Game 046 – St. Pats 2, Canadiens 2

Game 046
St. Pats 2, Canadiens 2
Saturday, January 13, 1923
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

After battling 60 minutes here Saturday night, the St. Patricks and Canadiens were forced to call the honours even, and the score at the finish was 2 to 2.

The St. Patricks started off as though they fully intended to run the score into double figures, and when Jack Adams slipped the rubber past Vézina, they appeared well on their way. But this goal seemed to shake the Habitants out of their lethargy, and for the remainder of the period, they gave the Green Shirts as much as they received. In the second session, the Canadiens knotted the count, only to have Dye again put the locals in front. In the third period, Odie Cleghorn tied the score, and for 35 minutes, the teams strained on even terms.

The Canadiens did not look like the same team that played here earlier in the season. They have improved wonderfully, but none has shown such a return to form as Odie Cleghorn, the “Beau Brummell” of the Montréalers. He is in the pink of condition, and went practically the whole route at top speed, and his stickhandling reminded the fans of the displays he gave several years ago when he was considered one of the trickiest forwards in the East. He scored both of his team’s goals.

Probably the most picturesque player on the ice was the veteran Didier Pitre, and the fans greeted his “comeback” vociferously. Though his hair is tinted with grey, the “right bower” of the famous Berlinquette, Lalonde and Pitre combination, showed that he still possesses much of that speed and stickhandling ability that brought him into prominence twenty years ago. He alternated with Boucher, and when he was in action, he infused a lot of aggressiveness to the Canadien front line. His rushes were always dangerous, and his hurdling style injected a few thrills into the play.

Goaler Georges Vézina was the man who stood between the St. Patricks and victory. The “eagle eye” from Chicoutimi stood calmly between the poles, and turned aside shot after shot that were apparently marked sure goals. The two counters scored against him were from inside the defence. Vézina was well protected by Sprague Cleghorn and Bill Coutu, and the times that the Irish puck carriers got a shot on Vézina from inside the defence could be numbered on the fingers of one hand.

“Watch Dye” was the excited admonition shouted from the Canadien bench all through the game. The Irish sharpshooter was given all kinds of attention, and though he notched one counter, he did not show to his usual advantage on the attack. In backchecking, however, he proved valuable, and time and again he stopped Joliat or Odie Cleghorn with stiff body checks.

Reg Noble skated faster than any time this year, and he should have the best season of his career this winter. His long poke check stopped many rushes before they got far on their way, and he was dangerous around the opposing net. Jack Adams went nearly the whole route at centre, and his boring-in tactics gave Vézina plenty of trouble, particularly in the third and overtime periods.

Goaler Roach blocked the wicked drives of Odie Cleghorn, Joliat, Pitre and Boucher in sensational style, and he was the man of the hour when the Frenchmen put everything into their attack in the dying moments of the third period, and in the overtime session. Had any other net guardian but the Port Perry youngster been between the poles, the Green Shirts would not have finished on the same level on the scoreboard as the Habitants. Roach has played many brilliant games since he entered professional ranks last winter, but Saturday’s exhibition is the peer of any of them.

Jack Adams scored the only goal of the first period in two minutes, when “Red” Stuart flashed down the ice, skated into the corner and passed out to Adams, who batted the rubber into the nnet from close range. Form then until the gong rang, there was little to choose between the teams, and the pace was exceptionally fast. Odie Cleghorn, Joliat and Boucher buzzed around Roach’s citadel like hornets, but could not bulge the wine. Noble and Cameron provided the bright lights of interest by their dashes from end to end, but they found the Coutu-Cleghorn-Vézina combination on the alert.

Odie Cleghorn stickhandled through the Irish defence after a minute and a half of play in the second session, and beat Roach from close in. With the count knotted, the play livened up for a few minutes, and then Dye circled the Canadien net and hooked the puck past Vézina. The Irish fell back to the defence to gain their second wind, and play became a series of one man attacks. It was calm before the storm.

In the third period, the storm broke after Odie Cleghorn had worked in close on Roach and tied the score again. The teams threw everything into the attack, but tossed away many chances by overanxiousness. Both goalers were called upon to relieve dangerous situations, but neither citadel fell before the gong rang.

In the overtime period, which lasted 20 minutes, the Canadiens seemed content to remain on the defensive, and resorted to one man rushes. They took no chances and, as events proved, their reckoning was right. The St. Patricks attacked determinedly, and Adams broke through the defence, only to have Coutu hook the rubber away as he went to shoot.

Dye duplicated Adams’ feat on the next rush, and a few minutes later the French had a close call when the sharpshooter drilled the puck at the upper corner and struck the post. Joe Malone attempted to beat Roach with long lifts, but the little fellow was not letting any easy ones slide past him.

Story originally published in The Globe, January 15, 1923

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 02:20 – Adams (Stuart)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:45 – O. Cleghorn
TOR GOAL – 04:05 – Dye

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 05:59 – O. Cleghorn (Joliat)


TOR – Adams, Dye, Randall, Stuart
MTL – Boucher (2), Coutu (2), Joliat

TOR – Roach (T)
MTL – Vézina (T)

TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Harry Cameron, Billy Stuart. Forwards: Jack Adams, Lloyd Andrews, Babe Dye, Reg Noble, Ken Randall, Ganton Scott.
MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu. Forwards: Billy Bell, Louis Berlinquette, Billy Boucher, Odie Cleghorn, Aurèle Joliat, Joe Malone, Didier Pitre.

TOR – 4-4-1 (.500)
MTL – 3-4-2 (.444)