Friday, February 3, 2012

1924-1925 Season - Once again it was a two team League, Pats and Tigers. Defenceman, Jack Cranstoun and centre Ike Morrison, who played for the Moose Jaw Canucks the previous season, played for Regina Pats in the 1924-25 season. That season it was a first for the Pats, playing exhibition games against the Senior Regina Vics team.

Left to Right: Frank Foster (Secretary-Treasurer), Bert Acaster (Vice President), Red Upland (President), Ike Morrison, Jack Crapper, Bert Dowie, Jack Cranstoun, Syl Acaster, Al Ritchie (Coach-Manager), Jack Gottselig, Jack Cunning, Stan Fuller, Ken Doraty, Frank Ingram, Bill Griston (Trainer), Percy Ryan (Assistant Trainer)

(Photo: Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame - File # 83-3-14)

1924-1925 – Regina Pats RosterGoalie: Jack “The Eagle Eye” Cunning Defense: Johnny Gottselig, Jack Cranstoun, Stan Fuller, Jack Gilhooly (Captain), Eric Pettinger Centre: Syl Acaster, Ivan “Ike” Morrison Right Wing: Ken Doraty, Bert Dowie Left Wing: Frank Ingram, Jack Crapper Coach-Manager: Al Ritchie Trainer: Bill Griston Assistant Trainer: Percy Ryan President: Fred Upland Vice-President: Bert Acaster

In the first League game on Wednesday, December 17, the Regina Pats accounted for nine goals in the second period. Defenceman, Johnny Gottselig, and centre, Frank Ingram scored 6 goals each as the Pats downed the Tigers 19-1. The two teams only played 5 games of the League Schedule. Pats won all 5 games handily, scoring 52 goals and only allowing 6 goals against.

Southern Final - On Saturday, February 14, the Regina Pats defeated the local Swift Current Monarchs 15-2. The game was a real exhibition of amateur hockey and the large crowd seemed to be satisfied with the entertainment displayed at the Citizen's Rink. Regina's Ken Doraty scored the first three goals in five minutes in the first period as the Pats took a 7-2 lead into the second period.

Doraty scored the only goal in the second period. There was no further scoring until the 10 minute mark when Regina scored seven goals in the last part of the period. It was Doraty scoring 5 goals, Johnny Gottselig 4, and Syl Acaster 3 for the Pats. Swift Current scorers were McNeilly and Shail. The second game was defaulted.

Saskatchewan Final - Tuesday, February 24, outplayed in almost every position and pitted against one of the strongest hockey teams turned out by Regina in recent years, the local Saskatoon Wesleys went down to defeat 9-2 at the Saskatoon Arena.

The Pats buzzed around the Wesley net minder "Ossie" Jones like so many bees and peppered shots on the goalie. Jones turned them aside with his chin, arms, feet, legs, stick and even blocked one vicious shot with his forehead.

Regina got away to a fast start within the first minute of the game when defenseman, Johnny Gottselig, scored for the visitors. He shot from outside the blue line and the puck hit deep into the hem of the net and bounced out.

That Friday at the Regina Stadium, Pats piled up a big score to win over the Saskatoon Wesleys 11-2. It gave the Pats a 20-4 score in the round. Regina went wild in the third period, scoring seven goals, 5 in 6 minutes. The crowd was small, less than a thousand turned out.

Pats played without centre Syl Acaster, but found a great replacement in "Ike" Morrison. Johnny Gottselig, in addition to his usual capable work on defense, led the scoring with 5 goals.

In eight play-off games to-date, Regina Pats had outscored their opponents 87 to 12.

Western Quarter-Final - Saturday, March 7, in what was one of the most exciting Western Quarter Semi-Finals to date, Al Ritchie's Pats lost to the Manitoba University 5-2 at the Regina Stadium in the opening game. It was witnessed by a loud and noisy crowd.

The Varsity squad won by advantage of weight, a strong attack, and a sensational performance by Jimmy Foster in the nets. It was not until the final period that the Pats broke into the scoring column. At the end of the second period they were losing 4-0.

On Monday, Regina Pats won a 90 minute struggle 7-4, wiping out the three-goal lead acquired by the Manitoba University. Regina led at the close of the regulation time 6-3 and each team scored a goal in the first ten minutes of overtime. Then followed two ten minute periods without a goal and the exhausted youngsters limped off the ice.

More than 2,000 fans turned out in near blizzard conditions to watch the game and the crowd was kept on its feet throughout. Syl Acaster's goal tied the series assisted by Frank Ingram's, 37 seconds from what might have been the final bell.

The following night, with little rest, the teams played and the Regina Pats broke the tie in the second period of overtime to take the series round 13 to 11. Regina, giving their last ounce of everything they had, defeated Manitoba University by the narrow margin of two goals. The Pats captured the most gruelling three-game hockey series ever witnessed in the City of Regina.

The second overtime period stands out as one of the greatest displays of hockey ever exhibited. Both teams were tired and fading fast. The break came when Syl Acaster broke up a Varsity rush at the blue line and dashed down centre ice with Jack Cranstoun on his right. As they reached the Winnipeg three-man defense, "Akey" slipped the puck to Cranstoun and Jack worked his way in to flip one passed goalie Foster.

