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3/03/2024 5:57 pm  #131

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

Great Post as usual, congrats to the Kings on finally winning it all, but even more important, someone besides the Lakers or Bluebirds won! Also, it says 1927 champions, not 1928


3/05/2024 11:09 am  #132

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1928 MHL Offseason: Off the Ice

After a couple of less entertaining offseasons, the 1928 offseason produced lots of news off the ice, with some exciting things headed the league’s way.

Foxes unable to continue in Peoria, to relocate to St. Louis

First, the Peoria Foxes announced that they were losing too much money in Peoria to continue playing there. Instead of folding, Missourian investor Harrison Sterling announced his intention to buy the team and relocate it to St. Louis. James Burris approved the idea, and the Foxes will now try and survive in a much larger city.

Sterling loves the idea of St. Louis as the “Rome of the West”, and do celebrate that, he announced the team would rebrand to the St. Louis Centurions, in the maroon and gold colors of the city of Rome. The logo features a centurion helmet with the city name arched above. The jerseys are maroon with gold shoulders and striping.

MHL announces two new expansion teams to begin in 1928-29

Soon after the St. Louis announcement, the MHL announced it had reached terms with owners in the cities in Quebec, QC and Detroit, MI to have expansion teams ready in time for the beginning of the 1928-29 season. Commissioner James Burris says “This is something I’ve been hoping could happen for a while. Having teams in growing areas such as these is nothing but beneficial to the sport and the league.”

The Quebec team will be owned by Émile Beauchamp, a lumber tycoon who owns one of the most successful lumber businesses in the province. As a man fiercely proud to be from the province, he named the team “Club de Hockey Québécois”, taking an unorthodox approach to naming compared to the rest of the league. The team logo is a fancy Q, and the colours are the blue and white of the Quebec flag. The jerseys feature a blue base, white shoulders and stripes.

Meanwhile in Detroit, A group of automotive executives led by Hank Stratford are behind that franchise. They had been interested for a while, but it only worked out this offseason. The team name will be the Detroit Guardians. Stratford is so passionate about the name that he threatened violence toward the other executives if they didn’t agree with his choice. The team logo is the silhouette of a deer, the state mammal, and something else Stratford made sure was chosen. The jerseys are a blue base with black shoulders, cuffs, and hem, outlined in white.

Stratford is known to be extremely passionate and almost a bully towards others, something commissioner Burris is wary about. Reports are that Stratford will not be afraid to confront and threaten players and staff if the team does not perform the way he likes. Something that the league will need to keep an eye on.

Nassau Lynx move to new, bigger arena

The Nassau Lynx became the second NYC-based team in two years to move into a new arena, as they will play at the brand-new County Memorial Arena starting in 1928-29. Their old arena at the County Fairgrounds worked for a few years, but this new arena now meets more MHL standards, and allows for more fans to watch the young, upstart team play.

Two teams tweak their jerseys

In Brooklyn, the new champion Kings made two small tweaks to their set. First, they added two small stripes underneath the big one, then they moved their B-crown logo to above the heart, as the team ownership group were inspired by British football clubs and their kits.

As well, the Montreal Barons announced a very small tweak to their jerseys this offseason. The thin pinstripes underneath the big stripes on the arms and hem have been removed, and their look is back to what it was to start off their time in the MHL.

     Thread Starter

3/05/2024 11:10 pm  #133

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

Alright, looks we got some big cities coming to the MHL this time around!

St. Louis: I like the branding here, would have never thought of Centurions for a St. Louis team. 

Quebec: While I'm a little disappointed there isn't a "true name" for these guys, the brand is solid enough, kind of reminds me of the Quebec team from the old PHL with the Blue and White. 

Detroit: This Stratford character sounds like one to watch in this series. That aside, they look nice nonetheless, although I'm confused on why the primary logo has the deer in blue while the deer is black on the jersey. 

Brooklyn: I think it may be a little out of place for a team in the late 1920s in America to model their jerseys after English soccer teams, considering soccer wasn't very well known in the States back then, but we shall see how this goes. 

MTL Barons: Not much to say here, honestly the pinstripes didn't look too great on those jerseys, sorta made the jerseys a little complex. 

All in all, great update! Can't wait for the season. 


3/07/2024 1:22 pm  #134

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1928 MHL Offseason: On the ice

With 2 new expansion teams, this free agency was mostly geared toward teams re-signing their key players. Most of the key deals were teams locking up their stars, or signing new talent into the league.

