John Lokka

I started this blog to capture my research into World War I (WWI), but largely transitioned it to hockey history. Despite my dad being from Minnesota, I discovered hockey in 1998 with the Augusta Lynx. He was Minnesota/Los Angeles Lakers fan, and hockey did not interest him. My first National Hockey League (NHL) game was Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Atlanta Thrashers. In general, I cheer for the L.A. Kings.

Sports history piqued my interest after discovering a crossroads with WWI in 2018. I started researching the Canadian Military Police Corps (CMPC) after purchasing a few pages of The Montreal Standard Publishing Co’s 1919 periodical on Canada’s Aid to the Allies. A two page spread covered Rockcliffe Camp’s Gymnastic and Police Schools. The CMPC became the enforcement arm of Canada’s Military Service Act of 1917 (MSA), which is a conscription act by Robert Borden’s government. In agreement with the United States, Canada sent Col. Gilbert Godson-Godson to enforce the MSA in the United States. This is the first time a foreign power had law enforcement authority in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War.

Sometimes, I found references to the Howard’s and hockey in the same newspaper as Col. Godson-Godson. The Howard’s came from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Brooklyn, New York. I wondered why Godson-Godson and the MSA threatened the Howards. While teasers presented themselves before, I never really inquired into them until I saw how the MSA impacted superstars like the Howards. Immigration, war, and the righteousness’ of ones beliefs converged in 1917 when the Howards sent their sons to Boston and the US Navy.

Memberships: Society for International Hockey Research
Key Positions: Vice President USA East (SIHR) (2021 – 2023)
Publications: The Brooklyn Skating Club’s Battle with Professionalism SIHR, May 2019
Jamaica High School’s Decade of Dominance (1920 – 1929) SIHR, November 2020
Columbia’s Early Hockey History SIHR Bulletin, January 2020
Presentations: The Howard’s, Hockey and World War I, SIHR Fall 2018 Meeting, Dallas
Contrasting Amateur Ideals of Early Hockey SIHR Annual General Meeting 2021, virtual
Hockey Teams: Tohoku Free Blades, Aomori, JP (2018-Current) (Asia League Ice Hockey), Augusta Lynx (1998-2000) (ECHL), Hershey Bears (2015 – current) (AHL), and Los Angeles Kings (1998-Current)
History Genres and Eras: Early hockey (1880 – 1940), Tom Howard and family (1870-1986). Military History with a focus on WWI and WWII. Gilded Age (~1880 ~ 1905), Progressive Era (~1905 – 1920), and the Victorian Era (1837 – 1901).