While the crowd was still roaring, the teams changed ends for the last five minutes. It was scarcely under way when Frank Ingram intercepted a pass and went in on a break-a-way, his shot went over Foster's shoulders and dropped into the net.

Western Semi-Final - On Thursday, March 12, courage, coupled with a world of speed on attack, plus back-checking, helped the Pats win a glorious victory over the highly rated Calgary Canadians 2-1 at the Winnipeg Amphitheatre.

Substitute Stan Fuller scored the winning goal. It was similiar to Syl Acaster's goal against the Varsity. Fuller juggled the puck in front of the net and then scored.

Saturday, crippled and tired as they were, the Pats downed Calgary 4-3 capturing the series 6 to 4. Johnny Gottselig, usually a power on defense, was in the Regina hospital. Cranstoun, the other regular defenseman, should have been alongside his team mate. He was in constant pain from a badly injured ankle. His face was drawn with agony as he was assisted off the ice after the final bell.

In the second period, the time keeper announced that the Pats scored two goals in the span of one second, giving the time of the goals as 7:30 and 7:31!

Western Final - Abbott Cup - Tuesday, March 17, Regina Pats celebrated St. Patrick's Day handling the local Fort William Juniors a 3-1 lost in a rough game. Before the finish there had been slashing, tripping, plus an occasional fight.

Even though the Pats were outshot badly, 14-4 in the first period, they led 2-0. The third period was a rough one. Penalties came thick and fast.

Thursday, the Pats advanced to the Memorial Cup, beating Fort William 4-3 in one of the hardest fought and most exciting hockey battles staged for some time. Twenty penalties were handed out and only four of them were drawn by the Regina boys. The penalties were mostly for cross checking or holding.

Seldom has a better trio of players performed than Acaster, Ingram and Morrison. That night they proved themselves fit for senior hockey. They played as a unit and checked well throughout the game.

Regina Pat goalie Jack Cunning was the hero of the game. He had another busy evening almost breaking the Fort William forwards' hearts by stopping shot after shot, some which looked like sure goals.

Memorial Cup Final - That year the Canadian Amateur Hockey League decided to change the two-game, total-goal series. Under the new rule the Memorial Cup would be a best of three series.

Monday, March 23, Regina Pats left winger Frank Ingram's goal was the winner, 37 seconds into overtime as Regina downed Aura Lee 2-1. Only about 3,000 spectators saw the game at the Toronto Arena Gardens. Syl Acaster opened the scoring after two scoreless periods. He skated up the right side of the boards from the Regina net. Syl then shimmied in around defenseman Gossett and wormed his way back in front of the net. His shot went through a mass of players, two of whom were hog-tying Frank Ingram. The goal came at the 4:05 mark.

"Pud" McIwaine of Aura Lee tied the game as he was checked by a Pat defenseman. While he was upended, he was able to flip a high shot. The puck ended on its edge and bounced over goaltender Jack Cunning's stick with only one minute and 26 seconds left in regulation time to force overtime.

In overtime, Frank Ingram broke from his own end and eluded the three-man defence, went right into the right-hand corner and then passed out the puck. Aura Lee defenseman Gossett was standing two feet in front of the net. Frank Ingram's pass hit the defenseman and went into the corner of the net.

Wednesday, the Regina Pats outclassed Aura Lee and were victorious in two straight games. Pats fought their way to a 5-2 victory. During the game there were fights and a regular free-for-all at the start of the second period.

The easterners took the lead on Johnny McPherson's goal at the four minute mark. A tripping penalty by McIwaine resulted in two Regina goals; Ken Doraty at 8:21 and Acaster at 9:50 to give the Pats a 2-1 lead going into the second period.

Aura Lee's Parks scored 25 seconds into the period. The Pat's Jack Cranstoun gave his club the lead on a disputed goal. Aura Lee stated that the puck never crossed the goal line. In the third period Regina Pats scored three more goals.

Al Ritchie wore his heavy coonskin coat during the Game. Why did he wear his coonskin coat? Because the Regina Pats refused to go onto ice unless their coach-manager decked himself out as if it was forty below. Al Ritchie was game and accommodated the boys even though he was sweltering in the heat.

The Patricias were the finest hockey team that ever came out of the golden west. They won because they played superior hockey. Two hundred people cheered their congratulations to the departing players as they jumped into taxicabs on their way to the hotel. The following day in the Morning Leader the headline read: "Al Ritchie in Coon Coat. Was it to set a Jinx?" The question was asked because, at the time, Toronto was basking in almost summer-like temperature.

The morning of March 30th., the Regina Morning Leader, headlines read: "Regina Ready to Greet Pats Hockey Team This Morning." The Train Depot was packed when the champions rolled in at 9:15 in the morning on the C.P.R. train. Aboard that train, in a special car, was the team that carried this City's name to the highest honor in athletic achievement.

On Tuesday, March 31st., the Morning Leader read: "There were thousands at the depot as fans mobbed the Pats when they left the special coach. The gold car had one side covered with the inscriptions and cartoons drawn in chalk, proclaiming to the world that the car carried the Pats "Champions."

Later in the day the Pats were congratulated by Premier Dunning at a reception at the Kiwanis Club.