Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Memorial Cup: A history . . . 1935

Winnipeg Monarchs vs. Sudbury Cub Wolves
at Winnipeg (Amphitheatre)

The Sudbury Cub Wolves, Memorial Cup champions in 1932, were back in the final in 1935.
So, too, were the Winnipeg Monarchs, the team the Cub Wolves defeated in the 1932 final.
They would meet in a best-of-three final in the Winnipeg Amphitheatre, just like they had in 1932 when the Monarchs won the opener but then lost the next two games.
This time around, Sudbury featured the likes of defenceman Charles (Chuck) Shannon, who would play in the NHL with the Montreal Maroons and New York Americans; and, forwards Wilbert Carl (Dutch) Hiller (New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens) and Don (The Count) Grosso (Detroit, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston).
The Sudbury defence was sparked by a pair of players who were quite big for those days. Shannon, only 18, weighed 195 pounds, while Roy Swanson, 19, weighed 175.
Coach Max Silverman -- he had been the manager in 1932 -- went with 19-year-old Dave Kemp as his goaltender.
Sudbury, which went into the Memorial Cup final without a playoff loss, averaged 18 years of age and 160 pounds.
In Winnipeg's lineup were the likes of captain Pete Belanger, who played on a Monarchs' forward unit that featured Romeo Martel and Paul Rheault and was known as the Flying Frenchmen, Wilf Field (Montreal Canadiens, Chicago, and the Brooklyn and New York Americans), and Joe Krol (Brooklyn and the New York Rangers). The goaltender was Paul Gauthier.
Winnipeg was coached by former player Harry Neil and was managed by Bill Webber.
The Sudbury bunch wasn't favored to come out of the east. It had been expected that the Ottawa Rideaus would survive there.
But it didn't happen.
Ottawa had trampled the Moncton Red Indians 11-3 and 13-5 to move into the eastern final. At the same time, Ottawa was sidelining the Verdun, Que., Maple Leafs, 9-4 and 11-7.
The Cub Wolves met Sudbury in a best-of-three eastern final series that opened on March 30 in Toronto.
Sudbury surprised everyone by whipping Ottawa 3-0 in the opener, and then put it away with a 7-4 victory on April 1 in Ottawa before more than 6,000 fans.
"The mighty Sudbury Cub Wolves, who have in a systematic fashion bowled over all former opposition, finally overcame the last obstacle in eastern Canada,” reported The Canadian Press. "The youngsters from northern Ontario never left a doubt with Ottawa fans as to their superiority. Time and again the Cub Wolves went up three men abreast and the Rideau defence had to give way.”
In the west, the Saskatoon Wesleys made a move as they defeated the Vancouver King Georges 7-0 and 4-2, and then dumped the Edmonton Canadians, 6-2 and 4-0.
At the same time, Winnipeg was hammering the Fort William Maroons 8-0 and 6-2 to advance against the Wesleys in a series played in its entirety in the Winnipeg Amphitheatre. Winnipeg won the first game of the best-of-three western final, 5-4, lost the second 5-3 and wrapped it up with a 3-2 victory. Each game was played before about 4,500 fans.
Saskatoon came awfully close -- awfully close -- to winning against the Monarchs.
The opener, played in Winnipeg on April 2, was decided in the last two minutes of the third period. Saskatoon actually led 4-3 when Bill Clubb was penalized for pulling down a Winnipegger on a breakaway. With Clubb in the box, Johnny (Ike) Prokaski tied it with 1:34 to play and Krol, a speedy left winger, won it with just two seconds left on the clock.
Two nights later, the Wesleys' Pete Leswick scored two shorthanded goals as Saskatoon erased a 2-0 first-period deficit en route to a 5-3 victory that evened the series at 1-1.
The Monarchs led 3-1 midway through the second period only to have Saskatoon tie it before the period ended and score the only two goals of the third.
The western final ended on April 6 when Belanger, a speedy centre, scored the game-winner at 11:01 of the third period with Rheault in the penalty box to give the Monarchs a 3-2 victory.
The Memorial Cup final opened on April 9, with the Monarchs posting a 7-6 victory before more than 4,500 fans.
"Thirteen times the red light flashed on as the high-scoring band of youngsters traveled at full clip and sought goals and still more goals,” reported Herbert A. Honey of The Canadian Press.
