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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final postcard: Matthews Arena

World's oldest multi-purpose athletic building was home to Bruins from 1924-28

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues continues with Game 5 in Boston on Thursday (8 p.m.ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). writers covering the series will provide a daily Stanley Cup Final postcard from whatever city they're in. Today, columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika checks in from Matthews Arena, home of the Bruins from 1924-28.

BOSTON -- While the Boston Bruins held their morning skate at TD Garden, preparing to play the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS), their original home sat silent.

About 2 ½ miles southwest, on St. Botolph Street off Massachusetts Avenue, stands Matthews Arena. It is now home to the Northeastern University men's and women's hockey and men's basketball teams, but it used to be called Boston Arena and was home to the Bruins from 1924, when they entered the NHL, until 1928, when they moved into Boston Garden.


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Built in 1910 and renovated multiple times, Matthews Arena is the world's oldest multi-purpose athletic building and houses the world's oldest artificial ice sheet according to Northeastern University, which bought it in 1979.

The Montreal Wanderers and Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association played two games here in March 1911, 6 ½ years before the NHL was born. The Bruins, the first NHL team based in the United States, played their first game here Dec. 1, 1924, defeating the Montreal Maroons 2-1. The Carolina Hurricanes can trace their origins to this place too. The New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association played some of their first games here in 1972-73.

But that's not all. Several local colleges began hockey programs here, including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern University, and the Beanpot tournament began here. The Boston Celtics played their first game here in 1946 and stayed until 1955. The list of events is long.

The ice was out Thursday morning, and banners acknowledging Bruins and Celtics history were temporarily removed from the rafters. The arena floor was set up for a graduation. Much had changed, but the roof was essentially the same. Amazing to think of all that has happened under it.

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