In Boston, The Harpers’ only move was re-signing W Jeff Apps to a 5-year deal. The 25-year-old has 90 points in 210 career games, and had a career high 21 goals and 29 points in 1927-28. He’ll look to help out a rising Harpers team after their playoff appearance last year.

In Brooklyn, the reigning champion kings re-signed two key pieces: Richard McGrath and Laurence Antoine. McGrath broke out offensively last season, while Antoine led the league in points. They also re-signed secondary scorer Tim Houle, and added free agents D Donald Benoit and W James Kennedy to strengthen their roster. 

In Chicago, The Wildcats’ biggest signing was rookie Harold Mitchell, a speedy centre with good playmaking abilities. Another rookie signing was Lawrence Tabor, a big defenseman to help their shakiness in that zone last year. 

In Detroit, the Guardians got some decent players for their first year. Their biggest acquisition was Wolf Southward, who had 11 goals and 16 points for Ottawa last year. Most of their other signings were rookies, such as Windsor native Sam Phillips, and offensive dynamo Marcus Alexander.

In Indy, the Chauffeurs’ signed rookie Charles Seymour to a huge deal. Seymour is a tough, smart player with a great shot, and should be a key contributor to their offense. to help their offense, they also re-signed Lennie Triplett and Arthur Murray, who were both good contributors last season.

In Montreal, the Barons had two major re-signings. Jean Fortin was given one of the biggest deals of the offseason, and while his offensive stats don’t jump off the page, he can play very well on either end of the ice. The other big signing was Frank Renaud, who has been their go-to defenseman the past few seasons. Like Fortin, he can play well on either end of the ice.

Staying in Montreal, the Greys’ biggest move was signing rookie C William Smith, who critics believe will become a star. The Calgary native is an all-around gem, with no real flaws in his game. Other moves were re-signings, with longtime W Chris Clark and young D John Windsorton getting new deals.

In Nassau County, the Lynx re-signed playmaker James Bos to a new deal, locking him up for 4 more years. They also signed rookie W Paul Brooks and re-signed young G Michael Whitlow to a new contract.

In Manhattan, the Blue Birds made the biggest deal in MHL history, signing G Moses Addison to a 10-year deal with an average salary of $21,900. Addison has been the only goalie they’ve ever used, and he will now be staying in New York until he turns 39. They re-signed other key pieces, like D Andrew Moehring, C Danny Prince, and W Serge Mathieu.

The Newark Yellow Jackets signed too many players this offseason. They currently sit at 22 players, with the max roster size being 13. Of the players they signed, the biggest ones were G Trevor Walker, and free agent wingers Rick Cardinal and George Jack. Lots of choices will need to be made by management before the season starts.

In Ottawa, the Lumberjacks had 3 of the top 10 deals, re-signing D Dim Meredith, W Sam Cruciani, and G John Gilchrist to new deals. Meredith one of the top defensemen in the league, and has good offensive instincts. Cruciani broke out in 1927-28, being top 5 in points overall. Lastly, Gilchrist had his best season of his career, and is just entering his prime. All 3 will be key pieces to a run at a 2nd consecutive playoff appearance.

In Quebec, They opted for a more veteran-focused approach compared to Detroit, who went with mostly rookies. Michel Brittain, Dean Shaw, and Kevin Bishop are all seasoned players that can get the team off to a decent start. In terms of rookies, their biggest acquisition was 20-year-old Thaddeus Baldwin, who will be relied on as their starting goalie.

The St. Louis Centurions brought in lots of players to choose from for their inaugural season in the Gateway City. Their biggest re-signing was D Adrian Lang, who is a solid defender for a blueline with historical struggles. An underrated move by them was signing former MHL leading scorer Byron Francis, looking to get him to relight his offensive spark.

Lastly, the Toronto Lakers re-signed D Francois Girard, their #1 defenseman and a consistently great performer. They also signed one of the hottest prospects in the hockey world in D Gordon Dube. The Yellowknife native moved to Calgary to play amateur, and lit it up on both sides of the puck. He should develop into an amazing player. 


1927-28 MHL Preseason:

The MHL moved the number of games per season up again, now 60 for this year. As well, they kept the divisional-heavy schedule, with teams facing divisional opponents 7 or 8 times, and all teams in the opposite division twice. The playoffs will remain in the same format, the top 2 teams in each division facing off in a best-of-3, then a best-of-5 Abbott Cup final.