Winnipeg led 3-1 after the first period and 6-5 after the second. In fact, Sudbury never led in this game as the scores went like this, always with Winnipeg in the lead: 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 6-4, 6-5, 7-5, 7-6.
When it was over, Winnipeg had three goals from Krol, two from Burr Keenan, and singles from Rheault and Field. Sudbury goals came from Shannon (2), Jock Smith, Art Stuart, Grosso and Len Webster.
"A game fighting band, the sturdy Winnipeg boys were given only an outside chance against the highly favored Wolves,” Honey wrote. "A little more finish to Sudbury's sweeping attack in the waning minutes of the final period might have reversed the score.”
The Wolves finished well in Game 2, played on April 11 in front of more than 4,000 fans.
Stuart, a sleek left winger, scored four times to lead Sudbury to a 7-2 victory that wasn't as lopsided as first glance would seem to indicate.
"A quick-thinking, puck-following pack of Cub Wolves from Sudbury concocted hockey magic,” reported The Canadian Press.
Sudbury led 2-1 after one period and 3-2 after two. Winnipeg trailed only 4-2 as the third period wound down. But Sudbury put it away with three goals in the last two minutes 30 seconds.
Hiller, with two, and Grosso also scored for Sudbury. Keenan and Krol replied for Winnipeg.
"Monarch fans were dissatisfied with referees Alex Irvin, of Winnipeg, and Harry Shouldice, of Ottawa,” reported The Canadian Press. "They showed their displeasure at frequent minor penalties meted out to the Manitobans by showering peanuts and programs on to the ice. Play was halted several times in order to clear the ice.”
There were 15 penalties handed out, with Winnipeg taking seven of them.
When it was over, Silverman was crying the blues. Or, was he just playing a game?
As CP reported: "A keen-eyed bunch of Sudbury Wolves insist podgy (sic) Max Silverman looks better in a brown fedora than a black bowler and so the coach of the eastern junior champions will wear it into battle Saturday night against Winnipeg Monarchs.
"Wolves lost the first tilt 7-6, and that night he wore his ‘christie' -- in fact one fan threatened to pull it over his ears when he halted play to argue with the referee.
"Wolves won (Game 2) 7-2 while Silverman bellowed orders from the bench under a natty felt that matched his coat. It's plain as a pikestaff Max will be fedora-topped Saturday night.”
"The boys hit their stride,” exclaimed Silverman when Game 2 was all over. "We'll outskate and outsmart those westerners Saturday night the same way.”
Then Silverman started the mind games. Referring to the penalties in Game 2, he said: "What's the matter? Can't they take it? It was the worst display of poor sportsmanship I've seen.”
In the Winnipeg dressing room, Neil wouldn't stand for any criticism of Shouldice, the referee known as ‘Hap' who would also become a fine CFL official.
"He's a square referee who calls 'em as he sees 'em,” Neil stated.
Irvin and Shouldice were the referees for Game 3, too. It was played on April 13 before more than 4,500 fans.
"The mantle of dominion junior hockey supremacy today was draped around the slim shoulders of Winnipeg Monarchs,” wrote Honey. "A flying band of skating youth, the western champions joined a host of amateur hockey greats by defeating Sudbury Cub Wolves 4-1 in the third and deciding game of the Memorial Cup final series ...
"Harry Neil's brigade, with the artistry of master swordsmen, parried a slower but more rugged eastern offensive with spectacular netminding and lightning raids to bring Canadian supremacy to the west.”
Keenan scored three times for Winnipeg, two of them set up by Prokaski, who scored the Monarchs' other goal. Keenan's second goal, at 8:33 of the second period, would go into the books as the Memorial Cup-winner.
Stuart scored for Sudbury, but by the time he found the range, midway through the third period, it was 4-0.
If Keenan was one star, Gauthier was the other.
As Honey wrote: "Gauthier put the Indian sign on Chuck Shannon, Bill Hiller and other high-scoring eastern sharpshooters with an amazing display of net wizardry.”

NEXT: 1936 (Saskatoon Wesleys vs. West Toronto Nationals)

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