Game 001 – Arenas 7, Canadiens 5

Game 001
Arenas 7, Canadiens 5
Wednesday, December 26, 1917
Arena Gardens, Toronto, ON

The sensational offensive instituted by manager Charles Querrie’s Blue Shirts in the closing ten minutes of play against the Canadiens of Montréal at the Arena last night resulted in a victory for the local team by a score of 7 to 5.

It was an exciting finish, and the crowd in the well filled Arena were keyed up to the highest pitch. Manager George Kennedy had his whole team, with the exception of the goalkeeper, up on the forward line in the closing moments of play, but Toronto not only played a wonderful defensive game, but carried the battle to the visitors’ territory, and kept them so busy defending their own citadel that they had little opportunity to even the score.

To Harry Cameron, Querrie’s sterling defence player, belongs the lion’s share of the credit. Three of the goals were directly due to his clever skating, stickhandling and shooting, while he notched another on a pass from Meeking. On the defence, he stopped Lalonde, Pitre and Malone time and time again, while on several occasions he outskated the whirlwind “Newsy.”

Reg Noble, who started at left wing for Toronto, was another who was responsible to a great extent for the victory. From start to finish he was in the game, rushing, checking back strenuously, and relieving the defence. Denneny and Meeking are entitled to praise for their work, especially Denneny, who worked unceasingly, and who combined nicely with the other forwards.

Vézina in goal for the Canadiens was a marvel of efficiency. He stopped shots that were seemingly impossible to reach, getting them inches from the ice, batting them down and clearing with his stick, and slapping the high ones into the corner with his gloved hand. If it had not been for his remarkable work in goal, it is very probably that the score would have been doubled against his team.

The Blue Shirts changed their style of attack in the last period, and it was this change that was responsible for the victory. In the opening periods of play, the forwards started down the ice abreast at a slow pace, gaining speed as they progressed and coming into the Canadiens’ defence at top speed, thus being forced to shoot at random.

On the other hand, the Canadiens started their rushes at bewildering speed, slowed up at the Toronto defence, and worked their way round to an advantageous position from which to shoot. Toronto adopted the same tactics in the closing period, and drawing out Corbeau and Hall, beat Vézina in clever fashion.

Corbeau is undoubtedly the star of the Kennedy clan. He is a big, powerful boy, about twenty three or twenty four years of age, who has a wealth of speed and stickhandling ability, and a deadly shot. He scored the first three goals for his team, and his clean, clever work won him an ovation from the crowd.

Pitre and Malone have apparently slowed up, and were not as effective as was expected. Lalonde, however, seems to improve with age. He was in every play, and his clever stickhandling was a feature of the game. In his position at centre, however, Lalonde had but little the better of Denneny.

Several scraps enlivened the play, although none were of a serious nature. Lalonde and Noble exchanged punches. The local lad retaliated when the Canadiens’ star attempted a little rough work. Both were banished for their display of temper.

Cameron and Coutu came together in front of the latter’s goal, and both rolled to the ice before they were separated by the officials. Meeking and Pitre mixed it up for a moment on the side, with honours even.

In the first period, the Canadiens scored three to Toronto’s two, and led by two goals at the end of the second period. It was Meeking who evened the count in the third period, and Cameron scored the goal which put the locals in front, and the same player who notched the final goal of the game.

The work of Brooks, the Toronto goaler, was of a mediocre order. The first three goals for the visitors were scored from outside the defence, and of the kind that Vézina stops without shifting from his position. This is one department in which manager Querrie will have to make a change, but from the present showing, it would seem that the Canadiens will meet Toronto in the games that will decide the championship.

Story originally published in The Globe, December 27, 1917


BOXSCORE
1st Period
TOR GOAL – 03:00 – Noble (Denneny)
MTL GOAL – 08:00 – Corbeau
MTL GOAL – 11:00 – Corbeau
MTL GOAL – 12:00 – Malone (Lalonde)
TOR GOAL – 13:00 – Cameron (Meeking)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:00 – Corbeau
TOR GOAL – 13:00 – Cameron (Meeking)
MTL GOAL – 18:00 – Lalonde

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 07:00 – Meeking (Cameron)
TOR GOAL – 08:00 – Denneny (Noble)
TOR GOAL – 10:00 – Cameron (Meeking)
TOR GOAL – 15:00 – Cameron

Penalties
TOR – Cameron (major), Meeking, Noble, Randall
MTL – Lalonde (minor + major), Coutu, Hall, Pitre

GOALTENDERS
TOR – Brooks (W)
MTL – Vézina (L)

ROSTERS
TORGoaltenders: Art Brooks. Defence: Harry Cameron. Forwards: Jack Coughlin, Corb Denneny, Harry Meeking, Reg Noble, Ken Randall (C), Alf Skinner.
MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Bert Corbeau, Billy Coutu, Joe Hall. Forwards: Louis Berlinquette, Newsy Lalonde (C), Joe Malone, Didier Pitre.