Game 064 – St. Pats 5, Canadiens 4

Game 064
St. Pats 5, Canadiens 4
Saturday, February 7, 1925
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Thrilling hockey featured the St. Patricks-Canadiens tilt here on Saturday night, when the largest crowd of the season saw the Irish match their speed against the Flying Frenchmen and come out on top by 5 to 4.

The visitors tried every trick they knew in an effort to win and make sure of a place in the playoff series, but they found the locals ready for the test, and when it was over they had no excuses to offer. The St. Patricks were never headed. They led at the end of the first period by 2 to 1, and at the next intermission by 4 to 3.

Early in the season, the locals did not look like a championship contender, but they have improved rapidly, and on Saturday they played high class hockey, and won on their merits. It was the first time this season that they were able to outscored the Canadiens at the local Arena. All the Irish players did their part, but at that “Happy” Day and goalkeeper Roach were the outstanding performers. Day ran second to no one in regard to speed. He scored two goals and received vociferous applause.

The Canadiens might have said that they lost the game owing to the five penalties served by Aurèle Joliat. The latter was not in good humour, and he ran wild after he engaged in a wrestling match with Jack Adams early in the game. In all, he watched the struggle from the penalty bench for thirteen minutes, and his absence made a whole lot of difference. Joliat earned every penalty he received. He was on the warpath, and came home a bad second.

Local fans who were under the impression that the mighty Frenchmen had “shot their bolt” and were on the downgrade, quickly revised that opinion. The playoff series is getting nearer, and the Canadiens are starting to travel fast. It will be remembered that last season they trailed along until the last few weeks, and they spurted so fast and effectively that they won eight games in a row, and the professional championship. In beating this team, the St. Patricks therefore accomplished a real feat, one that shows  that they will have to be reckoned with in the exciting games to come.

Pro hockey has secured a firm foothold in Toronto. The Arena was packed, and it was stated by one of the officials that a new record for receipts had been established. Long before the doors opened, the fans lined up at the western entrance. Every reserved seat ticket had been disposed of, and only standing room remained.

“Babe” Dye added one more goal to his total, and Aurèle Joliat also got one. Dye is now far in the lead, and will likely win the mythical crown. He was bumped around with rare abandon, but played well throughout, combining nicely with his teammates at every opportunity. Bert McCaffrey was another who played good hockey. He was one of the regular defencemen.

Bert Corbeau was never better this season. He checked well, and scored one goal. Jack Adams also drew plenty of applause. He has apparently struck his stride in earnest. He was very tricky on the attack, and should have scored three goals. He got the fifth counter, however, and it was the winning one at that.

Five minutes had passed in the opening period before the St. Patricks scored. Adams paved the way for the counter when his pass to Dye enabled the latter to beat Vézina from close range. Three minutes later, the persevering Morenz put the teams on even terms. No better attack than his was ever seen anywhere. He sprinted past the front line, swerved around the defence, drew Roach out and scored. There was plenty of sustained speed in this period, but little combination. Individual rushes were the order, and finally Day went right in to beat Vézina again.

There was no slackening in the pace of the second, and only two minutes elapsed before the teams were deadlocked again, Joliat scoring when Morenz’s shot rebounded off Roach’s pads. The St. Patricks, fighting with their backs to the wall, then showed their best hockey of the season. They turned back the incoming puck carriers, and they launched dangerous attacks that even had Sprague Cleghorn slightly bewildered.

Day, racing in with Corbeau accompanying him, crashed the puck against Vézina’s foot, and Corbeau arrived in time to shove it into the net. Then Joliat and Sprague Cleghorn were banished, and in their absence Day scored on a pass from Adams. Before the intermission, Billy Boucher reduced the lead on a pass from Joliat. Boucher made a fine play as he had to draw Roach out of the net before he shot.

If anything, the pace was faster than ever in the last session. The St. Patricks went into an apparently safe lead in five minutes, when Corbeau combined with Adams for the fifth counter, but seven minutes later Sprague Cleghorn went from end to end and beat Roach with a wicked drive after he had eluded the defence.

Story originally published in The Globe, February 9, 1925

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 04:30 – Dye (Day, Adams)
MTL GOAL – 07:30 – Morenz
TOR GOAL – 13:30 – Day (Dye)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 06:00 – Morenz (Boucher)
TOR GOAL – 09:00 – Corbeau (Day)
TOR PP GOAL – 15:30 – Day (Adams)
MTL GOAL – 19:30 – Boucher (Joliat)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Adams (Corbeau)
MTL GOAL – 12:00 – S. Cleghorn (Morenz)

TOR – Adams (3)
MTL – Joliat (3 minors + major), S. Cleghorn

TOR – Roach (W)
MTL – Vézina (L)

TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach (C). Defence: Bert Corbeau, Hap Day, Albert Holway. Forwards: Jack Adams, Babe Dye, Bert McCaffrey, Mike Neville, Reg Reid, Rod Smylie.
MTLGoaltenders: Georges Vézina. Defence: Sprague Cleghorn (C), Billy Coutu, Fern Headley, Sylvio Mantha. Forwards: Billy Boucher, Odie Cleghorn, Aurèle Joliat, Johnny Matz, Howie Morenz.

TOR – 12-9-0 (.571)
MTL – 11-8-2 (.571)