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03-30-2011, 06:12 AM
  #117
Sturminator
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Some information on Frank Boucher's checking proclivities:

We'll start in 1922, with a recap of his performance in the previous season for the Ottawa Sens - from the Ottawa Citizen: October 26, 1922:

Quote:
Frank Boucher, who was one of the best second string men in the National Hockey Association, will leave for Vancouver at 1:40 tomorrow morning...

Coming from the west last fall, he was secured by Ottawas, and from the first of the season showed promise of being a noted addition to the ranks of the famous family. Used at center ice, a real opportunity never really came his way till Frank Nighbor was put out of the game for ten days when Sprague Cleghorn cut loose in the memorable Canadien game here. Stepping into the poke check wonder's place, Frank immediately went in solid with the local fans, and his aggressive and consistent play earned him a high place in the N.H.A. lists.

While his passing to Vancouver is regretted by Ottawa fans, every good luck goes with him, and the only thing we cannot wish him is that he may help Vancouver beat Ottawa for the Stanley Cup next spring. A clever stick-handler, a good shot, a rugged check, and with plenty of speed, he has all the necessary requirements of a first-class big leaguer, and there is no reason why he should not make good with a vengeance in the Coast aggregation.
Here is the reaction of the Vancouver paper in Boucher's rookie year in the PCHA - from the Vancouver Sun: December 12, 1922:

Quote:
In a thrilling three-reel film, starring the juvenile Frank Boucher, the Vancouver Maroons last night advanced into sole tenancy of second place in the coast hockey circuit over the rugged opposition of the Victoria Cougars. The score was 2 to 1. Boucher skated right into the hearts of the fans within half a minute of the start, when he stole the puck at the Victoria blue line, wormed his way close in on xxxxxx and flipped the gutta percha into the strings from a hard angle.

From then on he continued to be the star of the piece. His stickhandling was a revelation to the paid attendance and a constant knife under the ribs of the opposition, who allowed their resentment to show itself in efforts to rough-house the youngster out of his stride. But Frankie stood up under the punishment and still kept standing the Cougars on their heads. He skated back all the way with his check, repeatedly hooked the rubber away and dashed into enemy territory, where he wriggled through time after time and spanked the pill dead on the nets. Nice stops by xxxxxx, however, robbed him of any further scores.

In the final period Boucher played chiefly on the defense, where his poke-checking broke up a dozen attacks. Altogether the young Ottawan turned in a pretty flossy exhibition and the fans whooped for him from start to finish in a way that left no doubt that he was elected.
Pretty interesting stuff. Boucher had excellent tutors as a young player, serving as understudy to both Nighbor and MacKay, though he seems to have been a fine defensive player before MacKay had time to teach him anything.

The next bit is from the 1923 Cup semifinals series between Vancouver and Ottawa. From the Calgary Daily Herald: March 20, 1923:

Quote:
The Maroons were masters of the situation one minute and eighteen seconds after the initial faceoff, when Duncan swept down the ice in one of his irresistible rushes and parked the disk behind Benedict for the west's first goal in two games. Thereafter the Maroons were never in danger. Skinner worked the puck down shortly after and passed back to Boucher from the extreme right corner behind Benedict, and Frank snapped the puck into the corner of the net.

Vancouver made the evening safe for democracy shortly afterward, when Boucher took a pass from xxxxxx and again beat the tall, solemn goalie from beyond the Rockies...

Clancy played a fair game and so did Hitchman, but the veterans of the Senators, which form their team, get but short rests, as the subs weaken their team not a little. On the other hand, Vancouver has three perfectly good regulars in xxxxxx, Harris and Denneny, that is a margin of superiority which is bound to tell over a three out of five series. Alf Skinner played his best hockey of the season, he was in on almost every play and repeatedly worried the defense and Benedict by his dashing tactics.

George Boucher was the bright individual star for the Senators. He has no peers in movements designed to bring goals and the one he got for his team was well deserved. He was cheered again and again last night, not a voice being raised against him, although his tactics on defense were much more strenuous than anything charged to Gerard who seemed off color all evening.

Benedict got another hard crack, when MacKay's shot hit him on the mouth from two or three feet out; he fell to the ice and the game was halted while he was being patched up. But he played fine hockey, as did Art Duncan, Mickey MacKay and Frank Boucher. That elusive youngster played marvellous hockey and time after time Brother George turned to see who was the annoying player, to discover it was Frank, the kid, and let it go at that...

The period ended with G. Boucher skating furiously to escape his brother Frank, who clung to his heels in an effort to hook the puck away from him.
I include the above as much for color on the other players as for Boucher.

Next, we move forward to game 5 of the same series, in which Boucher stars. From the Vancouver Sun: March 27, 1923:

Quote:
Ottawa's victory was decisive, convincing and alibi-proof. The Senators skated as fast as their opponents, combined play better, back-checked more closely and shot harder and more accurately. The 5-1 score was perhaps a bigger margin that the play warranted, but there was no doubt in the minds of the 8000 fans present that the better team won.

A long shot by George Boucher from the left boards, away out by the blue line, that Lehman touched with his arm but failed to stop, put Ottawa one to the good seven minutes from the start...

Vancouver failed to show the stuff that beat out Victoria and Seattle for the coast title. Frank Boucher, Harris and xxxxx all played up to their best form, but MacKay was lost in his unaccustomed position at right wing, where he replaced the injured Skinner. Duncan failed to put the finishing touch to his rushes that marked his work last week. Cook was fair, but not as good as he has been at times. Lehman was far from the form that won him the sobriquet of "Eagle Eye". Corbett Denneny made some nice efforts when he got a couple of fairly long spells on the ice.

Frank Boucher was the best of the local forward line. He was back at his old game of hook-checking and stealing, and his back-checking was excellent. More than once he whizzed back on the defense in time to avert goals, and on the attacking end he contributed a number of clever passes and an occasional stinging shot. Harris and Duncan both slammed a number of hot ones at the nets, but with one exception, Benedict handled them all to perfection.
It's a very interesting game report for a number of reasons, Boucher's play being but one of them. It would seem (and this is the local Vancouver paper, so we should take this seriously) that Mickey MacKay was not quite as often and not quite as good a right winger as maybe we've been led to believe in the ATD, and that Hugh Lehman made something of a habit of letting in bad goals in the playoffs.

So that about wraps up the information on Boucher's time in Vancouver.


Last edited by Sturminator: 03-30-2011 at 06:39 AM.
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