1938 Trail Smoke Eaters in the dressing room after winning the Allan Cup.

The 1937-38 Trail Smoke Eaters were British Columbia and Alberta champions and played for the Allan Cup against the Cornwall Flyers in Calgary, winning the series 4 games to 1. The community’s goal set in 1926 had been realized. An estimated crowd of 7000 welcomed the team home at the downtown train station.

Welcoming parade for 1938 Trail Smoke Eaters, Allan Cup champions.

1938 Allan Cup Champions.

In December 1938, the team traveled to Europe to represent Canada in the 1939 World Hockey Championship. They played an exhausting exhibition schedule throughout Europe, England and Scotland. Most games were played outdoors before sellout crowds.

1939 Trail Smoke Eaters playing their final game in Switzerland, February 12, 1939. The crowd numbered 19,000 fans.

They crushed their opponents in the world championship tournament, outscoring the opposition 42-1 over eight games, and the Smokies earned their first World Championship title.

1939 Trail Smoke Eaters celebrating after their first World Championship win, February 12, 1939.

Senior hockey in the West Kootenays was suspended during World War Two, but resumed in 1945 with the Smoke Eaters again winning the Savage Cup.

Trail Smoke Eaters - B.C. Champs, 1946-47. Back Row: Jim Anderson, Dave Nicol, Don Menzies, Emil Kwasney, Ab Cronie, Ralph Luke, Hedley Marshall, Ron Gardner, Larry Kwong. Front: Ed Crowder, Les Christensen, Bill Waddell, Duke Scodellero, Jim Morris, Mike Buckna.

In 1946, a new league was formed, the Western International Hockey League (WIHL), with teams from Trail, Nelson, Kimberley, located in Canada, and Spokane, WA and Los Angeles, CA located in the USA. In 1949, the Cominco Arena was constructed in Trail to satisfy the public’s intense interest in hockey and skating. Interest in hockey had been growing since the end of the war and as the community entered the 1950s, came an explosion of minor hockey teams and with that, success at all levels of competition for Trail teams. Between 1942 and 1959, Trail minor hockey teams won 6 Provincial Intermediate Championships, 13 Junior Championships, and 14 minor hockey championships at the Juvenile and Midget levels.

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