Games 3 & 4 - The 1913 Season
Game 3 (January 14, 1913) - Sydney Millionaires 14 - Halifax Crescents 3 - The next day, Sydney arrived in Halifax for their game against the Halifax Crescents. The Halifax fans were very excited to check out these new Sydney Millionaires who had defeated the Moncton Vics on their own ice. Tickets for the game sold very quickly with five thousand fans anticipated to take it in. Jack Fraser who had sat out the Moncton game due to exhaustion from the rail trip east was scheduled to play his first game for Sydney in Halifax.
The first period of the Millionaires – Crescents game was characterized by rough play by both teams. Jack Fraser, Sydney’s newest player, became unpopular in Halifax by twice laying out Halifax’s star defenseman Ves Laing. The second shot badly injured Laing and he was forced to leave the game. Reports stated that Fraser skated up to Laing and cross checked him so hard that he had to be carried off. Cap MacDonald and Joe Tetrault were also penalized for rough play.
The Second period was just as rough as the first and Sydney received a huge blow when Harvey Richardson broke his leg in a collision with Sydney’s former player, Harry Scott. According to the Halifax Daily Echo, Scott threw a fair check at Richardson and “Richardson came down on his leg, which was broken above the thigh. He was attended by Dr. Carruthers, and was later removed to the Halifax Infirmary.”
The game was a very close affair until the end of regulation time ending in a three to three tie. The Halifax Crescents had, for the most part dominated the play but Sydney’s goalie, Toby MacDonald had made some excellent saves to keep Sydney in the game. The two teams decided to play a sudden death overtime period to attempt to break the deadlock. The Halifax Crescents dominated the play in the overtime taking many shots at Toby. Toby was brilliant in overtime, turning away each of the Crescent’s shots. Eight minutes into the overtime period, Sydney’s Dunphy advanced up the ice and sent a pass to Tetrault who slid the puck past the Crescents goalie Wortman. The game didn’t end without controversy, Harry Scott was hit and stretched out on the ice and the Halifax players and fans accused the referee of blowing his whistle before Tetrault had scored the winning goal. The referee denied blowing his whistle and the goal was upheld.
After the game, the Millionaires made a hasty retreat back to Sydney to get prepared for their next home game where they were set to face the New Glasgow Cubs on the 16th of January. Cap MacDonald and manager Nelson Kennedy stayed behind in Halifax to stay with Harvey Richardson who was hospitalized with his broken leg. When the Millionaires arrived home they were greeted at the train station by a large group of supporters who arrived to celebrate the Millionaires’ very successful road trip. The players were noticeably exhausted from their trip and were subsequently given the 15th off to rest and recoup for their upcoming home game against New Glasgow.
January 15th marked the deadline set jointly by the MPHA and the NHA concerning the signing of players from each other’s organizations. That same day, the Millionaires executive made an announcement that they had signed Harry Cameron of Toronto. Cameron was considered to be a top notch professional player and was known as the first rushing and scoring defenseman. The managers of the other teams in the MPHA quickly protested this signing, reminding the Millionaires that the deal with the NHA had taken effect. The Millionaires executive responded by stating that they were after more players and that “they would get players if they needed them.”
Along with the NHA agreement, the big focus of the manager’s attention at the MPHA meeting taking place in Truro was the amount of brutality in the games. The MPHA leadership spent part of their meeting reviewing the NHA’s notebook and trying to decide upon possible deterrents. Much talk centered around the NHA’s model of fining players for each offense. The Halifax Echo supported this idea stating, “Fining the players seems the only effective way to control brutality in hockey. The game is always more interesting to watch when the puck is played instead of the man.” The Echo went on to claim, “If the kind of hockey played in Nova Scotia is inferior to that played in the Upper Provinces, it comes of the disposition that seemingly exists among the members of the MPHA to knock each other out.”
Game 4 (January 16, 1913) - New Glasgow Cubs 4 - Sydney Millionaires 1 - The January 16th home game against the Cubs was the first let down of the year for the Sydney fans. An estimated twenty-five hundred fans watched a game played on what was characterized as sloppy ice. The fans excused the 4 to 1 loss to the fact that the Millionaires had played four games of hockey, traveled hundreds of miles of rail, had two men joining the team after their trip from the west and the fact that they had lost Harvey Richardson, one of their better players, all in one week. Reports indicated that the players were too stiff and sore to even practice the next day.
On January 20th, it was announced in the Sydney Post that the Millionaires had acquired three new players from Upper Canada. They were expected to arrive in the Maritimes in time for their January 23rd game against the Halifax Crescents taking place in Sydney. The new players included Ken Randall and Victor Jopp borrowed from The Toronto Blueshirts along with Herbie Mohan acquired from the defunct Hamilton Alerts hockey club. Harry Cameron stayed with the Toronto team for the season choosing not to play for Sydney. Harry also insisted that his good friend Frank Nighbor was also signed by Toronto forcing the release of Ken Randall who was considered by most to be the better player. The third player Herbie Mohan, was picked up by the Toronto Tecumsehs of the NHA but Sydney was able to outbid the Tecumsehs and acquire Mohan for Sydney.