Tuesday, June 26, 2018

1941/42 Pacific Coast Senior Hockey Association, Part 5

Red Beattie, a veteran of over 300 NHL games with Boston would  score 15 goals in 41/42 tied for the Norvans lead
The four-way tie of all the teams in the Coast League was short-lived. On January 5, 1942 a league ruling changed up the look of the standings; "NANAIMO-Commisioners of the Pacific Coast Intermediate Hockey League, in a special meeting here yesterday, upheld the protest of Victoria Bapcos against use by Nanaimo Clippers of three allegedly inelligible players in a December 20 game and ruled that he game in question be replayed on a date to be set later by the clubs involved. Victoria had protested Nanaimo’s use in a game at Nanaimo, December 20 of Red Carr, Jack Mann  and Fergy McPherson, despite the fact the three had been given match penalties in a game the previous night at Victoria which Nanaimo won 2-1. Clarence Campbell, former N.H.L. referee now at Victoria taking an officers’ training course with the militia, will be appointed to handle Victoria games as soon as the league receives official application from him."Future NHL President, Clarence Campbell makes an appearance in the brief history of the Pacific Coast Senior Hockey Association, taking over the officiating duties of games in Victoria.
Norvans shook off their first loss in five by battling New Westminster to back-to-back ties on Jan. 6 and 7, the second of the two coming on a goal in the last seconds of play; "NEW WESTMINSTER-Vancouver Norvans came roaring back from behind a three goal defecit here tonight to hold New Westminster Spitfires to a 4-4 overtime tie in a Pacific Coast Intermediate Amateur Hockey League game.The inter-city rivals fought the past two nights for the league leadership, but drew on both occasions. Each team now has seventeen points. Spitfires ran up a 4-1 lead after eleven minutes of play in the final period, but Norvans’ rally brought two goals in less than one minute. Ken Barker fired Norvans’ second goal at the twelve-minute mark and fifty-four seconds later supplied a neat pass for Red Beattie, who cut the lead to one goal at 4-3. The teams fought hammer and tongs during the remaining seven minutes and Norvans topped off their rally by knotting the count with a goal by Norm McQuade with a mere fifteen seconds remaining to play, sending the game into overtime. They failed to break the deadlock in the extra frame."
Norm McQuade with the Wembley Monarchs in 1936/37
Norm McQuade, who was 32-years old at the time would tally six goals and thirteen points for the Norvans in 41/42. He had previously played in the Memorial Cup, four Allan Cups and also won a Silver medal representing Great Britain in the 1937 World Championships.
The next week, the standings cinched up tight once again;  "VANCOUVER-Nanaimo Clippers beat Vancouver Norvans, 6-3 here tonight in a game that wound up in a near-riot, and left all four teams of the Pacific Coast Intermediate Hockey League tied up. With one minute left to play, Art Schuman and Hoppy Hoppus tangled near the Nanaimo net and before they could be separated, ‘Red’ Carr joined in. All three were sent off for ‘rest of the game’ penalties."
Despite their far improved play of the last month, the Norvans would find themselves in the basement of the Coast loop once again by Jan. 20 with a tough home loss to Victoria; "VANCOUVER-Displaying effective ruggedness, Victoria Bapcos forged into a two-point lead in the Pacific Coast Intermediate Hockey League standings here tonight when they disposed of Vancouver Norvans’ 2-1, breaking a three-way tie for leading honors."
The league held an organizational meeting two days later and the matter of playoff qualification rules was raised by none other than Harry Jones, manager of the Vancouver Forum, home of the Norvans. "With the fixture list rapidly drawing to a close, Hary Jones, has appealed to the league to have all the clubs participate in the series. Anybody can see through Mr. Jones’ latest move. Norvans are in the cellar spot at present and there is a possibility that they will be the club which will be left on the sidelines when play-off time comes around. Mr. Jones doesn’t want to see that Forum idle while Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster are collecting from the front offices in the post-season series matches."
The very next evening, the Norvans took matters into their own hands by defeating the first-place Victoria Bapcos in their home rink as described by the Daily Colonist; "Turning in their best performance of the season on Victoria ice, Vancouver Norvans were certainly deserving of victory, their first over the Bapcos at the Willows Arena. Victoria Bapcos, resting at the top of the Pacific Coast Hockey Amateur Hockey League standings, looked anything but like the leading club in the circuit last night. They were outplayed and out skated by the cellar-occupant Norvans and, but for the work of Laurel Harney, their cool, clever net custodian, would have taken a much worse setback. The Vancouver first-string line of Ursaki, Beattie and Bonneville turned in good exhibitions for the visitors, with the clever 'Red' Beattie setting the pace and making most of the openings."
