Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cooking up a Stanley Cup: NY Rangers 1933

Every National Hockey League team looks for a secret ingredient which will help them win hockey's grand prize.

In 1933, the New York Rangers looked their resident cook, Bill Cook, to work his magic in the kitchen.

On April 13, 1933, the Rangers and Leafs tangled in game four of their best-of-five Cup final at Maple Leaf Gardens. New York held a 2-1 advantage in games won and needed one more victory to close out the series.

After playing sixty-minutes of scoreless hockey in game four, Bill Cook turned-up the heat in the kitchen.

Ranger goalie, Andy Aitkenhead, looks on as three of his teammates tend to Maple Leaf centre Joe Primeau

When seven-minutes and thirty-four-seconds of overtime had gone by, dinner was ready. And it was the Maple Leafs who were cooked.

Toronto found themselves in a sizzling frying pan when Alex Levinsky and Bill Thoms were both in the penalty box, giving New York a two-man advantage. To help generate offence, Lester Patrick employed five forwards on the power play.

The play leading up to the Stanley Cup winning goal began at centre ice with Butch Keeling gaining possession of the puck and working his way towards Toronto's zone.

Joseph C. Nichols of The New York Times described what happened next:

 Breaking away instantly, Butch sped along the left alley far into Toronto's territory. Bill Cook accompanied him on his journey, travelling along the right lane near the side boards. As Red Horner (a Leaf defenceman) approached Keeling in an endeavour to steal the disk from him, the latter transferred it quickly and precisely to the fast-skating Bill, who took the pass easily.
 Not breaking his stride a bit, the Ranger swooped in on Chabot, and when the Leaf goalie sought to come out of the cage to topple his adversary Bill lifted the puck swiftly into the far corner.

While Bill Cook and the rest of the Rangers feasted on their victory, Toronto's fans suddenly lost their appetite.

The New York Rangers had won their second Stanley Cup since entering the NHL in 1926-27.

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