History of the A's
Athletics Win Second Mann Cup!
REGAIN MANN CUP FROM COAST CHAMPIONS BY THIRD CONSECUTIVE VICTORY
18 – 5 WIN
4 – 3, 8 –3 AND 12 – 4 BY PERIOD PLAY
St. Catharines Standard
October 15, 1940
Catharines’ double-blued Athletics are Mann Cup champions again! . . .
and probably one of the worthiest Dominion bands of titleholders that
dispense Canada’s national pastime in the realms of lacrosse annals. For
they came from defeat in the first of the national final series to
administer three consecutive crushing trouncings to the team rated the
best that ever represented the Pacific coast, in Vancouver Burrards. The
title tilt was won by 18 – 5.
night’s fourth and deciding struggle was waged before 6, 648 patrons who
braved a pelting rain to see the title decided and as many more utterly
loyal Garden City and suburban followers who paid them a wonderful tribute
on their return to their native Garden City under similar rainy
conditions. After sustaining the initial upset at 14 – 9, Art Brown’s
gallant twin blues settled down and humbled Burrard’s TNT-less Bombers
by convincing scores of 15 – 5, 16 – 10 and 18 – 5.
doing so, they exploded the hollowest bubble the west has presented in the
last three years of inter-sectional lacrosse, a vaunted aggregation that
was reputed to have everything in the way of natural and financial assets
and who had swept all before them in the west and right until they met
their admitted superiors, in all but the opening box conflict. Frankly,
Burrards were not the competition that New Westminster Adanacs were and it
required but the first game for Athletics to solve their weaknesses and
capitalize on them. To those who saw the four games involved, that is the
Never Looked Back
titular game was almost a replica of the second and superior to the third
in calibre of the pastime. The issue was never in doubt again, after the
first period and to those well versed in lacrosse lore, even before that.
never looked back at the coast Bombers, the nearest Burrards came being 2
–1 and 4 – 2 on the score sheet, in the opener. Saints led 4 – 2 in
the first, were up 8 –3 in the second and had tripled the tally at 12
– 4 by the end of the third. Had they wished to further add insult to
injury, none deny the fact that Coach Brown’s champions could have made
it 28 instead of 18, for at various times during the last half, they
simply toyed with the opposition in mid-box. They hemmed Burrards in their
own end for minutes on end, whipping the white sphere back and forth and
retaining possession despite futile efforts of Les Dickinson’s
were magnificent from end to end and were led by one of the finest
displays of goal-tending that lacrossdom has ever seen in Bill Whittaker.
At most times he was indeed the peer of netminders and in defeat, chief
credit to Bombers could go to none other than his rival, Walt Lee. Barring
him, Burrards are only another lacrosse team and though he lost 58 goals
to the champions, he saved a total of 107. It is simple truth and justice
to repeat that every player that Coach Art Brown dressed gave a worthy
display and though some may rate higher in scoring averages, it was Saints
unselfish play that accounted for 43 assists on 58 goals. In short, there
is no team that can beat Athletics of 1940.
again wasted little time going into the van, after Cheevers got the draw
and forced play. Billy Wilson set up the play that saw Billy Fitzgerald
roll around Dickinson and bore right into the net on Lee for the opener in
1:10. In less than a minute, Fitzgerald snared a loose ball at centre and
wriggled around the blue defence to net his second in a row. Bombers then
dug in and play swung back and forth with stiff checking in the middle
zone and Dale put the coast on the score sheet when he pulled the A’s
defence aside after four minutes. Another three minutes and Myers gave
Morton the needed pass to step Saints into a 3 – 1 lead and when Morton
was hemmed in alongside the boards, he snapped a short pass to Urquhart
who gave A’s a three-goal lead at 4 –1.
intervals seemed to be the order of the scoring in the earlier stages, as
big Joe Dickinson raced in and picked the near corner on Whittaker for the
Bombers’ second tally. Play was largely in the middle zone, with both
defences backing in well and when Jenkinson was gated for hooking Gus
Madsen, they set up a perfect stonewall before Walt Lee and kept Saints
without a clear shot.
swung to the south end, where Bun Barnard and Red Berry “dogged” each
other into a dual penalty, with 3 ½ minutes to go. Checking was as tight
as before, but the Montreal officials seemed inclined (or ordered) to not
check on little affairs, although players of both teams had tried to coax
penalties, but found little sympathy. The period ended at 4 – 2 for the
Garden City boys.
was no sooner on in the second than he gated again for nicking Urquhart
and it took toll of a goal, after Morton, Teather and Urquhart had shots
on Lee, followed by Frank Madsen. Hope snared the last rebound and drilled
in a high tally at 5:02. Lee beat Billy Wilson on two in a row, but was
fooled on the third, when Wilson faked a pass to Cheevers and beat Lee.
