Game 053 – Canadiens 3, St. Pats 0

Game 053
Canadiens 3, St. Pats 0
Saturday, December 29, 1923
Aréna Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec

The Canadiens materially bettered their position in the National Hockey League race, when they captured the opening game of the local professional hockey season, blanking the St. Patricks Saturday night 3 to 0.

Superiority at all stages throughout the struggle of a light, young, aggressive forward line over an attacking combination of heavier and older players was responsible for the locals’ victory. It was only the work of Roach in the nets for the visitors from Toronto that kept the Canadien wings from adding further to their scoring records.

The St. Pats’ wings were completely “swamped,” and the result was that the visitors were forced to continue the defensive game at which they started, playing the extra man back for the greater part of the game, and at the same time trusting to luck on long shots to beat Vézina. In this way, Stuart and Corbeau did the brunt of the playing for the visitors. They not only worked hard on the defence, but they led the majority of the rushes that were launched by the St. Pats against Vézina.

The Canadiens in the first period were unable to penetrate the strong defence of the St. Pats, and what good opportunities they did make were nullified by the magnificent work of Roach.

The second period was the fastest of the match. The Canadiens pressed, and after six minutes of play, Joliat drove at the boards and sent the rebound in on Roach, who saved, but could not clear before Billy Boucher flipped the puck into the net.

Joliat immediately started another rush, which, while it did not bring him a goal, landed him into a fistic battle with Jack Adams, the culmination of a few words the pair had as they jostled one another behind the net. There was a host of peacemakers on top before the fight had gone far, but it was not stopped before Joliat took Adams’ initial blow flush on the lip, resulting in a bothersome cut. The pair took a five minute rest each.

Noble secured the St. Patricks’ best chance for a goal in this period when he skated through the defence. He was tripped by “Odie” Cleghorn before he could shoot, and the puck went wide. Then Joliat returned to the ice and heralded his reentry by taking a pass from Billy Boucher from behind the net to give the Canadiens a good margin.

In the final period, Stuart banged the puck by Vézina, but referee Ross brought the play back for offside. Joliat made the most spectacular play of the evening. He went through alone and slammed the puck hard, rushed in to take the rebound and drive it into the nets, while almost on top of Roach.

Story originally published in The Globe, December 31, 1923

1st Period

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 06:55 – Boucher (Joliat)
MTL GOAL – 18:00 – Joliat (Boucher)
MTL PEN – Joliat (major)
TOR PENS – Adams (minor + major), Noble

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 08:15 – Joliat
MTL PENS – Boucher, S. Cleghorn
TOR PENS – Adams, Corbeau, Jackson

MTL – Vézina (W + SO)
TOR – Roach (L)

MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu, Sylvio Mantha. Forwards: Billy Boucher, Billy Cameron, Odie Cleghorn, Aurèle Joliat, Joe Malone, Howie Morenz.
TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Bert Corbeau, Wilf Loughlin, Billy Stuart. Forwards: Jack Adams, Lloyd Andrews, Amos Arbour, Stan Jackson, Reg Noble, Ganton Scott.

MTL – 2-2-0 (.500)
TOR – 3-2-0 (.600)