Playoff Game 01 – Arenas 7, Canadiens 3

Playoff Game 01
Arenas 7, Canadiens 3
NHL Championship, Game 1
Monday, March 11, 1918
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Travelling at top speed from start until finish, Toronto defeated the Canadiens by 7 to 3 at the Arena last night.

It was the first of the home and home series to decide which team will meet the Pacific coast champions, and the Blue Shirts will carry a lead of four goals to Montréal for the return game Wednesday night. On the form displayed by the locals last night, they should hold their lead in Montréal.

Both teams were fully extended, and with each team determined to secure the “edge,” strenuous hockey resulted. Tripping, slashing and hard body checking were very apparent at all times, and both teams were equally guilty. The Blue Shirts won because of their persistent backchecking and tenacious attack.

In the opening period, they checked the Flying Frenchmen off their feet, scoring two goals and holding the Canadiens without a tally. In the second period each team scored once, while in the closing chapter Toronto scored four, while the Canadiens tallied twice.

In the opening period, Toronto had all the better of the play, bombarding the veteran Vézina in goal with shots from all angles. It was only the superb work of Vézina that kept the score from being considerably more in Toronto’s favour than it was. Noble, Crawford and Meeking hurled wicked shots at him time after time, following up viciously for the rebound. Hull and Corbeau played nice defensive hockey, but they were outguessed and outplayed by the Toronto forwards.

The numerous penalties imposed upon both teams for rough work necessitated the use of all substitutes for perhaps the first time this season. The slogan of the players on each team appeared to be “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and they lived up to it. Almost every player on each team visited the penalty box at various stages, with the exception of the goalkeepers, and considerable rough play went unnoticed.

While great credit must be given to the Toronto forwards for their strong, aggressive exhibition, the lion’s share of praise must go to Holmes in goal and Cameron and Mummery of the Toronto team.

The defensive work of Mummery and Cameron was a treat to witness. They broke up the rushes of Lalonde, Pitre and Malone time after time, and after stopping the attack of the visitors, took the puck and carried it into the Canadiens’ territory. Mummery spilled the Frenchmen like ninepins, and the big fellow seldom looked for trouble.

On several occasions, various players of the visiting team attempted to stop the husky defenceman; invariably they came to grief. Besides his sterling defensive play, Mummery provided an offensive that was most effective. Although not a speedy skater, he carried the puck several times to the mouth of the Canadiens’ goal. On one occasion after a clever rush, he lost the puck to Lalonde, but regained it a moment later, and turning sharply, drove one right past Vézina, much to Lalonde’s chagrin.

Cameron astonished the fans with his speed and tricky stickhandling. He broke away with several whirlwind rushes, and on several occasions when not in a position to score, passed the puck swiftly and accurately to one of his own forwards in a more advantageous position to shoot. Cameron’s heady playing was responsible for three goals, one of which he secured himself and two of which were made on passes from him.

Holmes played his usual excellent game in goal. He stopped all kinds of shots, and cleared quickly and cleverly. The first goal which beat him was from Lalonde’s stick, the French leader shooting from almost halfway, lobbing the puck over Holmes’ foot. In the final period, Holmes came out of his goal three times to break up Canadiens rushes.

Noble was in good form and played clever hockey at all stages, while “Rusty” Crawford worked unceasingly, checking back with speed and persistency that gave the Frenchmen little opportunity to stage any combination. Meeking proved very effective in front of the Canadiens’ goal, and Randall was another to keep Vézina busy. Jack Adams was given a chance in the final period, and came through with flying colours. He checked back well, and his shots on goal were always dangerous.

Lalonde was again 50 percent of the visitors’ team. He never ceased trying, but was outmanoeuvred at every point. The back checking of the Blue Shirts held Malone and Pitre helpless. Corbeau played a strong defensive game, but was badly shaken up as the result of a hard body check in the first period which slowed him up for the remainder of the game. Hall worked hard if ineffectively.

Story originally published in The Globe, March 12, 1918

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Meeking (Randall)
TOR GOAL – 17:00 – Randall (Cameron)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 04:00 – Lalonde (Pitre)
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Meeking (Noble)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Meeking
MTL GOAL – 07:00 – Corbeau (Lalonde)
TOR GOAL – 11:00 – Adams (Cameron)
TOR GOAL – 12:00 – Cameron
MTL GOAL – 13:00 – Lalonde (Hall)
TOR GOAL – 14:00 – Mummery

TOR – Mummery (3 minors + major), Crawford (3), Randall (3), Skinner (3), Adams, Meeking, Noble
MTL – Corbeau (2), Lalonde (2), Coutu, Hall, Malone, Pitre

TOR – Holmes (W)
MTL – Vézina (L)

TORGoaltenders: Hap Holmes. Defence: Harry Cameron, Harry Mummery. Forwards: Jack Adams, Rusty Crawford, Corb Denneny, Harry Meeking, Reg Noble, Ken Randall (C), Alf Skinner.
MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Bert Corbeau, Billy Coutu, Joe Hall, Jack Laviolette. Forwards: Louis Berlinquette, Newsy Lalonde (C), Joe Malone, Jack McDonald, Didier Pitre.