February 24, 2012

Get To Know A Hall of Famer: Tommy Dunderdale

This is Tommy Dunderdale, Hockey Hall of Famer class of 1974. Not bad for a guy who was born in Australia!

Not too many Australians know too much about ice hockey. The Dunderdale family, who were originally from England, certainly had no idea about it when they came to Canada in 1894. Young Tommy  picked up the game fast, playing with his high school team in the Ottawa area.

By 1905 Tommy was on the move again, heading to Winnipeg. He put in a season of amateur hockey before turning professional with the Winnipeg Strathconas in 1906. He headed to Montreal and Quebec City for two seasons before returning to the west in 1911. It was the beginning of a long and dominating hockey career out west. He never played in the National Hockey League. Instead he stayed on the Pacific Coast, dominating the PCHA, a western league that was the near equal of the eastern based NHL.

Dunderdale was best known for playing with the Aristocats/Cougars in the British Columbian capital city of Victoria. Upon his arrival the Toronto World newspaper reported "More excitement was caused over the arrival of Tommy Dunderdale who will play this season at Victoria, than any other player from the east to go west this winter."

Dunderdale's name is all over the PCHA record book. He scored more career goals (198) than any other player on that circuit. Three times he led the league in goal scoring, and twice in points. Showing that he was not one to be messed with, the 5'8" 160lb center led the PCHA in penalty minutes. He was the PCHA's first team All Star center six times.

Noted for his deft puck handling and swift skating, Dunderdale led Victoria to the PCHA title in 1913 and 1914. In 1914 the Aristocrats issued a Stanley Cup challenge to the defending champs the Quebec Bulldogs. The Stanley Cup trustees did not approve of the challenge, but the teams faced off regardless. Victoria defeated Quebec handily.

Dunderdale also played 3 seasons with the Portland Rosebuds (winning a 3rd PCHA title in 1916) and brief appearances in Saskatoon, Edmonton and Los Angeles. In total he played 18 professional seasons. He totalled 309 games played, 267 goals and 336 points.

After retiring he coached hockey teams in Los Angeles, Edmonton and Winnipeg. He passed away in Winnipeg, just 10 days before Christmas in 1960.

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