     Thread Starter

3/10/2024 1:50 pm  #135

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1928-29 MHL Season: First Half

With two new expansion teams, the 1927-28 saw some struggles, and also some great starts to the year by some teams. There haven’t been any incredible surprises so far, but we’ll see what the second half holds.

Leading the way in the west was surprise surprise, the Toronto Lakers. The team that never seems to weaken, the Lakers are on track to break the MHL points % record (also held by them), sitting at almost 0.800. Despite not being #1 in any major category, they are near the top in every single one. Their 13-2 home record in particular is impressive. Toronto sits at 23-6.

In 2nd are the Chicago Wildcats, who seem to be back after a disappointing 1927-28 season. Their defense was their downfall last year, and they’ve improved by leaps and bounds already. They’ve allowed over 0.5 less goals per game, and that’s been the difference between them and other Western hopefuls. Chicago sits at 19-10-1.

In 3rd are the Ottawa Lumberjacks, who are likely the only other Western team with a shot at the playoffs. They’ve been a high-event team, with the 2nd-most goals per game but also a high number against. Sam Cruciani was expected to lead the offense, but instead, it’s Karl Lucas and James Kennedy that have both broken out, and sit #1 and #2 in the league points race. Ottawa sits at 19-14.

In 4th are the St. Louis Centurions. They got off to a hot start, winning their first 4 games. Since then they’ve struggled, But are still sort of in a playoff picture situation. Rookie Peter Alden has been a sensation for them, sitting top 5 in goals with 15. It’ll be a long shot for them to make the playoffs, but it’s not impossible, as they sit at 13-16.

The bottom 3 teams are the Indianapolis Chauffeurs, Newark Yellow Jackets, and expansion Detroit Guardians. Indy has disappointed after being expected to take a step forward, with their defense being horrendous. Newark has almost matched their win total from last year, but are still struggling on and off the ice. Lastly, the Guardians have been the worse of the two new teams, but for an MHL expansion season it hasn’t been awful. Still lots of work to be done though.

In the East, it was the Montreal Greys sitting on top. Last season saw their offense negate their stellar defensive play, but now their offense is bang-on average, so their overall record has greatly improved. Alan Clercius is having a season for the ages, with a 1.25 GAA and 0.940 SV%, leading the league in both categories. He is doing his darnedest to get the Greys into contention. They sit at 21-10.

In second are the reigning champs, the Brooklyn Kings. They’ve been like a “lite” version of the Greys this year, with meh offense but great defense. It’s a step back from their dominance last year, but still good enough to be holding down a playoff spot. Their pass-focused style of play has led them to have 2 of the top 3 assist leaders, William Smith and Laurence Antoine. The Kings sit at 19-9-2.

In third are the New York Blue Birds. They’re on track to easily have a better season that the 1927-28 disappointment, but with the East quickly becoming competitive, a playoff spot hasn’t been as automatic for them as it has been in the past. They’re fighting with the Greys and Kings to make the postseason, but are still very alive in the race. New York sits at 18-10-1, 3 points behind the Kings.

In 4th are the Nassau Lynx. They’re the first of the “mid” Eastern teams, who have a gap between them and the top 3 playoff spot contenders. They’ve been on track to take a leap into playoff contention the past couple of years, but being stuck in a division with the Birds and Kings hasn’t made it easy. They seem to be stuck in the middle, but could potentially make a run in the second half. Nassau sits at 15-16.

In 5th and 6th are two disappointing teams, the Boston Harpers and Montreal Barons. Both these teams have the talent to be looking at the playoff picture, but can’t seem to get to the level needed to actually accomplish that. Boston seems to be more unlucky than bad though, As their offense has been one of the best in the league. They sit at 14-17-1, while the Barons sit at 12-15-2.

Lastly, the Quebecois are honestly having a very solid season for an MHL expansion team that has to settle on free agents. Veteran signings like Kevin Bishop and Michel Brittain have been great for the team. Quebec has struggled with injuries as well, so their record of 6-21-1 may even be unlucky considering what they’ve dealt with. They will look to finish off strong in a very competitive East Division.

1928-29 Season Leaders (So Far)

     Thread Starter

3/11/2024 7:13 pm  #136

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

Shame to see the Chauffeurs dropping hard, thought they could turn it around. Should be an intriguing second half of the season. 


