Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Memorial Cup: A history . . . 1926

Calgary Canadians vs. Queen's University Queens
at Winnipeg (Amphitheatre)

The Calgary Canadians were back again in 1926, but they just made it, beating the home-town Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 3-2 on Paul Thompson's overtime goal to take the two-game, total-goal affair, 6-5.

In the meantime, the visiting Queen's University Queen's from Kingston were tying 3-3 and winning 2-1 to take the Eastern final 5-4 over Fort William.

Spirits ran high in the second game and umpire Harold Mitchell, according to one report, "had to be escorted under police protection to the YMCA with the crowd pelting him with ice and snowballs. Later, he was taken out of the building through an entrance in the rear of the basement and escorted to his hotel.”

Yes, even back then it was the fault of the officials.

As the report further noted: "The local fans were of the opinion that (Mitchell) had given the Fort William boys the worst of the penalties and had allowed the visitors to hold and trip without penalizing them.”

Mitchell was back on the ice on March 23 in Winnipeg as Queen's scored a 4-2 victory over Calgary in the first game of the Dominion final for the Memorial Cup -- a series that was once again a best-of-three affair.

Thompson was reportedly the best man on the ice, but Calgary "passed up numerous opportunities to score and found an almost insurmountable barrier in Taughter in the Kingston nets.”

Queen’s got first-period goals from Carl Voss and ???? Reid, with George McTeer replying for Calgary. ???? McPherson scored two second-period goals, giving the Kingston side a 4-1 lead. Thompson got Calgary's final goal in the third period. (Voss would go on to play for eight different NHL teams -- the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Eagles, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons and Chicago Blackhawks.)

As for Mitchell, well . . .

"Harold Mitchell of Toronto and Steamer Maxwell of Winnipeg handled the game and the former came in for the crowd's disapproval on several occasions for his strict interpretation of the rules,” read one report. "The fans, however, were probably more influenced by the reputation which had preceded him from Fort William than by his lack of fairness in tonight's game. A little less bell-ringing would no doubt have speeded up the game considerably.”

The Canadians won 3-2 on March 25 to force the first sudden-death game for the Memorial Cup.

"Kingston evened the score a few minutes from the close of the game, but Gordon Savage, the brilliant Calgary defenceman, skated clear through for the winning counter,” read a report.

Thompson and Donnie McFadyen gave Calgary a 2-0 lead with the only goals of the first period. After a scoreless second period, ???? Hartley scored twice in the third for Kingston. And, of course, Savage won it shortly thereafter for Calgary.

The very next night, on March 26, Calgary won it all, taking a 3-0 lead and hanging on for a 3-2 victory.

"Tonight's game was lightning fast,” one reporter wrote. "Calgary opened with a burst of speed which netted a goal in the opening session and two in the second. The Canadians completely dominated the play until Kingston put up their characteristic fighting finish in the last period. Calgary had increased their lead to three in the middle spasm and the Kingston rally only fell short of tying the count by the smallest of margins.

"Thompson of Calgary was again the outstanding player on the ice, being responsible for two of his team's tallies.”

Thompson scored the game's first and third goals, the latter standing up as the game- and championship-winning goal. Ronnie Martin also scored for Calgary. Hartley and Voss replied for Queen‘s.

NEXT: 1927 (Port Arthur West End Juniors vs. Owen Sound Greys)

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