Canadiens 6, St. Pats 1
Wednesday, February 27, 1924
Aréna Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec
The Canadiens overwhelmed the St. Patricks of Toronto here tonight by 6 to 1, and went into second place in the NHL race. Brilliant play by the local forwards was too much for the visiting players, who were hopelessly outclassed. The St. Pats’ best stand was in the second period.
It was the Canadiens’ fifth win on the last six games, and five thousand spectators made the rafters of the arena ring as they cheered the Canadiens in their procession through the Toronto team. The locals were at their best form, outskating and outgeneraling the visitors practically throughout the game. The light, dashing forward line of Morenz, Billy Boucher and Joliat was too fast for the more heavy St. Patricks’ front rank players, and never let up in their efforts to break through and score.
The visitors started playing carefully, maintaining a three man defence, and allowing the Canadiens to do most of the rushing in the first period while they in turn relied chiefly on lone attacks, or at best, a two man combination to get past Cleghorn and Coutu. The St. Pats’ defensive was not strong enough, and the Canadiens scored two goals.
In the second period the visitors opened up, but even then found it almost impossible to get past the strong opposition in front of Vézina, while the wily veteran blocked many shots from Green-shirted players who had broken through and came in on top of him to shoot.
Only one goal beat Vézina. It came in the second period, while the local team was playing five men to six, Joliat being off for too close attention to Babe Dye. The Canadiens were leading 3 -0 at the time, and started to “rag” the puck. The disc went loose near the blue line, and Dye swooped down on it, passing quickly over to Noble, who took a backhanded shot that fooled Vézina.
The Canadiens’ goals included a variety of clever counters. There was some question raised over the first score. Coutu carried the puck down, but lost control of it, and Billy Boucher rushed in and drove it past Roach. The latter immediately protested that Boucher had been skating ahead of Coutu and was offside on the play. Referee Ross had been diving his attention between a brewing melee in which Dye was figuring and the puck, and had not noticed an offside and so ruled.
Coutu immediately demonstrated that he could complete a rush when he skated down with the puck, drove from outside the defence, hurdled through the opposition and caught a puck behind the net. Standing there, he reached around with his stick and placed the disc behind Roach while the visiting players looked on. The neatest goal of the evening came after a rush by Sprague Cleghorn. When on top of the defence, he passed out to Morenz, who drove one ankle high to the far corner of the net while travelling at top speed.
The St. Pats tried hard, especially in the second period, but they could not catch up to the fast opposition forwards, nor beat the stellar defence against them. “Babe” Dye was too closely watched to be effective. A stiff bodycheck from Morenz early in the game slowed him up considerably. Roach made some sensational saves, but had more shots directed at him than he could properly handle. Stuart and Corbeau did not get enough assistance from up front, though they themselves turned in fair games, especially Stuart, who was the best of the visitors.
The St. Pats introduced two new players to Montréal hockey devotees in Holway and Speyer. Holway played most of the game at centre ice, but was a bit awkward in style. Speyer was not called upon to any extent. The Canadiens all played at top speed, Joliat showing great improvement, and fitted into the combination better than he has done previously this season.
Morenz again scintillated at centre ice, while Sprague Cleghorn generaled the team in excellent fashion. Odie Cleghorn relieved Morenz, and in the last period showed his old elusiveness in stickhandling his way through the entire opposition for a goal. In the last period, manager Dandurand sent his entire sub strength to the ice, and they netted two goals.
Story originally published in The Globe, February 28, 1924
MTL GOAL – 11:40 – Bi. Boucher (Coutu)
MTL GOAL – 13:10 – Coutu
MTL PEN – Morenz
MTL GOAL – 04:05 – Morenz (S. Cleghorn)
TOR PP GOAL – 07:30 – Noble (Dye)
MTL GOAL – 10:10 – Joliat (Morenz)
MTL PEN – Joliat
MTL PP GOAL – 10:30 – Bi. Boucher (Mantha)
MTL GOAL – 15:00 – O. Cleghorn
TOR PEN – Corbeau
MTL – Vézina (W)
TOR – Roach (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu, Sylvio Mantha. Forwards: Billy Bell, Billy Boucher, Bobby Boucher, Odie Cleghorn, Aurèle Joliat, Howie Morenz.
TOR – Goaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Bert Corbeau, Albert Holway, Chris Speyer, Billy Stuart. Forwards: Amos Arbour, Babe Dye, Stan Jackson, Reg Noble.
MTL – 11-11-0 (.500)
TOR – 10-12-0 (.455)