3/13/2024 3:05 pm  #137

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1928-29 MHL Season: Second Half

The second half of the season was dominated by the East having a super intense playoff race featuring nearly every team. It died out toward the end of the season, but there were tons of intense games from that division to the end of the year.

Finishing atop the west, to the shock of absolutely nobody, were the Toronto Lakers. Their historic pace died down in the second half, but they were still easily holding down the top spot. They made waves late in the year with a huge trade, acquiring MHL leading goal/point scorer Joseph Ocking from Newark in exchange for longtime forward Kenneth Moore. Ocking has fit in perfectly with the Lakers, who finished with the league’s top offense. Toronto finished at 42-18.

Clinching the other Western spot were the Chicago Wildcats, who make the postseason for the second time in 3 years. They enjoyed a nice end to their bounceback season, particularly with 2nd-year player Henry Baumgartner, who led the league with 31 goals in 58 games, making a Wildcat win the scoring title for 3 straight years. Players like Roy Parent and Dan Vanderbeken also had good years for the league’s second-ranked offense, as Chicago finished at 35-24-1.

Finishing in 3rd, outside of the playoffs were the Ottawa Lumberjacks. It was more or less the same for them, Playing well but not well enough to overtake Chicago. Karl Lucas and James Kennedy, who were 1-2 in league scoring at the half, had 10+ game injuries and fell out of contention for that. While they struggled to overtake Chicago with them, it was even worse without. Despite that, they still finished at 33-27, the only other Western team above 0.500.

In 4th were the St. Louis Centurions. Like Ottawa, their second half was a mirror image of the first half. Nothing of note happened to them to close the year. Their biggest storyline was the resurgence of Byron Francis, who had his highest goal total since he led the league outright in 1924-25. St. Louis finished at 26-34.

The bottom 3 teams are the Indianapolis Chauffeurs, Detroit Guardians, and Newark Yellow Jackets. Indy had a slightly better second half but their defense continued to let them down, as they finished at 22-36-2. Detroit achieved the rare feat of not finishing last in the division as an expansion team, actually going above 0.500 to close out the year, finishing at 21-39. Lastly, the Newark Yellow Jackets struggled on and off the ice, and likely won’t be returning for 1929-30. Their time in the MHL has been nothing short of disastrous. They finished at 17-42-1, last in the entire league for the third straight year.

In the East, it was the Brooklyn Kings who were once again Kings of the Atlantic. They had a great second half, leapfrogging the Greys to take that #1 seed. Their surprising stat was their road record, as they went 22-5-3 away from home, as opposed to a middling 16-14 with home ice advantage. That will be something to watch out for come playoff time. Brooklyn finished at 38-19-3.

Finishing second are the Montreal Greys, who hung on to make the playoffs for the 2nd time in 3 years and 3rd time in 5. They took a step back overall, but their defense was still absolutely suffocating, not to mention Alan Clercius having the best single season by a goalie the MHL has seen so far. They made the playoffs by 5 points, and will be a tough test for Brooklyn in the semifinals. Montreal finished at 37-23.

In third were the New York Blue Birds, who missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time. It was tough being in a competitive division, because they really played well overall. Unfortunately, they were slightly worse than both Brooklyn and Montreal, and that meant they didn’t make it. They had no real superstar seasons, one thing they had relied on before to help their playoff chances. They will look to see whether or not they need to retool this aging core. New York finished at 34-25-1.

In 4th were the Boston Harpers, who had a much improved second half. Unfortunately, with the East being so competitive, and their tough start, it was too much of a hole for them to get out of, despite going 18-8-2 in the second half. They’ll look to be more consistent in 1929-30, and hopefully get back in the postseason. Boston finished at 32-25-3.

In 5th are the Montreal Barons, who had a very similar second half to Boston. They had a similar second half record at 19-8, but their start was even worse, and that led to them being all the way down in 5th. This was their best season since 1924, so they seem to be heading on the right track overall. With New York starting to fall, they will try to pounce next season. Montreal finished at 31-27-2.

The bottom 2 teams were the Nassau Lynx and the Quebecois. Nassau faltered in the second half. They made a strange trade, acquiring C Kenneth Paquette from Montreal in exchange for 3 pieces, including captain Darrell Humphrey. Paquette has struggled adjusting to Nassau, while Montreal got a huge surge from the trade. The Lynx will hope that it pays off next season and beyond for Paquette. They finished at 26-32-2. In Quebec, they continued having expansion struggles, but like Detroit, really improved in the second half. They ended up leapfrogging Newark to not finished dead last, no small feat in the MHL for a first-year squad. Even for a team ravaged with injuries, they’ve impressed, and will look for further improvement next year. Quebec finished at 18-41-1.

