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.

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