On December 23rd, 1914 there was an announcement out of Halifax that officially declared the collapse of the MPHA. The two Halifax hockey teams, the Crescents and the Socials were unable to come to terms with the Halifax Arena Company. According to reports out of Halifax, all possible avenues of saving the teams were looked at and "the Association did not determine to withdraw until every effort had been exhausted". However, in the end, financial pressures from both parties did not allow them to come to terms and meant the end of the MPHA. With the MPHA dead, it looked quite possible there would be an all Cape Breton Professional league with teams in Glace Bay, Sydney and North Sydney.
Blogs about the Sydney Millionaires Professional Hockey Club and their 1913 Challenge for the Stanley Cup.
On August 4th 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany. The next day, Canada followed, bringing the Dominion into the First World War. As the Country militarized, manpower and resources that were previously dedicated to sport were needed for training and military requirements. In some places, hockey teams lost access to arenas when they were granted to the military for their own use. The MPHA was also impacted by these events, Moncton who had initially intended to put a team back in the league decided to bow out and wait for the war to be over. This left the four remaining teams with the decision of whether or not to continue on with professional hockey.
The war of words between the two clubs heated up in the papers previous to the two game showdown. The New Glasgow papers took shots at Sydney's players claiming that they were trying to "chop their way to victory in the last game". The New Glasgow paper claimed that Trenouthe, who was considered one of the cleanest players in the MPHA, was especially out to hurt the New Glasgow players saying that "In talking to the local boys we would say how did you get your thumb broken, "oh, Trenouthe did that", or how did you get such a scalp wound "Trenouthe did that too". and so on down the line of inquiries. Trenouthe gets credit or discredit, we would be led to term it in this case, for all these injuries."
On March 3rd 1914, the Millionaires, with a good size league lead, were facing the second place New Glasgow Black Foxes at home. This game was considered likely to be the deciding game of the MPHA season if the Millionaires were able to defeat the Black Foxes at home. During the preparations for this important game, the Millionaires management and that of the New Glasgow team were unable to come to terms and agree on a referee for the game. Both teams then appealed to acting president Lithgow to pick a referee for the upcoming match. President Lithgow sent a telegram to Sydney stating that Frank Brown of Moncton was named as one of the referees for the game. The Sydney management agreed to Brown, believing that the second ref would be appointed from Sydney. Later in the day Secretary Buckley received another telegram from Lithgow stating that Stanley Smith of Halifax was named as the second referee. Sydney's management decided that the naming of two nonlocal refs was an attempt to ensure that New Glasgow won the game and told Lithgow that the Millionaires would not go on the ice with these two referees.