Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicago 1934: The First Stanley Cup

The opening paragraph in a newspaper report said it all:

For the first time in its history, the Stanley Cup went to Chicago tonight (Dateline:Chicago, April10), won by the Black Hawks, who took a defensive overtime battle from Detroit Red Wings, 1-0.
As we all watch Chicago and Boston clash in the 2013 Stanley Cup final, we turn the calendar back to 1934, when Chicago claimed their first championship.

Chicago opened the 1934 Cup final on the road at Detroit.

 On April 3, the Black Hawks needed double-overtime to defeat the Red Wings 2-1.

 After winning game two by a 4-1 score, the Black Hawks headed home with a 2-0 series lead in their best-of-five confrontation.

At Chicago Stadium, Detroit found their scoring touch and produced a 5-2 victory in game three.

The Black Hawks second crack at closing out the series came in game four on April 10.

After regulation time failed to settle the matter, the two clubs went into overtime tied 0-0. In the first extra-time period, goalies Charlie Gardiner (Chicago) and Wilf Cude (Detroit) remained in a stingy mood.

What tipped the scales in Chicago's favour was a penalty called against Red Wing Eddie Goodfellow for tripping Tommy Cook in the second overtime stanza.

Just past the ten-minute mark with Chicago on the power play, Mud Marsh, who scored the first NHL goal at the new Maple Leaf Gardens on November 12,1931, deposited the Cup-winning-goal. "...March drove in from the right, pulling loose from  Buswell (Detroit defence Walt Buswell) and slashed a shot into the cage behind Cude," noted the newspaper account.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

The wonderful game of hockey is perhaps the greatest bond between a father and his children.

Joe Primeau Sr. and Joe Primeau Jr. share a moment on the ice in December 1947.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Original Six Final

It always has a nice ring when the Stanley Cup final includes two Original Six teams. This time around, Boston and Chicago add to the rich history of clubs from hockey's Golden era battling for Lord Stanley's mug.

The Boston Bruins got their first taste of Cup final competition in 1926-27. They met Ottawa in a best-of-five series, which ran from April 7, 1927, to April13, 1927. Game one ended in a 1-1 tie and Ottawa defeated Boston in game two by a 3-1 score. When play shifted to Ottawa for game three, the two clubs couldn't settle the matter in regulation time. After twenty-minutes of overtime, the score remained deadlocked at one apiece.

In a rough and tumble game four, Ottawa got two goals from Cy Denneny and one from Frank Finnegan to down the visiting Bruins 3-1. "The Ottawa machine was functioning properly and confidently tonight and they made few mistakes," noted The Globe in their game story the following day.

"When Ottawa won the second and fourth games by identical 3-1 scores, they were declared the winners of the Stanley Cup for 1927," wrote Brian McFarlane in his book "The Stanley Cup".

The Chicago Black Hawks first dipped their skates into the Stanley Cup final pool in 1930-31. Their opponent for all the chips was the Montreal Canadiens. The first two contests of the best-of-five showdown were held in the Windy City, with game one getting underway on April 3, 1931. Following two games in Chicago, the two teams hit the rails and travelled north to Montreal for what turned out to be three contests.

A fifth and deciding game took place on April 14, 1931.

Thanks to a line composed of Johnny Gagnon, Aurel Joliat, and Howie Morenz, the Habs sent their fans home happy with a 2-0 victory. After a scoreless opening frame, Gagnon broke the ice in the second stanza with an assist going to Joliat.

Howie Morenz added an insurance marker in period three. "In the last period Canadiens were beset with a ferocious Chicago drive, but responded with attack for attack and eventually Howie Morenz broke clear at centre ice. He raced in around Wentworth (Cy) and whistled the puck past Gardiner (Charlie) for his first goal since the regular season ended," observed The Globe in their account of the Stanley Cup winning game.

Although the Bruins (1927) and Black Hawks (1931) both went down in their maiden voyages, one will emerge as champions in 2013 and add another Stanley Cup to their trophy case.