Game 8 & Stanley Cup Challenge Controversy - The 1913 Season

  • Posted on: 29 December 2014
  • By: lrigby

Game 8 (February  6, 1913) - Sydney Millionaires 4 - Halifax Crescents 1On February sixth, in what was described as the best hockey game ever played in Sydney, the Millionaires defeated the Halifax Crescents.  The game was characterized as the cleanest and fastest game of the season with only one penalty called.  This game moved Sydney into sole position of first place in the MPHA with six wins and two losses.  Excitement for a championship was beginning to build among the Sydney fans with a local reporter overhearing a couple of the fans stating "Do you know Lizzie, said one girl to her friend last night, I think I could love any boy on the Sydney team."

            The standing, which looks good to us,

                        Makes interesting reading;

            But it's premature to make a fuss

                        Because the 'Naires are leading

                                                            - Otto B. Kilde

On February 8th, it was announced that Herbie Mohan, who had seen very little ice time for Sydney after being acquired from Hamilton, was released and picked up by the Halifax Socials.  Some reports stated that Mohan had left because of a dispute over his salary with the team executive.  It was also announced that Rollie Norman, one of the leagues founders was signed by Sydney but was presently injured and it was speculated that he would not be playing for quite some time.  Sydney also picked up speedy forward Neil Wilkie, a cousin of the Millionaires' Jimmy Wilkie,  whose home town was New Waterford.  Wilkie was a MPHA veteran player and had played against the Montreal Canadiens in an exhibition game as an MPHA all-star.  Wilkie was slated to travel with the team to Moncton as a spare for the upcoming away game.

A controversy was beginning to arise about the MPHA's opportunity to challenge for the Stanley Cup.  Word was coming from the west that the Patrick brothers were intending to request a challenge.  Many of the Maritime fans and reporters were concerned that if the MPHA and President Lithgow did not get the challenge in quickly that the MPHA would be passed over in favor of the PCHA.  The one advantage the MPHA did have was that their league games were scheduled to end on February twenty-fifth whereas the western league games could not be wrapped up until March 10th.  Lester Patrick was hoping that the Stanley Cup trustees would allow a late challenge and possibly use Toronto's artificial ice which was good until April 1st.

After the previous rough game between the Victoria's and the Millionaires, anticipation was beginning to build for the upcoming game in Moncton.  One sports reporter commented "It remains only for the doctors and undertakers to get into the hockey games now, they would be a mutual help".    He went on to say "If you hear any dull thuds from a western direction tonight, that's the Moncton-Sydney sextettes doing an opera stunt".

            Life is one kaleidoscope

                        And fame is one big bubble;

            But playing in this hockey game

                        Is fourteen kinds of trouble.

                                                - Otto B. Kilde