Game 070 – St. Pats 5, Canadiens 3

Game 070
St. Pats 5, Canadiens 3
Thursday, March 11, 1926
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Canadiens, last year’s National Hockey League champions, will likely finish the present race in possession of the cellar berth. At the Arena Gardens last night, the St. Patricks defeated the Frenchmen by 5 to 3, and thus strengthened their hold on fifth place.

It was a fairly interesting game that the old rivals played, the Canadiens’ efforts to overtake the locals after the latter had gained a 4 goal lead being the outstanding feature.

The managements took advantage of a fine opportunity to try out the relief men, and thus gain valuable information for next season’s series. Day, Bellefeuille and Shay started as the local regulars, and while they were in action the Irish dominated the situation and looked like the better team, but when the Toronto substitutes were out, the Canadiens had the better of the going, Leduc and Larochelle playing high class hockey.

There was little action in the first period, when the locals outscored Léo Dandurand’s men by 2 to 0, but when the St. Pats added two more in the next, the Canadiens resented it and started to inject some strenuous play that brought retaliation, and resulted in a few penalties being imposed just to keep the players under control.

The Frenchmen came fast in the last part of the second session and scored two goals in a row, and when they added another six minutes after the last period opened, they found the local management to send the regulars back in order to escape defeat. In this fine Canadien rally, Leduc and Larochelle stood out, each making brilliant attacks. Jack Adams, the crafty veteran, got the last goal of the game with a minute left to play when he beat the defence, drew goalkeeper Rhéaume out of the net, and shoved the puck across the line.

“Happy” Day did good work at centre and scored the first two goals, thus giving him four counters in the last two games, the only ones in which he has played at centre. Day’s speed bothered Pit Lépine to no small extent, and the latter had to be relieved frequently by his brother.

Pete Bellefeuille was given a rough ride by his French Canadian friends, but he stood up manfully all the way, and was playing just as well in the last period as in the first. The St. Pats made no mistake when they signed the former Iroquois Falls and London star. He should be one of the best forwards in the league next winter.

Norman Shay did good work at left wing, and justified the confidence placed in him by the Toronto management. His close checking riled Billy Boucher, and caused the Canadien right winger to make some wild gestures and equally wild swings, with nobody injured. Shay scored the third goal, while Bellefeuille got the fourth.

The Canadiens had just as much of the play as the locals, and only superb goalkeeping by Jack Roach enabled the Irish to win the game. Roach picked them off from all angles and distances, and was one of the most effective players on the ice. At the other end of the rink, Herbie Rhéaume was not so hard to fool the local players, with the exception of Bert McCaffrey finding it rather easy to get the puck into the net. McCaffrey was the hard luck performer of the game. He split the defence wide open three times, but couldn’t register, much to his disgust.

Local juvenile hockey players were the guests of the club and arena, and they enjoyed proceedings, although at times they showed that they were not familiar with professional rules, and their remarks were highly interesting.

Barring a few unexpected episodes, the game was cleanly contested, the best of feeling prevailing. There were, of course, a few exceptions, but these transgressions only served to add spice to an entertainment which might easily have become dull and listless.

Story originally published in The Globe, March 12, 1926

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 05:00 – Day
TOR GOAL – 14:30 – Day (Adams)

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 01:00 – Shay (McCaffrey)
TOR GOAL – 05:30 – Bellefeuille
MTL GOAL – 11:00 – Lépine (Joliat)
MTL GOAL – 12:30 – Larochelle

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 05:00 – Coutu
TOR GOAL – 19:00 – Adams

TOR – McCaffrey, Neville, Shay
MTL – Boucher, Coutu, Joliat, Leduc

TOR – Roach (W)
MTL – Rhéaume (L)

TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Francis Cain, Bert Corbeau (C), Hap Day, Normand Shay. Forwards: Jack Adams, Pete Bellefeuille, Babe Dye, Bert McCaffrey, Mike Neville.
MTLGoaltenders: Herb Rhéaume. Defence: Billy Coutu (C), Albert Leduc, Sylvio Mantha, Roland Paulhus. Forwards: Billy Boucher, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Howie Morenz.

TOR – 12-19-2 (.394)
MTL – 10-23-1 (.309)