Game 066 – St. Pats 4, Canadiens 0

Game 066
St. Pats 4, Canadiens 0
Saturday, December 12, 1925
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The St. Patricks scored their second victory Saturday night, when they defeated the Canadiens 4 to 0 before a large crowd in one of the most exciting professional games ever played at the arena.

From start to finish it was a thriller, and it wasn’t until half the last period had elapsed that the locals seemed sure of winning. There was just enough bodychecking to make things interesting, and plenty of good hockey to satisfy the most exacting of the fans.

The Canadiens started the heavy work, but the locals returned it with plenty of interest. Corbeau, Dye and McCaffrey stopping many of the Habitants’ rushes with stiff body checks, Coutu, Mantha, Leduc and Morenz doing the needful for the visitors. The winners displayed the best hockey they have shown this year, and their defensive play was a treat to watch, Corbeau and McCaffrey blocking well and stopping the Canadiens’ attacks well out. It was very seldom that the losers’ sharpshooters had a chance to get in on Roach, and when they did he handled their shots with ease.

“Happy” Day also had a good night, and his backchecking broke up many of the losers’ rushes before they could get started. “Babe” Dye was too closely watched to be dangerous, but while the Canadiens were keeping guard on him, the rest of the “Irish” did the damage.

Mike Neville turned in his best performance since joining pro company, and he had the fans hollering themselves hoarse every time he started a rush or pokechecked the puck away from the sticks of Boucher, Morenz and Joliat. He made the high priced Montréal players of last year’s champions look foolish more than once, and the goal he scored in the third period was one of the prettiest ever scored on local ice. He picked up the puck on his own defence and stickhandled his way through the whole Canadien team to draw Lacroix out and shove the puck past him into the net.

His pass to McCaffrey in front of the net was responsible for the winners’ fourth goal. Just after he had passed the puck to McCaffrey, he was “sandwiched” between the loser’s defence and knocked unconscious.

Adams, who started at centre, was dangerous at all times and started many an attack, but had hard luck in his shooting. “Babe” Dye checked well, but his shot was wide. In the last period, he was right through the defence and missed the net by inches. Roach played a good game and stopped many shots which were labelled for goals. Morenz and Boucher tested him often, but he was invincible. Holway and Bellefeuille were the only other subs used, and they both played good hockey.

The losers seem to have lost the punch that made them famous last year. The attacking division is not as strong, and the defence is considerably weaker. Lacroix in goal is good, but he is no Vézina, and the Frenchmen will surely miss the veteran goaltender who served them so faithfully. Sprague Cleghorn is also so missed from the defence, both for his defence work and his attacking ability. Mantha and Coutu were good offensively, but defensively they were somewhat weak. Leduc, who relieved them, a recruit from the Montréal Bank League, showed up well, and his private feud with Dye had the fans in an uproar.

Morenz, as usual, was the mainstay of the forwards, and had he been assisted, as well as the local centre players, the result might have been different. Boucher tired easily, and though he played good hockey when on the ice, he had to be relieved oftener than usual. Joliat has not yet regained the form that he displayed last year, and “Happy” Day outplayed him.

The visitors’ best hockey was displayed in the second period, when only the good work of Roach prevented them from getting on the score sheet. Paulhus and Lépine were the substitute forwards, but neither of them displayed much when they were in the game. Unless they improve with great rapidity, they will be nearer the bottom than the top when the NHL season closes.

The locals started off like whirlwinds, and combined attacks by Adams, Day and Dye gave the losers defence and goaltender much to do in the first few minutes. Corbeau’s rushing was also prominent, and his shot was dead on the goal. McCaffrey was attending strictly to business and stopped the Canadien attackers in their tracks. His stiff body checks shook up Boucher every time he tried to get past the former Granite star.

The referee had a busy time and imposed ten penalties, the winners getting six and the losers four. Corbeau and Boucher were the bad men with two apiece.

Story originally published in The Globe, December 14, 1925

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 19:00 – Corbeau

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Neville

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 10:00 – Neville
TOR GOAL – 12:00 – McCaffrey (Neville)

TOR – Corbeau (2), Adams, Bellefeuille, Day, McCaffrey
MTL – Boucher (2), Coutu, Leduc

TOR – Roach (W + SO)
MTL – Lacroix (L)

TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Bert Corbeau (C), Hap Day, Albert Holway, Gerry Munro. Forwards: Jack Adams, Pete Bellefeuille, Babe Dye, Bert McCaffrey, Mike Neville, Reg Reid.
MTLGoaltenders: Alphonse Lacroix. Defence: Billy Coutu (C), Albert Leduc, Sylvio Mantha, Roland Paulhus. Forwards: Billy Boucher, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Howie Morenz.

TOR – 2-3-0 (.400)
MTL – 1-4-0 (.200)