When the Avalanche was in Toronto earlier this month, I did the drive from Montreal and back from there, and one of the places in between is Cornwall, Ontario. You longtime Avalanche fans already know this, but for some of the newbies: Cornwall was the city that served as the Avs’ first AHL affiliate, the Cornwall Aces. They were formerly the AHL farm club of the Quebec Nordiques, and for one season – 1995-96 – they stayed that way, before the Avs moved their AHL affiliate to Hershey, Pa.
I had some time, on an off-day, so I decided to detour into Cornwall to revisit what is actually a very significant place in Avs history: the hockey arena where the very first Avs game of any kind was played.
The Avs of 1995-96 had a memorable preseason trip that went through Cornwall, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Ontario, and Hartford, Conn. The game in Cornwall, against the Montreal Canadiens, was the first game.