Game 055 – St. Pats 2, Canadiens 0

Game 055
St. Pats 2, Canadiens 0
Saturday, January 19, 1924
Aréna Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec

Seldom has a more weird, and yet dogged, struggle been witnessed on a local National Hockey League fixture than was seen in the game here at the Mount Royal Arena on Saturday night, when the St. Patricks blanked the Canadiens 2 to 0. The victory gave the Toronto team a firm hold on second place, and ended temporarily the Canadiens’ chances of drawing even.

Rough, slushy ice greeted the players, and this poor surface rendered good hockey impossible. Players of both sides were unable to control the puck, which bounded about the rink over the boards and anywhere but where the puck carrier wanted it to go. The game soon degenerated into a long distance siege by both teams on the opposing goalkeeper.

The St. Patricks were the first to resort to this kind of play, and in fact, practically throughout the game, made no attempt to bore in beyond the Canadien defence. They were successful, and got the “breaks,” while the Canadiens, though having the better of the rushes, had no luck.

One of the St. Pats’ goals was a gift. It came in the second period, when Babe Dye gathered the puck in behind and to one side of the Canadien net. He passed out in front, and the disc hit Sprague Cleghorn’s skate and bounded past Vézina. Later, the Canadien defence players set to block the expected shot from outside, but Noble outguessed them, and shoving the puck ahead, skated around the opposition. Vézina threw his stick at the puck, but missed. He rushed out to block, but Noble sidestepped and scored.

In the final period, the visitors gave an exhibition of airtight defensive tactics. With good hockey impossible, they resorted to a six man defence, blocking Canadien rushes and merely shooting the puck to the other end of the rink when they had withstood an attack.

The St. Pats’ goalkeeper was at his very best. He stopped drives from far out, from close in, and even when the local forwards were right on top of him. Once in the last session, Sprague Cleghorn carried the puck into the St. Pats’ goalmouth, and a pile resembling a football scrimmage took place at the net, but the puck was not carried over the line. Roach had easily four shots to stop to every one that Vézina handled.

Billy Boucher, who had been suffering somewhat of a wrenched knee, played through without relief, as did the entire Canadien squad. Manager Léo Dandurand did not make one shift throughout the game. The team stood up well under the gruelling, for while good hockey was absent, the game was a terrific strain on the players on both sides, due to the conditions and careful watchfulness entailed.

Story originally published in The Globe, January 21, 1924

1st Period
TOR PEN – Corbeau

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:20 – Dye
TOR GOAL – 18:30 – Noble (Arbour)
TOR PEN – Noble
MTL PEN – Morenz

3rd Period
TOR PEN – Corbeau

TOR – Roach (W + SO)
MTL – Vézina (L)

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

TOR – 6-5-0 (.545)
MTL – 4-6-0 (.400)