View Single Post
Old
05-01-2011, 12:03 PM
  #173
Sturminator
I voted for Kodos
 
Sturminator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Country: Ukraine
Posts: 7,973
vCash: 500
Some information on Frank Boucher's playoffs in 1924:

The Vancouver Maroons defeated the Seattle Mets in the PCHA playoffs in a two game total goals series 4-3, with the first game tied 2-2 and the second game going into overtime tied 1-1 before Frank Boucher ended the series with an overtime goal to send Vancouver through. From the Calgary Daily Herald - March 8, 1924:

Quote:
Frank Boucher, the clean playing, clean-limbed centre star for Vancouver, broke up the greatest athletic contest ever staged in the city of Vancouver when he took a pass from Bostrum just on the centre ice side of the blue line, tricked two men and beat Happy Holmes in 14 minutes overtime last night, giving Vancouver a 2-1 victory, or 4-3 on the round. It was a million dollar shot. It smashed the hopes of the fighting Mets, sent Pete Muldoon away screaming "offside!" and shoved the Maroons into the Stanley Cup finals with Calgary Monday night, a trip east and all the kopecks attaching to the tast of battling mid-west and east for the world's honors in hockey.
Vancouver would then go on to face Calgary in the western league finals for the right to face the NHL winner for the Cup. Here is the report from game 1 from the Calgary Daily Herald - March 11, 1924:

Quote:
Ten thousand, five hundred fans peered through the haze in Patrick's show house here last night and caught a glimpse of a somewhat tangled arrangement of hockey in which the Maroons emerged victorious by 3-1 over the Calgary Tigers in the first game of the Stanley Cup semi-final round...

BOUCHER, BATTLING WONDER

Frank Boucher, the battling boy wonder, found on the wilds of the prairies in the neighborhood of Lethbridge by the Patricks a few years back, made more trouble for the Tigers than a thousand motorists for an armless traffic cop. He was stick-handling like a circus wizard and hook checking so closely that the Tiger pucks flew to his club like to a magnet. He was a demon checker all through. It was a mystery how any of them got by out there in centre ice. In the third period he was summoned back to play guard along with Cook and Duncan, because the Maroons had snared a couple of marks to Calgary's one, and they wanted to protect it. Boucher was set up at the nose of the barricade where he sucked in the force of many Tiger drives, and invariably the puck evaporated when it struck his twisted pole.

DUNCAN EXHIBITS STYLE

That being done with lauding Boucher, let the light sweep around and stare on Art Duncan for a while. He did a lot of stuff and it was all good. He did a neat strut step through the Calgary make-up on several fast sweeps, and the boys appeared to be at a loss to figure out his style. He made a way for himself with apparent ease, the left side of the Calgary defense being the most popular course to follow. Cook also veered the course of his straddling pins in that direction and broke in a few times, especially with the first goal, that should have been clamped.
Here is the game 2 report from the Calgary Daily Herald - March 13, 1924:

Quote:
Bursting in with a series of combination rushes at top speed the Calgary Tigers completely bewildered the Vancouver club here last night, and crushed them under a tally of 6-3...

Boucher and MacKay, who cut up pretty tantrums in Vancouver, were out of the picture completely here last night. They couldn't stand the gaff like Wilson, Oliver and Morris, who were treated to a special line of trips, slashes and stiff shoulders when they endeavored to negotiate the shoals around Vancouver's harbor.
And the game 3 report from the Calgary Daily Herald - March 17, 1924:

Quote:
Aggressiveness beat the Vancouver Maroons out of the bye into the final round of the Stanley Cup series here Saturday night when the Calgary Tigers swept in on Hughie Lehman with a system of fast combination that resulted in a toll of three counts and the Tigers finished in front 3-1...

Boucher and MacKay were mighty annoying and they drew all kinds of attention. Boucher's hook checking was extremely clever, and he worried the Tigers when they swung into position for attacks. Duncan and Cook were stout obstacles and it was apparent that the Maroons were providing for a stiff weight battle as they started off with Bostrum and Skinner on the forward line, two of the heftiest customers on the coast makeup. They had the weight, but not the speed and the Tigers were soon breaking away from them, but Duncan and Cook blocked many rushes in the early part of the show.
After losing to the Tigers, the Maroons faced the Canadiens in the third round. Here is the game 1 report from the Montreal Gazette - March 19, 1924:

Quote:
Canadiens took the lead in the [unreadable]-final series for the Stanley Cup and world's professional hockey honors when they defeated the Vancouver Maroons 3 to 2 in the first game of the round played at the Mount Royal Arena last night...

Defensive hockey marked the greater part of the struggle, both teams keeping three and four men back for the most of the time, Vancouver continually having them lined out abreast to meet the Canadien rushes. Attacks by both sides were largely individual rushes of a spectacular nature or two-man attempts to break through. This style was maintained even when one or the other team had the advantage of the odd man through penalties to opponents.

In these rushes, Joliat, Morenz and Sprague Cleghorn were outstanding for Canadiens. Morenz was changed at frequent intervals, the local management seemingly conserving as much strength as possible for future contests.

For Vancouver, Frank Boucher, of the noted hockey family, and Hughie Lehman, coast net guardian, were the bright performers. Frank Boucher was the most consistent player on the ice. He broke up rush after rush with a long poke check that brought visions of Frank Nighbor at his best for Ottawa Senators, while his stickhandling through a sturdy defense was always smartly performed...
Vancouver's loss in game 2 of the series knocked them out of the playoffs for the season. From the Calgary Daily Herald - March 21, 1924:

Quote:
Vancouver Maroons slipped from the Stanley Cup stage last night when the Canadiens beat them 2 to 1 in a typical championship hockey struggle on miserable ice...

Joliat engineered a sensational end-to-end drive in the third period, and while Lehman sprawled out to save he was unable to smother the rebound, and Joliat kicked he disc, then stumbled and fell, but he extended himself full length to hook the rubber back to the goal mouth with his stick, and Billy Boucher raced in, knocking Cook from his feet in the plunge and nose dived into the face of the net just in time to sweep the cake through with Joliat.

It was a spectacular play, and one that crowned a wonderful effort, carry with it the graduation pass to the final of the world's hockey championship series with the Calgary Tigers. It was well for the Canadiens that Joliat negotiated that trip, for Frank Boucher's tally on Vezina was almost as brilliant shortly afterward when he dodged body drives, eluded hook and poke checks and then passed in a sizzling shot straight against the goal's front, catching the opposide side of the cage...

Vancouver were more at home under their own playing code, and after a two-day rest from their cross-country journey, the players, too, handled themselves well on the wet surface, though unquestionably not used to such heavy going. From centre ice to goal, they battled with a will that knew no check, and towards the end of the game were frequently applauded for their spectacular efforts. This was particularly true in the case of Hughie Lehman and Frank Boucher.
All-in-all, a very fine playoff run for the 22 year old Boucher, who seems to have been a revelation to the writers who watched the games. Other than game 2 of the Calgary series (don't have the report for game 1 of the Seattle series), Boucher is consistently mentioned as one of the best players on the ice, and was pretty clearly Vancouver's best skater (though Lehman was also very good for the Maroons).

Sturminator is offline   Reply With Quote