Game 040 – St. Pats 3, Canadiens 1

Game 040
St. Pats 3, Canadiens 1
Saturday, February 4, 1922
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

With both teams playing a brand of hockey that was a credit to the NHL circuit, the St. Patricks defeated Léo Dandurand’s Canadiens at the Arena Saturday night by 3 to 1.

After the Ottawa fiasco of last week, many of the fans were curious to see the style of hockey that the Frenchmen would adopt against the local Irishmen. But the Montréal team surprised the fans by their clean tactics, and rough play was conspicuous by its absence.

Manager Dandurand made a radical change in his lineup, and several of the veterans watched the initial faceoff from the bench. “Bert” Corbeau, the big blonde defence player who for many years has been a regular on the Montréal team, was not used at all during the game, while “Newsy” Lalonde and Didier Pitre, who with “Louie” Berlinquette have formed the Canadien front line as far back as the oldest inhabitant can remember, also spent a good part of the game under blankets. Pitre was replaced by “Billy” Boucher, while “Odie” Cleghorn started at centre and Coutu on right defence.

In justice to Lalonde and Pitre, it must be acknowledged that while they were on the ice the Irish citadel was always in danger, and time and again flashes of the old combination almost netted the puck behind goaler Roach. But the play showed that the infusion of new blood has worked no harm with the French squad, and the younger players, though not possessed of the cleverness of the veteran combination around the net, were there with the punch and stamina that the fast pace and consistent backchecking demanded.

Sprague Cleghorn, the stormy petrol of the last Ottawa game, displayed none of the “bad man” tactics attributed to him, and played much cleaner hockey than he has on any previous occasions here. He was a bulwark of strength on the defence, and the fact that he spent much more time on the ice and less in the penalty box than usual helped his team to no little extent. Berlinquette, who started on left wing for the visitors, played great hockey, and scored his team’s only goal.

But the palm must go to those two great exponents of the goaltending art, the veteran Vézina and the debutante Roach. Both goaltenders were at the top of their form, and treated the fans to marvellous exhibitions, as the two scoreless periods indicate. Ross Roach, the midget Irish net guardian, gave a wonderful display, and the only shot that beat him was from close in. He picked them off from all angles, and his clean cut style gave the fans many opportunities to cheer. Vézina gave one of those exhibitions on which his reputation is built, although he had less to do than Roach.

Harry Cameron, Noble and Randall showed great improvement, and the first-named played his best game of the season. Cameron is noted for his speedy end to end rushes, which generally terminate in a shot on the net or on his being skated into the corner. Saturday night he switched his style and passed the puck oftener. In the third period, he carried the puck down centre, Randall flanking him on right wing. Knowing Cameron of old, Sprague Cleghorn moved in to stop the “Irish” defenceman’s usual solo effort, but Cameron slipped the puck to Randall, and he came to the defence and the latter gave Vézina no chance to save.

Noble displayed better form than he did in his last few starts, and worked like a Trojan. He was dangerous around the opposing net, and the St. Pats second goal was the result of a clever play by him. Coutu, in bringing the puck from behind the net, crossed in front of Vézina and Noble, grasping the opportunity, body checked the Canadien defenceman, and wheeling like a flash, scooped the puck in the net with a backhand shot. Randall worked hard, but was accidentally injured in the third period and forced to retire.

The first two periods were scoreless. Speed, backchecking and splendid defensive play featured these two sessions and, though the visitors had an edge on the play, the trickery of Lalonde or the aggressiveness of “Billy” Boucher could not lodge the puck behind the green-clad net wizard. Both defences checked faultlessly, and the fans were kept continually on their feet by the brilliant, though ineffective, plays of the opposing attackers.

The break came after five minutes of play in the final chapter, when Cameron and Randall combined to beat Vézina for the game’s initial counter. This goal did not deter the visitors, as they swept back from the faceoff three abreast, and a Lalonde-Berlinquette combination carried the puck right in on Roach, and he had no chance to save.

Noble put the locals ahead five minutes later, and with two minutes to go until full time, Denneny carried the puck down, passed to Dye, and the “Irish” sharpshooter nicked the corner of the net for the goal that put the game beyond the Canadiens’ reach.

Story originally published in The Globe, February 6, 1922

1st Period

2nd Period

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Randall (Cameron)
MTL GOAL – 05:30 – Berlinquette (Lalonde)
TOR GOAL – 12:00 – Noble
TOR GOAL – 17:00 – Dye (Denneny)

TOR – Denneny, Noble
MTL – Berlinquette, Bouchard, S. Cleghorn, Coutu

TOR – Roach (W)
MTL – Vézina (L)

TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Harry Cameron, Billy Stuart. Forwards: Corb Denneny, Babe Dye, Reg Noble (C), Ken Randall.
MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu. Forwards: Louis Berlinquette, Edmond Bouchard, Billy Boucher, Odie Cleghorn, Newsy Lalonde, Didier Pitre.

TOR – 9-6-0 (.600)
MTL – 5-10-0 (.333)