History of the A's
Athletics Win Mann Cup!
CAPTURE MANN CUP WITH BRILLIANT 10 – 7
5 – 1 IN
St. Catharines Standard
October 13, 1938
Catharines Athletics are the Mann Cup champions of Canada. Monarchs of all
they survey in the world of lacrosse for 1938. The Garden City’s boys in
blue defeated New Westminster Adanacs last night at Maple Leaf Gardens by
10 – 7, to bring the first senior Canadian title to this city in the
long annals of the national summer pastime. And those gallant youngsters
of this city merit all the praise that can be heaped upon them and in
which was accorded them, in part, by that magnificent gesture of citizenry
early this morning.
won the Mann Cup in three straight games, to rank beside the Orillia
Terriers, New Westminster Fishermen and other great units of Canadian
sport. To accomplish the pinnacle of their aspirations this year,
Athletics had to combat tactics and desires sterner than probably ever
faced in the history of Dominion box finals. They had to fight a desperate
band of foeman from the coast, they had to battle against the hopes of the
C. A. L. A. officials that the series would be extended to four or five
games, and they had to contest a hostile fan element whose sympathies
apparently ran with the under-dogs of the finals. Out on the box, the protégés
of Coach Art Brown had to fight their sternest and with mighty few
exceptions, every goal they registered was earned the hardest way – with
one or more of the Adanacs draped around them and Athletics being forced
to carry that burden as well as beat the opposition goalie.
At Their Peak
the bargain, Coach Jimmy Gifford of Adanacs had inspired his gold-purple
forces with what was called a “do or die” spirit. The coast champions
had everything to gain and nothing to lose and they played just like
that…with reckless checking abandon, daring tactics and wild swinging
that scarcely had a part in the senior finals of Canadian lacrosse.
Adanacs played fully 50 per cent better than in their two former games and
Eddie Johnston, in goal rose to the occasion to match their play. He was
both good and he was lucky and that combination is difficult to defeat.
Adanacs were possessed of one hope, to prevent Athletics repeating
previous series of power plays that had swept all before them, so last
night was seen the westerners hustling back to spread fan-like across the
box and set up an air-tight defense that Saints found hard to penetrate.
is not the intention to criticize the officials of the night for the
rulings that seemed to be more severe on Athletics than Adanacs. Both
referees were well on top of the play and should have the better vision.
Garden City fandom numbering perhaps 2,000 of the 4,499 that paid
admission to the last game of the series, thought their favorites were
being unfairly penalized. They rent the air more than once with strong
expressions of disapproval at what they regarded “cheap” penalties to
the Saints. True it is that Athletics did spend 22 minutes on the bench to
16 for the Adanacs, but Garden City fandom, officials and players thought
that Adanacs were being permitted to adopt illegal checking tactics and
when Saints tried the same, they were penalized.
certainly played the man for the ball and came up with it in most cases.
While it may be said, in all fairness, that Athletics, whether from the
close nature of enemy checking or with a pre-Mann Cup complex, did not
show the same dashing brand of play that marked the first two games. They
were rather lax on loose balls, could not fashion plays that pulled the
foe out of position and either lacked sniping eyes or Johnston out guessed
them. For they were not picking the corners last night as the brunt of
their shots whirled straight on the Johnston pads.
three and a half periods, or approximately 50 minutes out of 60, Athletics
could not get their passing plays. The team was not clicking as of yore
and the fact that they trailed the west for 54 ¼ minutes before assuming
the lead tells the story in so many words. Once Art Brown’s boys forgot
to fight the rival players and went out to fight for loose balls and play
lacrosse, then the supremacy that marked the previous games was natural to
them. Consequently, it can be said that only in the last ten minutes did
the double-blues play the brand of box pastiming that their backers
witnessed before. Yet they caused many a groan, heart-scald and grave
doubt that the finals would be finished in three straight. When they did
find themselves, as similarly to the first final with Orillia Terriers,
they dominated play in the closing minutes. But except for courage and
ability to fight back, Athletics were not and did not play like the same
team that convincingly defeated Adanacs by eight and eleven goal margins.
of lacrosse harked back to early history and came back with the statement
that the final score of 10 – 7 was the lowest to be recorded in Mann Cup
competition. Period scores bear that statement out, Adanacs led 3 – 2 in
the first, 6 – 4 at the half time, and 6 – 5 at the end of the
third…when only one goal was registered. The count was deadlocked for
the first time of the night at 13 seconds of the last quarter, when a
mighty roar lifted to the Gardens roof. To show how desperately Adanacs
fought against elimination, they forged to the fore at 7 – 6 and an
aftermath of the Bun Barnard 6 – 6 goal was heard again was heard again
as Billy Wilson knotted it for the second time at 7 – 7. Even then, it
was touch and go whether Athletics or Adanacs would be victorious in the
last eight minutes. Hence, loyal St. Catharines fandom gave full vent to
pent up cheers when Hope gave Saints their first lead of the game with
little more than five minutes to go. Adanacs went down battling with every
trick at their disposal. Indication of the grim struggle is shown in them
drawing two penalties to one for Saints and in that scant few minutes came
the “break” and Athletics whirled on to victory with twin tallies and
the most coveted possession in the world of lacrosse…the Mann Cup.
were scarce, or snipping luck was bad. Lee topped all rivals with 3, but
was the lone Adanac to do better than one tally. Phelan had 1 and 2 and
Saunders 1 and 1. Morton had 2 and 1, Barnard 2 goals, Gus Madsen and
Cheevers 1 and 2 each, with Fitzgerald, Wilson, Urquhart and Hope getting
singles, but one is safe to say that never before this year have Athletics
had to work so bitterly for goals and earn them as was seen in that
gruelling third Mann Cup game. Every player on both teams gave everything
he had and it was a genuinely tired pair of teams that ended the series in
Westminster Adanacs – Goal, Johnston; defence, Lee, Bradbury; rover,
Carter; centre, Kennedy; wings, Douglas, Phelan; subs, Ran Mathison, Ken
Mathison, Lloyd Steele, Lorne Steele, Haddon, Saunders, Pyper.
Catharines Athletics – Goal, Whittaker; defence, C. Madsen, Barnard;
rover, Green; centre, Urquhart; wings, Morton, McMahon; subs, Hope,
Cheevers, Fityzgerald, Wilson, Kelly.
Penalties: Morton, Haddon, Ken Mathison, Green, Barnard, Cheevers, Kelly.
Penalties: Ken Mathison, C. Madsen, Urquhart.
Penalties: Lloyd Steele, Saunders - Hope, Wilson 2, Phelan, Urquhart
Penalties: Hope, Lloyd Steele, Morton, Ran Mathison, Lee. (Final score: Athletics 10 -7)
Goal stops: By Whittaker (13 - 4 - 9 - 9) 35; by Johnston (7 - 11 - 9 - 2) 29
Free Throws: Adanacs 3 - 4 - 3 - 1 (11); Athletics 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 (6)
Penalties in minutes: Adanacs 16; Athletics 22.
Read the story of the 1938 Athletics Mann Cup celebration in the featured section of this site.