The Home of Champions has a special place in its collective heart for its sporting history, and the Trail Museum and Archives added to its rich legacy with the recent aquisition of three very rare artifacts.
The Museum announced the addition of an original Seth Martin handmade goalie mask complete with maple leaf at an informal unveiling with family and friends on Monday.
In addition, Museum collections coordinator Addison Oberg informed the Times that they also acquired a goaltending blocker belonging to ‘39 World Champion Smoke Eater netminder Duke Scodellaro, and the game puck from the first hockey game played in the Cominco Arena.
The priceless ‘artifacts’ are a wonderful addition, and serendipitous that they were all acquired this summer.
“They are just so rare,” said Oberg. “It is a very coincidental circumstance, two world champion goalies that both came in July.
“It is pretty special to have them.”
The Museum acquired Martin’s goalie mask at Classic Auctions, which touted the mask as circa late 60s early 70s and “Team Canada” worn.
The mask now hangs in the display case with other memorabilia and replica masks dedicated to the Rossland native.
“This is so spectacular,” said Bev Martin. “It (the display) is so eye catching.”
Seth Martin began making masks after having his teeth knocked out on a rough hit while playing for the Rossland Warriors.
Martin backstopped the Trail Smoke Eaters to a gold medal at the 1961 World Hockey Championship and was named top goaltender in the ‘61, ‘63,’64 and ‘66 world championships. He was also named to the World All Star team in ‘61, as Canada’s starter at the 1964 Olympic Games, and in ‘66.
Seth’s mask was one of the first worn internationally, and unique from those of Jacques Plante who introduced the mask to the NHL in 1959.
The Cominco fireman forged his masks at the Fire Hall’s plastic shop, apparently to the dismay of his fellow fire fighters.
Martin played a season in the NHL with St. Louis Blues alongside Glen Hall, for whom he also made a mask. While the provenance has been established, there is speculation that this could be the one that Seth gave to Hall, according to Classic Auction, however, that detail remains uncertain.
He was also inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1996.
Scodellaro backstopped the Smoke Eaters 22 years earlier, winning gold at the ‘39 World Hockey Championship.
The family donated the unique blocker, which is very well preserved considering it is over 90 years old.
Scodellaro made many alterations and additions, weaving leather stitching to hold a rectangular pad in place, a precursor to the modern goalie blocker.
“He also use to make his own stuff,” said Oberg. “So the leather glove he bought, but look at the stitching, he added foam padding and stuff like that. But it’s not very thick, even if you got hit by a puck I’m sure it would sting.”
The game puck also holds a special place in the museum as the first to be dropped on Cominco Arena ice on Nov. 29, 1949 for a game between the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Kimberley Dynamiters.
Smoke Eaters player Sammy Calles scored the first goal and was awarded the puck after the game. The puck is signed by members of both teams, and if one looks closely you can make out the names of Trail luminaries such as Mike Buckna, R. J. Sutherland, Lui Corrado, Terry Cavanagh, and Mario Scodellaro.
Check out the new additions and much more at the Trail Museum and Archives.