Game 11, Multiple Protests and Bribery Charges - The 1913 Season

  • Posted on: 29 December 2014
  • By: lrigby

Game 11 (February  14, 1913) - Sydney Millionaires 7 New Glasgow Cubs 3The Millionaires were able to get quick revenge on the New Glasgow Cubs by defeating them the following night in Sydney in front of twenty-five hundred excited fans.  According to accounts of the game, local boy, Billy Dunphy, was the star giving "the spectators a most artistic exhibition and his rushes were the signal for the great crowd to stand up on their seats and cheer the speedy North Sydney man".  The Millionaire's goalie, Toby MacDonald, was also credited as having an excellent showing.  According to a press account, Toby "frequently won the applause of the fans and even his enemies were obliged to cheer his wonderful work." 

            The Millionaires at last have placed

                        Upon the Cubs the Indian sign,

            And on the score board plainly traced

                        Seven-three for a Valentine.

                                                - Otto B. Kilde

On February 15th, a quote from what the Sydney papers referred to as a prominent and influential commercial man, stated that the Millionaires where individually the fastest players in the MPHA but did not appear to have much team chemistry.  This was a criticism that had followed the Millionaires throughout the 1913 season and was most likely a hot topic among the Millionaires management.  Cap MacDonald was given expanded control over the Millionaires in hopes of improving the team chemistry but it was apparently still a concern.  The Sydney Record summed up fan concern with the quote "There can be no strength where there is not unity."

Also on the fifteenth of February, ramifications from the violent Moncton-Sydney game two night previous had begun hitting the papers.  According to the Moncton Transcript, fans who had witnessed this game were of the opinion "that at least one of the Sydney players should be dealt with under the criminal code."  The article went on to state that "It is not savage brutality that people pay their money to witness - but clean, manly sport."

It was announced on February 17th that there would be a meeting in Truro of the MPHA executive to deal with protest filed by The Millionaires against Moncton's playing of Harry Scott.    They would also be dealing with a protest filed against the Halifax Crescents on the same grounds for playing Doc Doherty who was the property of the Moncton Victorias.  The following letter was sent to C.B. Ross by President Lithgow requesting his presence at the meeting:

Dear Sir.- A meeting of the Executive Committee will be held at Truro on Wednesday, February 19th. at Stanley House at 2 o'clock pm to consider the protest of the Sydney Hockey Club against the Victoria Hockey Club for playing Harry Scott at Moncton on February 11th, in violation of by-law 8: also to consider the willful violation of by law 6 by J. T. Murphy, manager of the Crescent Hockey Club in playing Mr. Doherty in direct violation of By-law 8 at Halifax on February 14th

   Other matters in connection with the welfare of the Association will be considered.

   As this meeting is a most important one I consider it not only the duty but necessity for every member of the executive to be present and if unable to do so to see that he is represented by a competent man who will deal fairly with the several matters that I intend to bring up.

   I feel sure the future of Professional Hockey is at stake unless violation of our rules are discontinued.

                                                   J.C. Lithgow

                                                   President, MPHA

Section eight under which the Sydney team had filed their protest stated that "no player who has played with any team may be used by any other team after February first without the consent of the opposing team."   According to the rule book, if Sydney's protest was carried, the game would need to be replayed.  Manager Murphy of the Halifax Crescents was charged with the more serious section six which deals with willfully disregarding the rules of the MPHA and could be punished by termination of league membership.  In anticipation of the meeting President Lithgow banned both teams, the Crescents and the Victorias, from playing their disputed players and fined both teams twenty-five dollars.

The protest against the Halifax Crescents involving Doc Doherty ensued over a dispute between the Moncton management and then captain Doherty.  According to Moncton player, Eddie Carpentier, manager Beliveau of the Vics decided that Doc was not in condition to play against the Crescents and decided to put in a substitute just before the game started.  Doc became upset and according to Carpentier "growled something about being the captain of the team", manager Belliveau replied, "You may be the captain but I'm the manager and I'm not going to let you play tonight."  Doc then "got his back up, went across to the Crescents dressing room, pulled on a Halgonian sweater and went on the ice."

The seventeenth also brought word from the Sydney Executive that at a recent meeting they had appointed Hughie Dan MacLean as manager of the Sydney Hockey club.  This was most likely done to address the team's chemistry problems.  According to the papers, Hughie Dan was a "well known and popular hockey enthusiast" .  Cap McDonald was asked to remain as captain of the team and had control of the players while they were on the ice.

C.B. Ross was set to travel to Truro to represent Sydney at the upcoming MPHA meeting.  However, Cape Breton was hit with a snow storm that shut down the Intercolonial railway line from Sydney to Truro.  All the Sydney executives could do was wait for the news out of Truro on whether or not their  protest against Moncton was ratified by the league executive.  Those who attended the meeting included J.C. Lithgow, Gordon Isnor (Halifax Socials), John Murphy (Halifax Crescents), Chester Greggory (New Glasgow Cubs) and Mayor Clifford Robinson (Moncton Victorias).  At the meeting, it was decided that both Harry Scott and "Doc" Doherty were suspended for the balance of the season for jumping their contracts.  This news reached Sydney the next day along with the shocking bombshell that Cap MacDonald had been suspended by the league for alleged bribery charges brought forth by Moncton's goaltender Jack Cross.  Cross alleged that Cap had offered him money to throw the February 11th game between Moncton and Sydney.

The MPHA executive decided to suspend Cap for one week and scheduled a meeting for the following Wednesday to allow Cap the opportunity to come to Truro and defend himself against these allegations.  The citizens of Sydney were infuriated by this suspension and the action of the league was condemned around the city since Cap was suspended without the opportunity to address these serious charges put forth by Cross.

            Nought can relieve our great suspense

                        Now that Cap's suspended;

            It puts a crimp in our defense

                        That hardly can be mended


                                                -Otto B. Kilde