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In 1882, Malcom K Gordon arrived as a "new kid" at the St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He not only was an only child and knew no one else in the school, he was a Southerner, dropped down in the heyday of reconstruction into a nest of hostile Yankees. In one of those odd incongruities of life, the Southerner was to play a major role in shaping what is regarded as an essentially Northern game – our great sport of hockey.

The game had been earlier introduced at St. Paul's from Canada, but Malcom Gordon is regarded as the individual who helped formalize the game by putting down on paper what is regarded as the first set of rules in the United States. This occurred in 1885, and in 1888 he was made hockey coach. Play at St. Paul's was strictly intramural, but in 1896 Gordon took the first St. Paul's team to New York to play at the old St. Nicholas Rink. In that first game, the St. Paul's alumni defeated Gordon's team 3-1. His coaching career extended until 1917 during which time he developed numerous players, including Hobey Baker, for the Eastern colleges. It was such former players who provided the financial backing for the St. Nicholas Rink.

Gordon was head of the history department at St. Paul's and coached football and cricket as well as hockey. After World War I service, he was in the real estate business until 1927 when he founded the Malcom K. Gordon School at Garrison, New York. He served as headmaster until his retirement in 1952, but continued to teach at the school almost to the time of his death at age 96.