Bombers came back hard and fast and Capt. Joe Dickinson “bulled” his
way in to pick a corner, after taking a running pass from Lee, with 5
minutes to go. Saints came back with two in a row, spaced two minutes
apart, as were the first period registers. Hope collected the first from
Myers and after A’s had been held in check by some tight backing in by
the coast blues. McMahon jockeyed back and forth outside the blue line,
then lobbed a long pass to Wilson, who was checked by Dickinson but did
not see the pass with his backed turned. All Wilson had to do was reach it
out of the air, step around Dickinson and boost the Ontario champion’s
count to 8 – 3. The remainder of the quarter saw each goalie step fast
to save potential tallies, but the westerners seemed to be hurried or
checked tightly, although they played tight defensively.
gave up a soft goal, by a bit of dumbness, in about the first minute of
play, when each tagged an Athletic and let Teather coast in as the odd man
to beat Lee could and triple the score at 9 – 3. It took three minutes
for him to repeat the act, this time pivoting around one and rolling
around the other Bomber rearguard at the side of the net to raise the
A’s count to double figures at 10 – 3. Young Frank Lee, brother of
Goalie Walt Lee, made his first appearance of the series and tried to work
“sleeper” plays by loafing around the middle area and had four shots
on “Ace” Whittaker, all of which the latter handled on his pads.
Saints did not exert themselves too strenuously, being content with
holding possession around centre and working for the odd-man play, or
drawing the blue coasters out. Finally, Joe Cheevers worked behind the
blue defence and beat Lee, being shot into the end boards on the rush. A
crosscheck along the boards saw Hope and Roy Cavallin benched together and
stage a royal melee on the bench, when Hope put Cavallin out with a
haymaker. Ushers helped him up and police stepped into the scene, but
teammates worked out the time for them, as both got match penalties at
10:45. Teather hooked Matheson on a Bomber sortie and put A’s two short
to one at 11:40, but Bradford gave Matheson the snap that counted Burrards
fourth goal of the night in his absence, Matheson sneaking up behind
Urquhart’s back to take the hidden pass. Wilson and Gray were gated for
nagging at 14:33 and 13 seconds later McMahon converted Fitzgerald’s
pass and again tripled the score at 12 – 4.
Goals To One
eight goals, Athletics followed tactics of retaining possession and let
Bombers check them outside the penalty strip. Jack Cavallin hooked Teather
and was gated. Urquhart ragged the rubber around centre for seconds and
then fed Capt. Gus Madsen the goal in 24 seconds. Dickinson was in alone
and in some way tangled his own feet and fell down, losing the ball with
no Saint near him. The game had developed into pretty much of a rout by
this time as Gus Madsen and Morton whipped in the 14th and 15th
goals within 1:30 of each other, the last one ripping through the net and
delaying the game until repaired. Bombers offered no objection, so the
goal was absolutely valid. Young Lee was finally rewarded with a goal, as
he converted Berry’s pass at 5:02 for their fifth…and that became
their last goal of the night and series.
hooked Matheson at 5:50 but Bombers could not pierce the A’s defence,
being erratic on hurried shots and over-anxious. Came the ten-minute mark
and the die was cast for the vaunted Bombers. Urquhart uncorked a long
underhand shot that beat Lee and started the play for the next to Wilson
to Fitzgerald, at 17 – 5. Wilson and Fitzgerald took a pass and beat
Dickinson and then Lee, in turn for the 18th tally, with
Fitzgerald accepting a “sleeper” from Whittaker and coasting in alone,
to be robbed by Lee. Barnard and Theal nagged each other into a minor at
14:04 and all Athletics had to do was retain possession in the middle zone
until the gong and the Garden City warriors of Coach Art Brown were Mann
Cup champions again, by 13 goals.
Burrards: Goal, W. Lee; defence, Berry, Dickinson; rover, Gray;
centre, McDonald; wings, J. Cavallin, Dale; subs, Bradford, Matheson,
Jenkinson, R. Cavallin, Theal, F. Lee.
Catharines Athletics: Goal, Whittaker; defence, C. Madsen,
Barnard; rover, McMahon; centre, Cheevers; wings, Wilson, Fitzgerald;
subs, F. Madsen, Hope, Myers, Urquhart, Morton, Teather.
Penalties: Jenkinson, Barnard, and Berry.
Penalties: Hope and R. Cavallin (minors and misconducts); Teather, Wilson and Gray.
Penalties: J. Cavallin, Barnard, Theal and Barnard.
Goal stops: By Lee (4-8-6-5) 23, by Whittaker (8-7-11-7) 33.
(St. Catharines Standard photo)