Buffalo Bisons Hockey Night in Canada
The Buffalo Bisons play 8 seasons in Fort Erie, Ontario!
The Buffalo Bisons first entered competition in 1928 as a member of the Canadian Professional Hockey League (CPHL), which would later become the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1930, and ultimately, the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1936. The Herd played their games at the Peace Bridge Arena in Fort Erie, Ontario, and was League Champions during the 1932 and 1933 seasons. Unfortunately, the financially strapped club folded after only 8 games into the 1936 season due to financial circumstances caused by both the Great Depression and the collapse of the Peace Bridge Arena. The team played out their final games in Niagara Falls Ontario.
Managed by future Hockey Hall of Famers, Persey LeSueur and Frank Nighbor along with Mickey Roach, the "Fort Erie" Bisons were perennial winners. Bill Taugher backstopped the Herd during most of those years. Helping to ensure him a clear view of the puck was Burton “Gamey” Lederman and Roter Roth. Future Hockey Hall-of-Famer Carl Voss and Babe Bogardis, Sammy Godin, Ronnie Martin, Al Murray, Lloyd Gross, Lorne Carr, Cliff Barton, Godie Brydson, Bud Jarvis and future AHL superstar Les Cunningham also played prominent roles with the Bisons during their "golden era."
Gordie Brydson was one of the longest serving members of the Canadian PGA and a two-time winner of the Canadian PGA Championship. Bud Jarvis was posthumously inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame for his 40 years of service to hockey. Les Cunningham didn’t realize his popularity until he played for the Cleveland Barons, who inducted “The Blonde Bomber” into their hall-of-fame. The AHL also named its MVP trophy after Cunningham.
So dominant was Buffalo during this era, that once during the final game of the 1932-33 finals between Buffalo and Syracuse, Buffalo Bisons manager Frank Nighbor decided to sit in the stands while the team's 15-year old stick boy, Milf Zimmerman coached the team to a 2-0 victory. "All I had to do was repeat Nighbor's words 'Check! Check! Stick to 'em like a pup to a root!' and they listened." said Milf after the game. He became the youngest person to ever coach and win a professional hockey game.