Arenas 6, Canadiens 4
Wednesday, January 9, 1918
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto professionals battled their way to a tying position with the Canadiens in the NHL race when they defeated the Flying Frenchmen by a score of 6 to 4, in a game that was fiercely contested from start to finish at the Arena last night.
The victory of the Blue Shirts is directly attributable to the excellent work of Harry Holmes, the ex-Pacific Coast League goaler, who played a spectacular game. If it had not been for the cool, clever work of Holmes in goal, it is more than likely that the Canadiens would have further increased their lead in the NHL standing.
The first fifteen minutes of play was perhaps the fastest period of the entire game. Each team realized the advantage that would be gained by scoring the first tally, and battled furiously for the initial goal. Alf Skinner, the Toronto forward, put his team in front when he scored from the side. The period ended with Toronto leading 1 to 0. The second period saw Toronto with a score of 3 against the Canadiens’ 1, while in the closing period, both teams notched three goals.
Toronto had the better of the first and last periods, while the Canadiens had a slight advantage in the second period. The Blue Shirts won because of their effective back checking, and the work of Holmes in goal. Besides providing a more effective defensive game, the local team furnished a more aggressive offensive.
The Blue Shirts forwards not only held Lalonde, Pitre and Malone in check, but frequently broke away for combined rushes, outskating the speedy easterners and outguessing the Frenchmen’s clever defence pair, Corbeau and Hall.
The crowd that filled the Arena were given plenty of thrills, as several miniature battles were staged by the opposing players. Coutu and Cameron came together on several occasions, while Skinner and Hall also mixed matters frequently.
Coutu was the most consistent offender. His mission appeared to be to get into trouble with Querrie’s stars, and not only take himself off the ice, but deprive Toronto of an effective player. In this he succeeded, inasmuch as he had Cameron and Noble both sitting in the penalty box as the result of trouble for which he was directly responsible.
Toronto seemed to be content with their lead of two goals in the second period, and their play lagged considerably. The offensive consisted mainly of one man rushes, with three and four players loafing back on the defence. The folly of this method was soon apparent, however, when the Canadiens combined nicely and skated three quarters of the rink on several occasions before being checked by the Blue Shirts.
In this period Holmes was called upon to make some sensational stops, and he delivered in fine style. On one occasion, he had set himself for a shot on the extreme southern corner of the goal, but when the puck was deflected off Cameron’s skate, whirled like a dancing master and poking out his foot caught the disc on his shoe, preventing what appeared to be a sure goal. He was easily the master of the wizard Vézina, the Canadiens’ net guardian, and was called upon to stop more shots than the latter.
Noble and Cameron were closely watched by the Frenchmen, and Skinner and Harry Meeking provided the bulk of the work. Mummery, the defenceman, played a surprisingly good game. The Blue Shirts watched Corbeau, Malone and Lalonde closely, and prevented many a dangerous rush by effective backchecking.
Story originally published in The Globe, January 10, 1918
TOR GOAL – 10:00 – Skinner (Denneny)
TOR GOAL – 02:00 – Skinner (Denneny)
TOR GOAL – 03:30 – Denneny
MTL GOAL – 10:00 – Malone (Pitre)
TOR GOAL – 02:00 – Meeking (Skinner)
TOR GOAL – 02:20 – Noble (Meeking)
MTL GOAL – 03:20 – Lalonde (Corbeau)
MTL GOAL – 10:00 – Pitre
MTL GOAL – 11:00 – Malone
TOR GOAL – 15:00 – Randall (Meeking)
TOR – Randall (3), Cameron, Noble, Skinner
MTL – Coutu (minor + major), Hall, Lalonde
TOR – Holmes (W)
MTL – Vézina (L)
TOR – Goaltenders: Hap Holmes. Defence: Harry Cameron, Harry Mummery. Forwards: Corb Denneny, Harry Meeking, Reg Noble, Ken Randall (C), Alf Skinner.
MTL – Goaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Bert Corbeau, Billy Coutu, Joe Hall, Jack Laviolette. Forwards: Louis Berlinquette, Newsy Lalonde (C), Joe Malone, Didier Pitre.