The Forgotten Story of America’s First Stanley Cup Champions

When It Mattered Most: The Forgotten Story of America’s First Stanley Cup Champions, and the War to End All Wars.

The cover of When It Mattered Most shows a scene of World War 1 planes behind a hockey player, a silhouette of the Stanley Cup and the title of the book and the author's name.

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This is the inspiring story of the first American team to win the Stanley Cup—a feat largely lost to history.

In the winter of 1917, as Europe spiraled rapidly out of control and pulled the U.S. into the greatest conflict the world had ever seen, a talented band of athletes in the Pacific Northwest fought to turn themselves into an elite team. That elite team would battle the looming war, their own insecurities, and fierce opponents on both coasts of Canada to captivate a community and journey toward hockey immortality.

When It Mattered Most breathes life into the humanity and times of a remarkable team during a monumental 18-month period of world history, inspiring readers with a never-before-seen look into the evolution of Hall of Fame players, a championship team, and a war largely overshadowed by its second incarnation.

Author Kevin Ticen tells their tale with empathy through the lens of his own experiences as a high-level athlete and coach, rounding out portions of the story lost to history through a deep understanding of the people involved and the inner workings of championship teams.

Had the Seattle Metropolitans hockey team played today, fans donning Red, White and Green barber pole jerseys would dominate the schools, buses, and sidewalks of Seattle.

Kevin ticen

“Statues of Hall of Famers Frank Foyston, Jack Walker, and Hap Holmes would stand guard outside the Seattle Center Arena and the story of the 1917 Stanley Cup would be told alongside the greatest American championship teams. Unfortunately, their achievement played out for the masses exclusively through the black and white ink of newspaper scribes in a city far off the beaten path. Soon, radio and television produced a new generation of superstars whose feats were seen and heard in emotionally vivid detail that captivated our lore and slowly relegated America’s first Stanley Cup champions to a mere footnote in history,” says Kevin Ticen, author of When It Mattered Most: The Forgotten Story of America’s First Stanley Cup Champions, and the War to End All Wars.

About the Author: Kevin Ticen spent more than six years writing about Seattle sports as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Seattle Sports Commission. A former catcher on the University of Washington baseball team, Ticen played professionally in the Anaheim Angels minor league system and then overseas in Austria. His sports writing career began in the off-season during his minor league days writing for one of the many Seattle startups during the boom. His post-playing days have been spent coaching baseball, first for five years on the staff at the University of Washington and now leading a high school aged summer program in the Seattle area.

Follow Kevin on Twitter @kticen.

Pre-order the book on Amazon.

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