1928-29 Season Leaders:

Playoff Predictions:

W1 - Toronto Lakers vs W2 - Chicago Wildcats
Previous Meeting: 1927 First Round
Result: Toronto 2-1 Chicago

Toronto and Chicago meet for the 2nd time in 3 years. Chicago was an upstart team making their first real appearance with their group, and the more experienced Toronto took that series 2-1.

The two teams met 7 times in the regular season, and Toronto won every single meeting, with an average margin of victory of over 1.5. Not looking much in Chicago’s favour here, but they definitely have the starpower that may be needed to overcome the strong Lakers team. They haven’t exactly impressed in these situation so far. Will this be their breakthrough?

My pick: Chicago gets the best of Toronto, defeating them 2-1 in a series that will need at least one overtime.

E1 - Brooklyn Kings vs E2 - Montreal Greys
Previous Meeting: 1927 First Round
Result: Montreal 2-1 Brooklyn

Just like in the west, the east has a meeting for the 2nd time in 3 years. Montreal emerged victorious in 1927 in a very defensive affair. Both teams hadn’t had too much playoff success up to that point, and Montreal still doesn’t exactly have that.

Brooklyn won 6 of 7 meetings in the regular season. In the series, there was an average of 3 combined goals per game, so defense was once again the main story, as it should be again here. Will Brooklyn be able to consistently get past Alan Clercius, who is having a dominant year? They certainly have the playoff experience for it.

My pick: Montreal won’t make it easy, but Brooklyn will advance to the Abbott Cup Final in 2 games.

     Thread Starter

3/18/2024 8:51 am  #138

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1929 MHL Playoffs: Semifinals

(W1) Toronto Lakers (42-18) vs (W2) Chicago Wildcats (35-24-1)

Toronto met Chicago in a battle of the two biggest Western cities, and the two best Western teams for 1928-29. Toronto won the first series played by the two teams, 2 seasons ago. It was a tight affair last time, and should almost certainly be tight again here.

Game 1 at Toronto’s Lakeshore Arena started well for Toronto, who dominated possession to start out. However, it was a Chicago counter-attack that saw the first goal of the series, from Kent Trudel off a great feed by Dan Vanderbeken. Toronto did well for the rest of the period, but they couldn’t capitalize on anything while Chicago had capitalized on theirs. The Wildcats led 1-0 after 1. In the second, it was more even possession-wise, but Chicago would add on to their lead, with a rebound goal from Vanderbeken and another net-front goal by Trudel. Toronto would get one back later on from Joseph Ocking, but it was a long road back for them, as they trailed by 2 heading into the third. In the final period, they dominated again, but Chicago’s Jack Boucher let nothing more past him. The Wildcats took game 1 3-1, in front of a stunned home Toronto crowd.

Game 2 at Chicago’s Lovely Arena saw a wild home crowd, hoping to watch their team clinch their first ever Abbott Cup Final appearance. from the drop of the puck Toronto knew it wasn’t going to be easy at all. However, they managed to break the ice, with a beautiful shot from John Young, who beat Boucher cleanly. Overall, the first period was even, but that goal was the lone one after 20 minutes of play. in the second, it was another fairly even period, not too crazy but with chances at both ends. Both goalies stood tall in the middle frame, and it was still 1-0 through 40 minutes, In the third, Chicago brought the crowd to life as Trudel’s 3rd goal in 2 games tied the game at 1. Toronto tried desperately to get their lead back in the third, but Boucher continued standing tall. Time ran out, and they went to overtime. In the extra frame, they didn’t play for long as a beautiful passing play between Toronto’s Francois Girard and Robert Andrews resulted in an easy goal for Girard. The road team won once more, and the Lakers staved off elimination, tying the series at 1.

Game 3 was back at Lakeshore Arena, and the home crowd was still buzzing from that overtime winner in Game 2. They were loud, and it energized the Lakers. However, it was Chicago who opened the scoring, with Vanderbeken going around Jerome Bouchard and slotting one home. The visitors were on top, but Toronto woke up after that and didn’t look back. A crazy scramble in front resulted in Girard knocking the puck in out of the air, and the game was tied. The home crowd was loving it. Toronto had many more chances before the period ended, but none went in. In the second, they continued suffocating Chicago, and relatively unknown Mathieu Lafleur shot one past Boucher to give Toronto the lead. The home crowd erupted, and they continued dominating. After 2, they were outshooting Chicago 21-4, giving them absolutely nothing. In the third, Lafleur scored his second of the game, and that erased pretty much any hope Chicago had. They held on to win 3-1, and won the series.

