1914 MPHA Championship - Game 1

  • Posted on: 30 December 2014
  • By: lrigby
1914 Sydney Millionaires

The war of words between the two clubs heated up in the papers previous to the two game showdown.  The New Glasgow papers took shots at Sydney's players claiming that they were trying to "chop their way to victory in the last game".  The New Glasgow paper claimed that Trenouthe, who was considered one of the cleanest players in the MPHA, was especially out to hurt the New Glasgow players saying that "In talking to the local boys we would say how did you get your thumb broken, "oh, Trenouthe did that", or how did you get such a scalp wound "Trenouthe did that too". and so on down the line of inquiries.  Trenouthe gets credit or discredit, we would be led to term it in this case, for all these injuries."

The Millionaires headed to New Glasgow with the first game of the series in jeopardy of a forfeit.  According to league rules, each team involved in a playoff were to post a bond to the league that guaranteed their spot in the games.  Sydney had already put up their bond but the New Glasgow team had not complied and many were wondering if the financially strapped Black Foxes would be able to pay the required installment.  The Crosby Cup was also forwarded from Sydney to Halifax to be put in custody of MPHA officials in anticipation of the series.

On game day the New Glasgow team paid their required fee and all was set for an 8:15 pm start at the New Glasgow arena.  Many of Sydney's fans accompanied the team expecting to see some fireworks between the two squads due to bad blood built up over the weeks previous to this playoff series.  However, the fans looking for blood were disappointed.  Both teams played a rough but clean game with the final score giving the New Glasgow team a slight three to two goal lead over the Millionaires.  The one major incident in the game was initiated by Chester Greggory on Robin Foote, Sydney's goaltender for the game.  Foote was given the starting duty for this game after Savard had been injured and was playing a very good game for the Millionaires until he received an intentional high stick from Greggory and was forced to leave the game with a nasty cut to the face.  The blow was even hard enough to break Greggory's blade in the altercation.  Savard was brought in the game to relieve the injured Foote.  According to the New Glasgow contingent, Foote was badly provoking Greggory throughout the game until he finally snapped and retaliated with a stick to the face.

The injury to Foote was taken very personally by the fans in Sydney.   Foote was a very popular local boy and many wanted revenge for the attack.  Upon New Glasgow's arrival in Sydney, Greggory and the team were given police protection to guard them.  Rumors circulated Sydney and filtered back to the New Glasgow contingent that a number of angry fans accompanied by Sydney's trainer, professional boxer, Billy Parsons would be meeting the train as it arrived from New Glasgow to "beat up" the players.  The officials in Sydney responded to the threat of violence by ordering the Sydney Field Battery to line Townsend Street up to the rink before and after the game in order to avoid any clash between angry fans and the New Glasgow team.

Between games, some bad news came from Sydney's Management about the financial position of the team.  The large crowds of the 1913 season had provided the team with good funding and according to the management the total gate receipts never dropped below a thousand dollars with the total even getting as high as eighteen hundred.  The 1914 season was not as successful with attendance dropping and the gate receipts often not exceeding five hundred dollars in some of their twelve home games.  This was tough for the Sydney management since they were paying out  heavy weekly salaries totaling five hundred dollars to the players plus travel and expenses.