Thursday, June 21, 2018

1941/42 Pacific Coast Senior Hockey Association, Part 2

Vancouver Forum, 1940s - Home of the Norvans
The four-team amateur league kicked off it's 1941/42 season on November 10, 1941 when the Vancouver Norvans hosted Nanaimo Clippers at the Vancouver Forum. The Victoria Daily Colonist reported on the affair;
"Vancouver Norvans Defeat Nanaimo in First Hockey Game
Mainland Sextette Registers 5-3 Verdict Over Up-Islanders on Home Ice- 3,000 Fans Witness Match-Losers Protest Norvans’ Final Goal-Player Is Banished
VANCOUVER- Vancouver Norvans defeated the highly-touted Nanaimo Clippers, 5-3 here tonight in the opening game of the newly-formed Pacific Coast Intermediate Amateur Hockey League before a crowd of 3,000. Nanaimo opened the scoring at the four-minute mark of the first period when Jimmy Neilson scored on a fast pass from Red Carr. Norvans tied the score five minutes later on a goal by Pete Bonneville and went one up three minutes before the end of the quarter when Neilson scored unassisted. The Vancouver team broke fast in the second session and Art Schuman gave them a 3-1 lead after three minutes of play on a hard shot close in. Clippers capitalized on a one-man advantage and cut the lead to 3-2 shortly before the end of the period when Toad Klein weaved his way past the Vancouver defence and fired a hard shot into the net while Bonneville was serving a minor penalty for tripping.
Boxscore of the 1st game
Trailing by one goal, Nanaimo pressed from the start of the final period and were rewarded with a well-earned goal at the four-minute mark when Defenceman Nick Smith picked up a rebound and slammed it past Goalie Tom Horne. Midway through the session Smith broke up a Vancouver rush and went in alone, but shot wild with only the goalie to beat. With less than four minutes remaining, Kenny Barker sent Norvans back into the lead at 4-3 when he broke from his own blue line and swept through the Clippers to score unassisted. Wally Peters shoved Vancouver two up when he picked up a rebound and poked it past Goalie Art (Pepper) Davis with only twenty seconds of play left. Nanaimo objected to the final goal and Right Winger Jimmy Neilson was banished as the result of a heated argument during which he alleged to have deliberately tripped Referee Carl Jacobs."
So, the first game of the new league appeared to be a cracking affair. Indeed it would be a sign of things to come in the closely contested Pacific Coast Senior Hockey Association. 
Victoria Bapcos in training action, Nov. 16, 1941
The Norvans would follow up their opening victory with a big win over Victoria in their first match as the Colonist reported on Nov. 18;
"Vancouver Norvans Defeat Victoria In Opening Match
Bapcos Put Up Strong Battle Against Well-Trained Mainland Hockey Club in Pacific Coast League – Final Score Is 4-2 – Kilpatrick and Algar Register Victoria’s Tallies
VANCOUVER- Vancouver Norvans jumped into the lead in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey League standings here tonight when they downed Victoria Bapcos, 4-2, in a fast bruising game that initiated the Vancouver Islanders into the new circuit. Bapcos, handicapped by very little training due to lack of ice, presented plenty of opposition throughout, confirming pre-game reports, and what they lacked in color and finish they made up with sheer fight.
By Nov. 21 the Norvans were atop the league ladder with two wins as they prepared to head out for their first trip to Vancouver Island to play Victoria and Nanaimo. Playing-coach 'Tip' O'Neill hoped to keep the ball rolling for his squad. At 33 years-old, O'Neil would skate in only four games this season with the Norvans, scoring two goals. The previous season he had topped the Pacific Coast Hockey League with 33 goals in 48 games while playing for the Vancouver Lions.
"Vancouver Norvans to Skate Out Strong Line-Up for Match Here VICTORIA-Vancouver Norvans tonight were busy packing hockey sticks and uniforms in preparation for their first invasion of Vancouver Island – a trip which Coach Tip O’Neill hopes will place his team at the top of the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey League standings. Norvans will meet the bottom-placed Victoria Bapcos at Victoria tomorrow night, then move on to Nanaimo, where they will tangle with the Clippers on Saturday night."
Alas, the initial Island visit did not go as planned as the Norvans were swept. The Colonist recapped the weekend thusly; 
"NANAIMO- Sparked by the sensational performance of Jackie Mann and ‘Red’ Carr, Bill Phillips’ injury-riddled Nanaimo Clippers punched out their initial win of the 1941/42 Coast amateur hockey campaign by soundly whipping Vancouver Norvans, 7-2, before 2,000 wildly enthusiastic fans here tonight. Norvans appeared a tired lot of pucksters following the 3-2 trimming they took from Bapcos at Victoria Friday night." Jackie Mann and Red Carr would both have brief stints in the NHL in the near future. Mann notched 7 points in 9 games for the New York Rangers over the next few seasons, while Carr played five games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 43/44, collecting one assist.
"Bill Phillips drew a five-minute sentence for going after Pete Bonneville following a hard check dished out to ‘Toad’ Klein. Playing with two fractured ribs, the stiff jolt dropped Klein hard, and he suffered a possible leg injury. He was removed to Nanaimo General Hospital for treatment.
Toad's ribs aside, the Norvans failed to cause any damage on the Island. The going got even worse for the squad upon return to the Lower Mainland as they dropped back-to-back games to the New Westminster Spitfires, the second by a 12-4 score in the Queen City. 
New Westminster Bolsters Lead in Coast Ice Circuit VANCOUVER- New Westminster Spitfires strengthened their hold on the leadership of the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey League here tonight when they defeated Vancouver Norvans, 6-3, in a rough, hard-checking game before an audience of 3,000.
The following night, Nov. 25, in New Westminster, the Spitfires strafed the Norvans for an even dozen goals; "NEW WESTMINSTER- Spitfires demonstrated the reason they are on top of the British Columbia Intermediate Amateur Hockey League here tonight when they swept through Vancouver Norvans, 12-4, in a wide-open game before 1,500 fans."
The fourth straight loss for the Norvans kept them in 3rd place of the four-team circuit and the goals against average of tender Tom Horne was taking a beating.
Standings on Nov. 29, 1941
Next up, will a new month bring new results for the slumping Norvans?

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