Toronto was on the brink of elimination, but a dominant performance in game 3 had them moving on to their 5th Abbott Cup final in 8 years.

(E1) Brooklyn Kings (38-19-3) vs (E2) Montreal Greys (37-23)

Just like in the West, this was a matchup happening for the 2nd time in 3 years. Brooklyn won the first meeting, and they are looking to get that back-to-back Eastern championship, while Montreal wants nothing more than sweet sweet revenge.

Game 1 at the Brooklyn Aud started off fast-paced, and even. Both teams got good looks on the opposing goalie, but brothers Frank and Alan Clercius were the best in the game, and not easily beaten. despite there being multiple power plays for both teams, there would be no score after the fast-paced opening period. In the second, Montreal got more looks, including multiple breakaways, but the brick wall known as Frank Clercius was looking unbeatable. At the other end, Alan was great as well, stopping some high-danger chances of his own. After 40 minutes, it remained scoreless. In the third, the Greys showed some fatigue, and allowed Brooklyn to get more chances than they had in either of the first two periods. However, a bouncing shot couldn’t be handled by Frank, and the puck went right to Luke Knevel who scored the series’ opening goal. James Urban would add a dagger in the final minute, and the Montreal Greys shocked Brooklyn to take game 1 2-0. Alan Clercius had 18 saves in the shutout.

Game 2 at Victoria Square Stadium in Montreal was electric. While the Greys were definitely the less popular Montreal team, their fans were loud and proud ahead of potentially their first Abbott Cup appearance. Like every other game in the playoffs so far, it was the visitors who struck first, as Richard McGrath scored from in tight, beating Alan Clercius for the first time in the postseason. Montreal pressed hard, and in the dying minutes of the opening frame, James Clarkson caught a piece of a point shot, tying it at 1 apiece. In the second, Colby Hughes made the arena loud with a tight-angle shot that beat Frank, giving Montreal the lead. However, by the halfway point, McGrath’s second of the game tied it back up again. After 2, it was 2-2. In the third, Clarkson pounced on a rebound in front to get the Greys back up. At that point, they decided to play it safe and go full defensive mode. Brooklyn had a couple of looks, but nothing beat Alan. The final buzzer went, and the Montreal crowd erupted. They had swept the defending champs.

With the victory, the Greys advanced to their first ever Abbott Cup final, and became the 7th team to accomplish the feat.

Abbott Cup Final Preview:

(W1) Toronto Lakers vs (E2) Montreal Greys
Previous Meeting: 1925 Semifinals
Result: Toronto 2-0 Montreal

The MHL’s first ever All-Canadian matchup in the Abbott Cup final becomes a reality in 1929, as the Toronto Lakers and Montreal Greys match up for the trophy. Toronto has all the experience, while Montreal has caught lightning in a bottle, and will be no slouch either. 

The season series was split 1-1, with Toronto winning their game 4-1 and Montreal theirs 1-0. Toronto has a dominant offense, while the Greys are known for their defense, as well as Alan Clercius, who is having the single best goaltending season the young league has seen. Which one will prevail?

My Pick: Alan Clercius will single-handedly will the Greys to their first Abbott Cup, as they sweep the Lakers 2-0.

     Thread Starter

3/24/2024 11:30 am  #139

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

1929 MHL Playoffs: Abbott Cup Final

(W1) Toronto Lakers (42-18) vs (E2) Montreal Greys (37-23-0)

The Lakers and Greys faced off in an All-Canadian battle for the Abbott Cup. It would be returning north of the border for the first time since 1925, but which team would take it home?

Game 1 at Lakeshore Arena did not start well for the home side. Joseph Ocking took an early penalty, and Montreal’s Jim Clarkson scored on the ensuing powerplay, just 1:50 into the game. Before the halfway point, Clarkson scored another, and the visitors were up 2-0. Toronto would push back in the latter stages of the period, and despite Alan Clercius looking unbeatable, Francois Girard beat him cleanly in the dying minutes. Montreal lead 2-1 through 20.