Pete Bonneville, pictured with the Halifax Crescents in 1945/46
Cornwall, Ontario native, Pete Bonneville ended up topping the Norvans with 15 goals and 33 points while playing all 28 games in 1941/42. He finished eighth in the league point scoring ladder. Norvans coach, Tip O'Neil was asked by the Daily Colonist after the win in Victoria about this chances for the league title; "Well, from now on watch that club of mine go. I see where you stated that the Norvans may be the team which will be left out in the cold. I have a good hockey club which is under-estimated by a lot of people, especially those in Victoria and Nanaimo, but when playoff time comes around they will know we are still in the league. Although I am cleared by the National Hockey League officials, I will not be playing this year, but Jack Riley will probably be wearing a uniform before very long."
Norvans player/coach Tip O'Neil
The fine play of the Norvans failed to carryover the next night as they travelled to Nanaimo; "Clippers Come From Behind to Trim Vancouver Norvans, 7-3, to Take Second Position in Coast Hockey League - Shipbuilders Lead 3-0 at One Stage Going into the final period trailing by two goals, Clippers turned on the heat right from the whistle. The final frame was marked by scenes of the wildest uproar with penalties being handed out with ways as tempers crept higher and higher. For two periods Norvans had much the better of the play and looked to have the game well in hand up to the final period, when Clippers suddenly came to life with a vengeance." Perhaps a cause for the sudden turnaround of the Norvans fortune was explained by Joe Delahunty in the Daily Colonist; "Goalie Tommy Horne was going great in the Vancouver net at Nanaimo until a rabid Up-Island fan tossed a lighted cigarette down the back of his sweater. The spectator got lost in the crowd before the police could locate him."
Two days later, the Norvans were back on home ice at the Forum and once again put forward a fine effort against Victoria; "Bapcos Defeated By Vancouver in Close Match, 3-2 Displaying a well-balanced team, Vancouver Norvans came from behind here tonight to down Victoria Bapcos, 3-2."
As the month of January wound down, the League standings tightened up once again with Norvans and Nanaimo producing big wins on Jan. 30 causing a three-way tie at 23 points with them and Victoria. The Norvans 6-4 win over New West was bolstered by the addition of former NHL-er Jack Riley.
Jack Riley shown with Montreal in 1934
"Vancouver Novans outfought New Westminster Spitfires and emerged with a 6-4 victory in a fast, wide-open Pacific Coast Intermediate Amateur Hockey League game here tonight. Jack Riley, former Vancouver Lions player of the now defunct Pacific Coast Professional League who received word today of his amateur reinstatement, bolstered Norvans and had a steadying effect." Riley contributed immediately, with two helpers on goals by Ken Barker. Riley had played full NHL seasons with Montreal in 33/34 and 34/35, producing 17 points and 15 points in each campaign. In 1940/41 he topped the PCHL with 40 assists for the Vancouver Lions. In addition to Riley, player/coach O'Neill had been officially reinstated as an amateur but he was unsure of whether or not he'd actually suit up for his Norvans. "The decision was handed out by President George Dudley. Both would have received their amateur cards a long time ago but for the stubbornness of Guy Patrick, former manager of the professional Vancouver Lions. Patrick wanted them to play with the Tulsa Oilers this season, but Riley and O'Neill turned him down flat." A West coast legend ended up being a large influencer in the two players being reinstated, Fred 'Cyclone' Taylor helping to pull the strings back east, Vancouver Sun told, "Cyclone Taylor is back from his annual trip East. Cyclone had a talk with the powers that be in his inimitable, sincere way, and Tip O'Neill and Jack Riley were declared free agents, free to get amateur cards to play for Norvans. The Coast is fortunate, having a respected hockey immortal like Taylor and the amateur league which is going so well might do well to invite him into their executive."
Normans beat New West 6-4 at The Forum, Jan. 30, 1942
The following night the teams re-matched with Victoria exacting revenge on Nanaimo and the Norvans dismantling the Spitfires once again in New Westminster; "Displaying a well-balanced team, Norvans had command of most of the play and Goalie Tom Horne turned in a brilliant performance and registered his first shutout of the season. Johnny Ursaki scored two of Norvans' goals and Pete Bonneville and Jack Riley got the other two."

Next up, will the addition of NHL-er Jack Riley continue to pay dividends?

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