History of the A's


Athletics Dethrone Terriers in O. L. A.






The St. Catharines Standard 

Saturday September 24, 1938 

Hail to St. Catharines Athletics, for they are the new senior lacrosse champions of Ontario. Orillia Terriers, three time champions, were dethroned last night by 16 – 10 in their own northern stronghold, to give the Garden City its first senior title in 27 years, six seasons of which were in box pastiming. But youth and speed triumphed over veteran experience. That tells the tale. 

Like the heroes of past decades, Athletics won it the hard way and Orillia lost it identically. The fourth game of the O.L.A. finals was possibly one of the sternest that could be witnessed, with no thought of quarter to be asked or given. The checking, as witnessed in the three preceding three conflicts, was bitter, yet it was no more unduly rough than seen during the playoffs. All penalties meted out were minors with both officials dispensing a brand of refereeing that was hard to surpass, even if it did not meet with the approval of the crowd of 2,300 that jammed the arena. Of that number, possibly more than 300 were loyal followers from this city and the southern end of the arena rang with encouragement for the visiting Garden City team. 

Go Down Fighting 

Terriers did not succumb without one of the most gallant displays seen by a team that was destined to be deprived of triple honors. Coach Bucko McDonald and his team threw everything they had into the game. Fighting with their back to the wall, Terriers did everything humanly possible to overcome the handicaps facing them. They donned white jerseys over their purple to more easily distinguish the home roster. They tried every trick of the lacrosse trade to match brains and brawn with the sturdy system of the A’s as mapped out by Coach Art Brown. They raced themselves into exhaustion during the first half to keep pace with their younger and stronger rivals. They tried to wear down the Saints by dint of hardest checking imaginable. Terriers did not toss whole lines of players into action, but inserted them singly and when everything also had failed to stem the tide of rampaging Athletics that were not to be denied, Orillia brought Hall out of the nets during the final period to make him the odd seventh man on attack. Hall played practically the whole quarter beyond centre, but even that asset was unable to subdue the gallant band of Saints that swept the title in successive contests. 

Green Was Matchless 

While every player on the Garden City club played steady and brilliant lacrosse, the spearhead of their attacks was Harry Green. It was he who alone lifted the Athletics from a 4 – 3 slim margin in the second quarter – best of the four for Orillia – into a commanding lead at 8 – 3. All of which was accomplished in the short space of 2 ˝ minutes, absolutely meriting the ovation of the Athletic and Terrier fandom. He assisted Fitzgerald on the first goal, scored the second one single-handed when he literally carried four Orillia players right to the edge of the goal. He then drew the checks of tow other Athletics aside to make it possible for Hope and Urquhart to combine for the third counter, and to climax his thrilling effort he duplicated his preceding one by again carrying three Terrier defencemen into the mouth of Hall’s net. Surely, if any player deserved to be termed a star, it was Harry Green on those magnificent individual displays. On both his own goals he was subjected to a terrific gruelling which cut him down on the very edge of the goal mouth, but never a whimper escaped him as the arena rang with cheers. 

A’s Merit Brackets 

Next outstanding for the new champions was Billy Whittaker, who could not be blamed for all the goals that pierced his net. When given the support he rated, he was as sensational as in the Wednesday game here, while frantic cheers rent the air on Terrier shots that seemed as if impossible to keep from being recorded goals, as he skied, blocked or caught the flying rubber. Ranking next was Urquhart, who staged one of the finest examples of fighting for the ball seen in the playoffs. 

Morton, with taped ribs, raced from end to end in his usual dynamic fashion, McMahon was the wizard and thorn in the flesh of old on individual sallies, the defence of Barnard, Hope and both Madsens was a bulwark before Whittaker. Fitzgerald’s consistent forechecking earned him three worthy goals, while Wilson, Millar, Teather and Cheevers proved invaluable aids in bringing the championship to their native city. 

Brunskill retained the honor of being the Terriers chief threat, getting four goals (highest of the night), and being the one man Whittaker could not outguess on driving shots. McDonald had two counters with singles to Snowden, Steggall, Smith and E. Curran – Terriers collected but two assists on the night, in sharp contrast to nine for Athletics. 

Besides the trio for Fitzgerald, McMahon had three, Urquhart one and three assists, Morton, Green and Hope two apiece, Gus Madsen one and two, Cheevers and Barnard a goal each, and Millar a fine assist. 

Coach Bucko McDonald and Mgr. Herb Caswell were first to congratulate the new champions, frankly admitting that they bowed to a team that was superior in department of lacrosse play and adding best wishes for the Eastern Canadian honors and ultimate objective, the Mann Cup, emblematic of the Dominion senior lacrosse laurels. 

St. Catharines—Goal, Whittaker; defence, C. Madsen, Barnard; rover, Green; centre, Cheevers; wings, Wilson, Fitzgerald; subs; Hope, F. Madsen, Urquhart, Teather, Morton, Millar, McMahon, Kelly. 

Orillia—Goal, Hall; defence, Wilson, Steggall; rover, Brunskill; centre, Snowden; wings, E. and W. Curran; subs. McDonald, Smith, Bain, England, Boettiger, McArthur.


Officials—Max Peart, Port Colborne; Alan Willford, Hespeler. 

1938 program cover courtesy of Mr. Bob Luey