In the second, Toronto started off strong, but had no answer for Clercius. Montreal would get a few chances of their own, and they managed to convert, with Ken Lalonde driving to the net and beating Kenneth Oppenheimer. Toronto would continue applying pressure, but still Clercius was doing what he had done all season: Be a wall in net. Despite Toronto handily outshooting the Greys through 2 periods, Montreal still retained that 3-1 lead.

In the third, Toronto seemed discouraged and tired by their play, and Montreal would end up being the better team in the final frame. Their 6 powerplays definitely helped though. They weren’t able to beat Oppenheimer, but Toronto couldn’t get anything either. Time ran out, and the Greys had won their first ever Abbott Cup game. Toronto fell in their first game at home.

Game 1: Toronto 1, Montreal 3 (Montreal leads series 1-0)

Game 2 saw Toronto looking a lot more angry and aggressive after being stonewalled by Clercius in Game 1, Montreal on the other hand were as calm and cool as they were in game 1.

In the first, Toronto came out absolutely flying, getting chance after chance early. Despite this, the play of Clercius in net continued to be virtually without blemish. He was shaky on a couple attempts, but didn’t let anything through. On the other side of the ice, Montreal struck first again, with Daniel Tabor getting the scoring started. This held through 20, and Montreal was once again leading after the opening frame.

In the second, Toronto was even more dominant in possession and shots. There was some good action in the first half of the period, but most of it came in the final minutes. Gerald Washington finally got one past Clercius with a thundering shot while shorthanded. However, just 19 seconds later, a goaltending miscue from Oppenheimer resulted in Ken Lalonde having a wide open net to convert Montreal’s power play. 38 seconds after that, Stephen Keenan tied the game back up. 3 goals in under a minute took it from 1-0 to 2-2 through 40.

In the third, it was similar to game 1, with Montreal finally getting a period of control. They had more shots in the third than the first two periods combined, but Oppenheimer came up clutch to prevent any of them. On the other end, Toronto had chances of their own, but none dangerous enough to really test Clercius. Time ran out, and the two teams headed to overtime for the first time in the series.

In overtime, Toronto was really strong, and looked determined to end it. They tested Clercius multiple times, but he stood tall, especially against their best players. around 7 minutes into the extra frame, a defensive miscue from Toronto led to Luc Knevel being all alone in front, and he buried it past Oppenheimer. Montreal celebrated, as they had won both games in Toronto, and were a game away from their first ever Abbott Cup.

Game 2: Toronto 2, Montreal 3 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-0)

Now at Montreal’s Victoria Square Stadium, the home crowd was rocking, hoping to see their team get the sweep over Toronto. 

The Lakers entered Game 3 in a do or die situation, and they finally got off to a good start, with Greg Mullins blazing a shot past Clercius just 1:11 in. This was their first lead of the series. 7 minutes later, Stephen Keenan put home a rebound, and Toronto was up 2-0, and Clercius was looking human again. Montreal actually had more shots in the period, but this time it was Toronto that capitalized on their chances.

In the second, Montreal continued getting chances. 6:23 into the middle frame, Luc Knevel took a shot that Oppenheimer got part of, but not all, as it rolled into the net. The home crowd was back into it. There wouldn’t be too much action until the final minute, when Toronto’s Joseph Ocking batted a puck out of the air from around 20 feet, and it went past Clercius and in. It was an incredible goal for Ocking, who had been very quiet in the series. Toronto was up 3-1 after 2.

In the third, Toronto had full control from the get-go. In the opening second they had a great chance to extend their lead, but Clercius made a terrific save on Ocking to keep it 3-1. The home crowd was hoping their Greys could come back to win, but in reality the whole team just looked uninspired after being down for the first time. Toronto ran out the clock, and they were on the board in the series.

Game 3: Montreal 1, Toronto 3 (Montreal leads series 2-1)

Game 4 was looking to be pivotal. Either the host Greys win the game and the Abbott Cup, or Toronto ties it up at 2, and head back home with all the momentum.

Toronto started Game 4 with all the momentum they had in the second part of Game 3. It was arguably the most dominant period of the series, as they just kept getting shot after shot on Clercius, who did his work for the most part. The lone blemish was a shot from Calvin Morin that he saved, but then deflected off of Sylvain Ermengille into the net. Ermengille, who led the league in scoring in the regular season, had his first point of the series in the fourth game. Toronto led 1-0 through 20.
In the second, Montreal was looking much better, both offensively and defensively. They did well at blocking out Toronto’s offensive rushes, and got chances of their own. Halfway through, Chris Clark made a beautiful move on Oppenheimer and tucked the puck in, getting Montreal on the board. Less than 2 minutes later, Clark was once again in tight on Oppenheimer, and his shot deflected off the goaltender and in, making it 2-1 for the Greys. The home crowd was electric as the period ended, and Montreal was a period away from that coveted trophy.

