Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Judah Trihey was an influential team player who possessed an exceptional shot. He was also blessed with superior puckhandling skills and the ability to have an emotional impact on a game. Trihey was capable of anticipating the play and staying one step ahead of the opposition.
Trihey debuted with the Montreal Shamrocks in a one-game appearance in 1897 before earning a regular place on the roster the following year. By the 1899 season, he was a popular star on a much-improved team. He outdistanced all scorers with 19 goals in seven games, including a remarkable 10 in one match against Quebec on February 4, 1899. This remained a regular-season record among leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup and was only eclipsed by Frank McGee's 14 in the well-known Stanley Cup challenge game in 1905.
The Shamrocks won all but one game that year and finished at the top of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League standings to automatically become holders of the Stanley Cup. When challenged by Queen's University in March, the Shamrocks encountered little trouble in winning, thanks to a three-goal outburst from Trihey.
Aided by stellar linemates Art Farrell and Fred Scanlan, Trihey continued to excel in 1900 with 17 goals. The Shamrocks repeated as CAHL champions and earned the right to defend the Stanley Cup. In February of that year, the holders again successfully fought off a challenge from Winnipeg in a thrilling series, followed by a rout of the Halifax Crescents. Trihey was responsible for 12 goals in the five games against the eager but overmatched adversaries.
Although the Shamrocks lost the Stanley Cup to the challenge of the Winnipeg Victorias in 1901, the impact of the Montreal squad on the game was firmly entrenched. As the on-ice leader of the Shamrocks, Trihey encouraged his linemates to work with him in planned strategy as opposed to improvisation. This form of offensive organization influenced other teams that previously had relied on pure skill and instinct to attain success.
Trihey also insisted that the defensemen create scoring chances by carrying the puck up the ice instead of flipping it in the air, as was the common practice. Ironically, he was known for flipping the puck up in the air and having it land behind the goalie's shoulders when he was in close. But these innovations were a crucial factor in the Shamrocks' becoming a highly successful and entertaining hockey club.
Hockey remained an important part of Trihey's life following his retirement as a player. He served as secretary-treasurer and president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League. As an administrator, Trihey utilized the same leadership qualities he exhibited on the ice and guided the organization through the intense competition for players brought about by the establishment of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1903. Trihey also served as a referee and sat on the advisory board of the Montreal Wanderers Hockey Club.
The splendid forward took his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.