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On Feb. 29, the Africville Brown Bombers and the Charlottetown Rangers, named for the historic teams of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL), hit the ice for a commemorative game at the Centennial Arena in Halifax. Held each year for just more than a decade, the game raises awareness of the CHL, a league that lays claim to inventing the slap shot and pioneering the butterfly style of goaltending. It also raises money for the Black Youth Ice Hockey Program. It’s an opportunity for elder community members to pay forward their love of the game to the next generation. This year, the Rangers defeated the Brown Bombers 5-3.

Leland (Lee) Francis, the vice-president of the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Society. Francis spoke passionately about passing on the torch. 'Everyone in this room has an obligation to give back to the game,' he says.

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

Charlottetown Rangers goaltender Arlington Smith waits for action to return to his end of the ice. The now-popular butterfly style of goaltending was a CHL invention, credited to Henry (Braces) Franklyn of the Dartmouth Jubilees.

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

A Ranger scans the ice and waits his turn to hop off the bench. One of the legacies of the CHL is the aggressive style of play the teams developed. The league was originally conceived by Baptist churches seeking to bring some youth into the fold.

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

Dwight Lucas, captain of the Charlottetown Rangers, grew up in Shearwater, N.S., and has been playing hockey since he was about five years old. 'It’s awesome seeing everybody coming out and supporting, keeping more of our young people involved in the sport,' he says. 'There are a lot of us around who don’t get the opportunity, so I wanted to come and help out, give back a little bit.'

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

Roger Beals started playing hockey around the same age as Dwight Lucas, and grew up hitting the ice with him. This is his third or fourth year playing in the commemorative game. 'I come out every year,' he says. 'I’m part of the society now.'

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

The first Ranger out sets up the nets and goes for a warm-up skate. Another CHL team, 1904 league champions the Halifax Eurekas, was recently immortalized by Canada Post on a new stamp that features an illustration of the players and the names of several other teams.

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

The exhausted, but happy, members of the Charlottetown Rangers and the Africville Brown Bombers pose for a group photo after their game. The Rangers beat the Brown Bombers 5-3.

Matt Williams/The Globe and Mail

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