Montreal’s lead didn’t last long into the third, as Calvin Morin caught Clercius out of position and got a puck past him to tie it. That gave the Lakers lots of momentum, as they got many chances. Greg Bekkering had an end-to-end rush and finished it off with a beautiful shot past Clercius, giving Toronto the lead back. Soon after, Stephen Keenan outwaited Clercius and scored, making it 4-2 for Toronto. Montreal fought back to finish the game, and a Jim Clarkson breakaway put them within 1. They couldn’t find a tying goal, and Toronto took game 4, 4-3. The series was now tied at 2 apiece, as they headed back to Toronto for game 5.

Game 4: Montreal 3, Toronto 4 (series tied 2-2)

It was now game 5, and the Lakeshore arena was filled to the brim with people, excitement, and anxious energy. The home crowd was desperate for their 4th Abbott Cup, while a small contingent of Greys supporters were scattered throughout. One of those groups would leave in joy, and the other in despair.

The first period was in Toronto’s favour for shots and possession. Despite both teams having power plays, it looked like Toronto was on the man advantage for both of them. They suffocated Montreal’s chances, and had good looks of their own. Unfortunately for those that like offense, neither goalie was beat in the opening frame, and it was 0-0 through 20.

In the second, the game had its icebreaker, as a great pass from Jim Clarkson found John Windsorton, who blasted a puck past Oppenheimer, giving Montreal the lead. This didn’t last long, as Greg Bekkering caught Clercius puck-watching, and beat him going around the net and tucking it in. The home crowd loved it. The remaining portion of the period saw Toronto continue to dominate, but there was no further scoring. Heading into potentially the final frame of the season, it was knotted up at 1 apiece.

Just over 3 minutes into the final frame, Joseph Ocking collected a puck, made a move around a defender, and beat Clercius, putting the Lakers up 2-1. The home crowd was deafening, and they hoped their team could hold on. For the majority of the final frame, despite Montreal having good looks, it looked like they could do it. However, a defensive lapse by the Lakers with 3:14 to go led to Ken Lalonde being all alone, and he shot it past Oppenheimer to tie it up at 2. The dying minutes saw chaos on both sides, but neither had a hero yet. Regulation ended, and they headed to overtime. The next goal scored, no matter what, would win the Abbott Cup.

Calling this overtime tense would be an understatement. There were reports of fans fainting from anxiety, but nobody did anything because they themselves were fixated on the game. It was a chaotic period, with no sense of structure on either side. The only goal was to score and prevent the other team from doing so, and nobody seemed to care how they did it. The big break came with 5 minutes to play. A routine pass behind Toronto’s net deflected off some kind of bump along the boards, and right in front of an unsuspecting Oppenheimer. James Urban was in the right place at the right time, and he poked it through before Oppenheimer could react. The referee, David Darrow took a couple of seconds to think, but he awarded a goal. The Montreal Greys had won their first Abbott Cup.

It was complete bedlam afterwards. Despite no rules being broken in any way, Toronto was furious. They tried to argue that the game should have been cancelled because the boards “clearly” weren’t in playing condition. It got to a point where Toronto’s president, Bernard Oake, stormed on to the ice, got right up to referee, and slapped him in the face, and then continued arguing and being aggressive toward him. He had to be physically restrained, and ended up being arrested by Toronto police. In the meantime, in the background, Montreal was celebrating their victory while home Toronto fans were attempting to get through to the ice to confront them. Somehow, Toronto police managed to calm the whole situation down, though the Greys needed escorts to get out of the building and on the train to Montreal. Commissioner James Burris awarded them the cup on the train so as to avoid angry Toronto fans causing further disruptions.

Game 5: Toronto 2, Montreal 3 (OT) (Montreal wins series 3-2)

     Thread Starter

3/24/2024 12:16 pm  #140

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1930-31 MHL Season

Wow, what an amazing final! Really thought Toronto would pull it out, but the Greys proved me wrong! 

And wow, what way to be sore losers Toronto. Can't imagine the Steve Dangle of 1929 would react to this game. 


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