“A Consignment Of Hockey Junk?”
THE KLONDIKE HOCKEY TEAM at Dey's Rink in Ottawa, January 14, 1905. They are about to play the Ottawa Invincibles for the Stanley Cup. In the best of three game series they lost the first two. Back row left to right: Hector Smith, George Kennedy, Lorne Hannay, Jim Johnston, Norm Watt. Front row: Albert Forrest, Col. Joe Boyle, Dr. Randy McLennan. Missing from photo: playing coach Weldy Young and substitutes Dave Fairbairn and A. Martin. Forrest coll./Yukon Archives.
The Daily Evening STAR. Jan 14, 1905.
“A Consignment Of Hockey Junk?”
Those are fightin’ words!
It’s not often a local hockey team has a chance to vie for the Stanley Cup, but it happened one time in Yukon history and the results of the contest make it probable that it will never happen again.
Still, they got to see a lot of Canada’s east, and Canada’s east probably didn’t forget them for a long time. As a learning experience, you could say, it was a success.
Hockey was big in the Klondike in 1904, and the competition so fierce that local promoters of the sport were looking for bigger and greater challenges.
With the typical Yukon “if you’re going to go for it, you might as well go for the top” attitude, Dawson organizers wrote to Ottawa challenging the World Champions to a Stanley Cup duel. The challenge was accepted.
With “The King of the Klondike” Joe Boyle as manager the Klondike team sallied forth from Dawson to do battle with the Ottawa Invincibles, also known as “The Silver Seven.”
The team consisted of 19 year old goalie “wizz” Albert Forrest; Dr. Randy McLennan; Hector Smith; George Kennedy; Lorne Hannay; Jim Johnston; Norm Watt; playing captain and coach Weldy Young. Two substitute players, Dave Fairbairn and A. Martin also went along.
Walking to Whitehorse (for exercise) the team then used train and boat, to arrive in Ottawa January 12, 1905, the day before game number one in the best of three series.
Team coach and captain Weldy Young had been delayed in Vancouver and before he could reunite with the team it was all over:
Dawson Lost First Game
Ottawa Hockey Team Won First Game of Series by Score of 9-2
The Klondike hockey team last night lost the first of a series of three games for the Stanley Cup by a score of 9-2.
The game was a very rough one from start to finish. Moore of the Ottawa team, was ruled off three times and White, Smith and McGee of the same team, were ruled off once each. Watt, of the Dawson team, was ruled off three times and Kennedy and Smith once each.
The match drew the largest crowd that had ever witnessed a game of hockey in Ottawa.
The 2,500 people attending the first game included Earl and Countess Grey.
Governor-general Grey took the customary face off at the start of the game and sportsmanship deteriorated from that point on.
In one instance the Klondike’s left winger Watt tripped Ottawa’s “cover” Moore, Moore got up and gave Watt “a stick across the mouth,” putting him down.
Watt regained his feet, skated across the rink and “deliberately struck Moore over the head, putting him out for ten minutes,” They both got fifteen minutes in the sin-bin.
The next game spelled the end of any Stanley Cup hopes the team might have had:
The Daily Evening STAR Jan. 17, 1905
Defeat their Portion
Dawson Hockey Team Gets The Big Wallop at Ottawa Last Night
The Dawson Hockey team went down in overwhelming defeat before the Ottawa Invincibles last night by a score of 23-2.
Randy McLennan was not able to play, being laid up as a result of the fast and fierce game Friday night. He was replaced by Fairbairn. In fact, the whole team was in bad shape last night as the result of Friday night’s game.
During the first half the play was even, then the fast work of the home team sent the Klondikers to the wall. The outcome of the game precludes the Stanley Cup going to Dawson.
The Dawson boys leave for the east today. Their itinerary includes Halifax, Sydney. Westville, St. John, Fredericton, Montreal, Kingston, Brockville, Berlin, Galt, Brantford, Woodstock, London, Rat Portage, Winnipeg, Portage La Prairie, Brandon and possibly Nelson and Rossland.
