History of the A's


Sizing Up The Innovative Adanacs






The St. Catharines Standard 

Friday October 7, 1938 

Take the word of the New Westminster Adanacs and some high-powered press agenting, and the Mann Cup is destined to remain in the golden west again. Which is something for St. Catharines lacrosse officials, Coach Art Brown and his Garden City Athletics to ponder over. With the first conflict of the famous Mann Cup finals coming up tonight at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. 

Adanacs are either as starry as they are touted, or the publicists are planning to pack Leaf Gardens with wide-eyed patrons of lacrosse, who will gaze in amazement at the “boxla-styled by Adanacs”, as the Pacific Coast champions are advertised. Coach Jimmy Gifford has perfected a system of all his own, one that paid grand dividends in their finals out west with New Westminster Fishermen. He has taken the finer points of box lacrosse and welded them with block, or interference, plays of basketball. With the result that Adanacs have that down to a point of finesse where they are said to be the greatest scoring threats ever seen on a senior lacrosse squad that ever came out of the west. 

“Razzle-Dazzle” Plays 

All the east knows of these tactics are what the west cares to tell. Other clubs on the coast tell plenty, but St. Catharines and Ontario has to wait until tonight to get their first inkling of what is supposed to revolutionize box lacrosse. Combined with a defence style that is reported to be the last word, is the fastest and most dynamic passing attack imaginable. It is during that race up the cushion that the insidious interference plays come into being, that puts an uncovered man right on top of the rival goalie. It is said to be a combination of the “razzle-dazzle” plays of the North Shore Indians, mingled with Yankee basketball block plays that is supposed to fender the opposition helpless. Needless to say, it is all very confusing to the east and Athletics but they refuse to be shaken from their idea that lacrosse is played just as well in the east as out at the coast. Tonight will tell fandom a whole lot. 

After Four Years 

Adanacs are the result of four years of intensive building. They started with one object in view…to beat out their inter-city rivals, New Westminster Fishermen. They did that trick in three straight and Adanac boosters point out that Bob Phalen is said to have raced Ed Downey right into the soil during those three title games. When that is done, Adanacs must have something. Phalen will likely be sent out to tag Billy Wilson of Athletics, and that will be worth watching. 

Youth And Speed 

Adanacs base and bank everything on their youth and speed. Averaging under 21 ˝ years, they are the youngest squad ever to win the Pacific coast title, also the least experienced in playoff warfare. So Gifford has built basketball into lacrosse and it is that glowing spectacle that the east awaits with highest anticipation. Pyper, sub-goalie and Mathison, at 25 and 24, are the veterans of the western champions, yet Carter at 18 is said to be nothing short of a marvel of coolness and smoothness under fire. Carter is rated the fastest checker of the west and so swift as to hold his man and yet get into his own team plays. 

Bob “Steamboat” Lee, who came east last year with Vancouver Bluebird juniors, is the defence star of the Adanacs and picked up five goals against Medicine Hat in the final game out west. St. Catharines fandom wonders if Lee is any better than Capt. Gus Madsen, who is rated the best two-way defenceman in the O. L. A. Adanacs have a player nicknamed “Punk”, the same as the A’s. He is Kennedy, a winger, the same as Saints ace sniper, Roy “Punk” Morton. 

Goalies Are Rated 

Eddie Johnston captured the lowest scoring goal honors in the coast league. Our own Bill Whittaker captured the banner in the O. L. A. Hence many eyes will watch for net efforts with feverish anxiety as the rival A’s tee-off tonight in Leaf Gardens, and it will be a loyal Garden City throng of fans who line up behind the bench of the double-blues and cheer their every move toward a hoped-for victory in the opener. It is no secret that first blood is going to be a potent factor in the Mann Cup finals and unless Coach Art Brown has suffered a quick change of mind, he will send his Saints out to snare that opener. 

Highway Parade 

All busses and private cars available have been pressed into service by St. Catharines and adjacent fandom for the Mann Cup starter tonight. Athletics will leave this afternoon at 5:30 for Toronto where Adanacs worked out yesterday. It is expected that between 1,000 and 1,500 loyal backers of the A’s will be in the Gardens tonight when Max Peart and Clarence Huff face off the ball at 8:30. St. Catharines fans scarcely know what to make of the ballyhoo from the west on Adanacs, but they really want to see the squad of lacrosse warriors that can and will take the Ontario champions into camp in three straight, as is confidently expected by the west. It will be a real battle that an hour of play will decide. The big problem is who will fortune favour?