The 1913 Season
On the front page of the January 4th Halifax Echo was the headline “Hockey Season Opened with fight”. The Echo goes on to chronicle the exhibition match between the New Glasgow Cubs and the Sydney Millionaires. According to the paper this three to two New Glasgow victory was a "sloppy game" played by players who “were far from being in fit condition for good hockey”. During the third period of the game, disputed player, Harry Scott cross-checked the Cubs player Mike Murphy, Murphy retaliated with a punch to Scott’s Jaw. A tussle ensued with both players exchanging blows until they went down to the ice with Murphy pinned underneath Scott. This created a general brawl between the players. The police were eventually sent on the ice to break up the scrap.
The Sydney fans were not too concerned with this initial loss since the team had only one official practice due to poor ice in Sydney. They were excited by Joe Tetrault’s first appearance. According to the papers, Tetrault showed great speed and was a very skilled player. The game was summed up by the Sydney Post as a “hard game with soft ice and a small sized riot thrown in to help out interest.” The brawl that took place in this game set in motion a series of measures passed by the MPHA. One of those measures was that MPHA officials would be the only ones permitted to send police on the ice to arrest the players after an incident. In the past, local managers often requested police to arrest the opposing team’s players removing them from the game. There was also a fifty dollar fine imposed against any player that intentionally hurt another player. There was a strong belief at the time that violence was ruining the game. In response to a Halifax/New Glasgow brawl, the Halifax Echo wrote, “Are they going to keep players who have a reputation for trying to mill things up? Well we hope not, just for the good of the game. The fans are looking for star hockey. We can have that, but to be stellar, it must be clean and if fistic displays are to be considered by the players as part of the game, then we may as well conclude that star hockey will be an idle dream”
On January seventh, in the midst of the Scott scandal, the Halifax Harold’s sports reporter published a column stating that Sydney “had the weakest team in the league” and that the other teams in the league were deceived by Sydney’s promise to ice a competitive team if they gained entrance into the MPHA. This came as a blow to the Millionaires and it's fans who were very excited about their team’s prospects for the 1913 season. This quote from the Halifax Herald would end up being Sydney’s rallying cry each time they met up with a Halifax team through out the 1913 season. Good news came on January 8th when it was announced that their executive had procured the rights of two more Upper Canadian players. The names were not yet released to the fans but anticipation grew.