The Daily Evening STAR Jan. 17, 1905.
Although the Ottawa Evening Journal called the Klondiker’s Stanley cup challenge “A Bit of Canadian Pluck” they were just being magnanimous. The Toronto Telegram, (article reprinted below) was not nearly so kind:
A Consignment Of Hockey Junk
“The Stanley Cup contest is now a mere matter of history, for long ere this the wires have ticked their story and told their tale of how Manager Joe Boyle’s proteges blew out the gas on themselves at the business address of Teddy Dey, Ottawa Ontario, on the evening of Jan 16th.
Go back a few years and try and imagine the feelings of Napoleon as he wearily retraced his steps from Moscow, mentally cursing the author of “Beautiful Snow,” and you have the inner reflections of the Dawson City team as they left the ice at Dey’s rink and slid into their store clothes.
For, though it is said in all kindness, never has such a consignment of hockey junk come over the metals of the C.P.R. as the latest claimants for world’s championship honors.
There wasn’t one solitary spot in the game where Dawson’s team showed they were “inside the money,”
Don’t know where they got their information, but some few thought in this game Dawson would show the way, but the semi-wash nondescript, to wit, the talent, winked its eye and said “no chance.”
The visitors couldn’t shoot, couldn’t skate, in fact they had about as much chance to lift the cup as the liberals had of beating Ed. Dunlop in North Renfrew.
You would have imagined that with a two day’s extra work-out the Dawson team would have made a better showing, but instead for the most part they played as if they were under a general anesthetic.
The manner in which Ottawa’s forwards skipped over the ice was truly marvelous, and the way they scored, well it would require one versed in higher mathematics to keep tab on them.
The score by the way was 23-2. Yes, it is hard to realize it, but nevertheless such was the result of the night’s slaughter. Taking candies from a baby or robbing a child’s bank couldn’t have been easier.”
The Daily Evening STAR, April 6, 1905.
Games Could Be Vicious!
The games in those days could be vicious. On February 13, a month after clobbering the Dawson team, the Ottawa Invincibles defeated the Montreal Wanderers by a score of 4-2.
It was the roughest match ever played in Montreal and was witnessed by a record 6000 fans.
Weldy Young, the captain and coach of the Dawson team, had finally made it to town and was the referee. (He chose to stay in the east and open a life-insurance business: probably for hockey players).
In a different game less than a month later, Allan Loney, of Ottawa was charged with manslaughter for “striking Alcide Laurin a blow on the head which resulted in his death” during a game at Maxville.
Loney pleaded not guilty and was acquitted of the charge by a Cornwall jury. Cornwall, it appears, liked it’s hockey rough.
The Daily Evening STAR, April 6, 1905.
Hockey Team On Way Home
Roving Dawsonites Here After Much Travel and Creditable Work on the Ice.
Albert J. Forest, “Randy” McLennan, Norman Watt, Geo. E. Kennedy and J.K. Johnston, five members of the Dawson Hockey team which went outside in December to contest for the Stanley Cup at Ottawa and meet teams from various other cities, arrived on yesterday evening’s train on the way back to the starting point.
The boys are not returning with the Stanley Cup, but they are taking home with them a more extensive knowledge of Canada than they ever before possessed for the reason that their itinerary covered practically the whole of the Dominion, embracing in the neighborhood of 13,000 miles of travel.
The boys are also taking home with them pleasant recollections of the treatment accorded them at various cities visited. They played games as far east as Nova Scotia and as far south as Pittsburgh, Pa.
During the trip the wanderers played 23 games winning 12, losing 10 and one resulting in a draw.
The other members of the team remained on the outside. Weldy Young has gone into the life insurance business at Ottawa.
The boys are all returning in fine health and fettle. The latter characteristic is so marked that they will start tomorrow morning on foot to cover the 320 miles that lie exposed to the climate between here and Dawson.
They walked out from Dawson in December and, to prove that travel and sight-seeing did not tend to make them swell-headed, uphish and arrogant, they will take chances on “that tired feeling” and reel off the distance one step at a time…