Canadiens 3, St. Pats 1
Saturday, January 20, 1923
Aréna Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec
The Canadiens are still one point behind Ottawa in the race for the National Hockey League honours, the Habitants keeping pace with the league leaders at the expense of the Toronto St. Patricks, whom they defeated here last night by 3 to 1. The speedy Canadien forwards outclassed their opponents practically throughout the game, and their more aggressive play earned the decision.
It was a stubborn battle during the first two periods, the Canadiens netting the only goal of the first 20 minutes of play. Billy Boucher gave the local players the lead after over 14 minutes of fast hockey, beating Roach after an exciting combination bout with Odie Cleghorn, who engineered the movement that resulted in the goal. The margin held by the Canadiens was merited, as their two and three man attacks proved much more effective than the St. Patricks’ style of one and two man rushes that marked the first period.
The St. Patricks changed their offensive plans in the second period, and showed a much stronger attack, but the Canadien defence held, and the Adams-Noble-Dye combination was kept at a safe distance. The Canadiens maintained their efforts to get in at close range on Roach, but the condition of the ice during the middle session resulted in the players falling at critical moments, and neither side was able to tally.
In the last period, some of the best hockey of the game was displayed. Coutu brought forth rounds of applause when he went down in an individual rush, stickhandled his way through the entire St. Pats’ team, and beat Roach with an ankle high shot. Seeing the game slipping from their grasp, the St. Pats rallied, and a three man rush resulted in Noble driving the puck past Vézina.
The game was fairly clean, only a few minor fouls being inflicted by referee Smeaton. Reg Noble, incensed at two or three rather heavy checks that had sent him to the ice, without penalty to any Canadien player, retaliated when Sprague Cleghorn met him strenuously early in the second period. The pair exchanged blows before being banished for a short rest. Shortly after his return, Sprague got into a melee in front of the St. Pats’ goal when there was a scramble for the puck. He batted it past Roach, but the St. Pats immediately claimed he had kicked the rubber with his skate. The goal was not allowed.
“Red” Stuart met Billy Boucher heaving in a rush, and the Canadien player was forced to retire with a wrenched leg, but he returned to the game in the third period. Stuart shortly after was downed by Sprague Cleghorn, and got up from the ice with blood streaming from a cut over the eye, but no penalty was inflicted.
Joliat was the outstanding player on the ice, the youthful star holding the hard shooting “Babe” Dye in check at all stages, and himself testing Roach frequently with terrific drives. The backchecking of Joliat was responsible for Dye being forced to do most of his shooting from well out, and frequently gave him so little chance that in apparent temper he batted the puck indiscriminately, much to the liking of the local supporters.
Story originally published in The Globe, January 22, 1923
MTL GOAL – 14:40 – Boucher (O. Cleghorn)
MTL PEN – Joliat
TOR PEN – Stuart
MTL PEN – S. Cleghorn
TOR PEN – Noble
MTL GOAL – 03:30 – Coutu
TOR GOAL – 06:00 – Noble (Stuart)
MTL SH GOAL – 18:20 – O. Cleghorn (Joliat)
MTL PEN – Boucher
MTL – Vézina (W)
TOR – Roach (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu. Forwards: Louis Berlinquette, Billy Boucher, Odie Cleghorn, Aurèle Joliat, Joe Malone, Didier Pitre.
TOR – Goaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Harry Cameron, Billy Stuart. Forwards: Jack Adams, Lloyd Andrews, Babe Dye, Reg Noble, Ken Randall, Ganton Scott.
MTL – 5-4-2 (.545)
TOR – 4-6-1 (.409)