Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Memorial Cup: A history . . . 1927

Port Arthur West End Juniors vs. Owen Sound Greys
at Toronto (Arena Gardens)

The Port Arthur West End Juniors’ trek to the Memorial Cup final started to get serious in mid-March, just about the time the ice in their home facility turned to slush.
So it was ruled that the West Ends, champions of the Thunder Bay Hockey League, would journey to Winnipeg where they would meet the winner of a series between the Regina Pats and Elmwood Millionaires.
The Pats and Millionaires were already playing in the Winnipeg Amphitheatre when the West Ends -- or Westies as their fans called them -- arrived.
Regina beat the Millionaires 3-2 on March 14 when Harold Shaw scored with 10 seconds left in the third period, finishing off a play engineered by defenceman Jack Cranstoun.
Regina wrapped up that series on March 16, posting a second 3-2 victory to win the series, 6-4.
Port Arthur's roster looked like this: goaltender Andrew Spooner, 16 years of age and 125 pounds; defencemen ‘Red' Cross, 19, Norman Friday, 19, and U. Seppaia, 19; and, forwards Jack MacKay, 19, Cliff Barton, 19, team captain Edward Monohan, 18, Earl Samec, 19, Brooks Dafoe, 17, and Roger Jenkins, 16.
While Port Arthur and Regina were preparing to meet in Winnipeg, the Owen Sound Greys won the eastern Canadian championship with a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in a sudden-death game played March 17 in Toronto.
Owen Sound's roster looked like this: goaltender Benny Grant, defencemen Alvin Moore and Hillis (Paddy) Paddon; and, forwards Harold (Shrimp) McDougall, Jack Markle, captain Martin Lauder, Johnny (Red) Beattie and John Grant.
The Pats and West Ends opened in the Amphitheatre on March 18 with Regina posting a 2-1 victory on Fred Metcalfe's goal late in the third period that beat Spooner through the legs.
Port Arthur erased the deficit on March 21, beating the Pats 4-1 to win the series 5-3.
"Port Arthur staged a great finish and on the play fully deserved the verdict,” stated one report.

Regina took a 1-0 lead into the second period only to have the Westies score the game's next four goals -- one of them in the second period and three in the third -- getting one each from Cross and Barton and two from Monohan.
The Memorial Cup final, a best-of-three affair, opened on March 25 in Toronto.
"In a thrilling, nerve-wracking game, Owen Sound Greys ... defeated Port Arthur 5-4,” according to one report. "The losers gave a rare display of courageous playing by coming from behind on three occasions to tie the score and by battling the Greys to a standstill in the closing minutes of the game, when they fought desperately to again even matters up.”

Owen Sound's McDougall scored the only goal of the first period.
Port Arthur tied it early in the first period on Barton's goal, only to have Paddon give the Greys the lead a few minutes later. However, McKay's goal pulled the Westies into a tie before the period ended.
Lauder scored twice in the opening minutes of the third period to give Owen Sound a two-goal edge. But Port Arthur roared back and tied it on goals by Cross and Monohan, before Lauder won it with 4:30 to play.
The series ended on March 28 with Owen Sound posting a 5-3 victory after 10 minutes of overtime before about 8,000 fans. The Greys outscored the Westies 3-1 in the extra session.
"The game commenced at a burning pace which was maintained throughout the entire game,” read a report.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period, Owen Sound led 2-1 after two, and it was 2-2 after three.
McDougall struck for four goals for the Greys, including two in overtime.
Paddon had Owen Sound's other goal, the first score of overtime. Friday, Gross and Barton replied for Port Arthur.
McDougall was credited with the Memorial Cup-winning goal at 4:45 of the overtime period. It came off the rebound of a shot by Lauder.
The referee in both games of the final was Lou Marsh, a legendary sports writer after whom Canada's male athlete-of-the-year award is named.

NEXT: 1928 (Regina Monarchs vs. Ottawa Gunners)

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