1921 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1921 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the National Hockey League (NHL) champion Ottawa Senators and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Vancouver Millionaires. The Senators defeated Vancouver three games to two in the best-of-five game series to become the first team to win back-to-back Cup championships since the 1912/1913 Quebec Bulldogs.
Paths to the Final
Ottawa won the first half of the 1920–21 NHL regular season while the Toronto St. Patricks won the second half, setting up a two-game total goals series between the two clubs to determine the NHL title. The Senators recorded 5–0 and 2–0 shutout victories to advance to the Cup finals. Meanwhile, Vancouver finished the 1920–21 PCHA regular season in first place with a 13–11 record, and defeated the second place Seattle Metropolitans in a championship series to win the PCHA title.
The series took place at Vancouver's Denman Arena, where the attendance per game during the series averaged over 10,000 people. The attendance for the first game was 11,000, setting a new world record for the largest crowd to see a hockey game, only to be topped in the fifth game. The Millionaires won games one and four with victories of 3–1 and 3–2, respectively. The Senators were victorious in games two and three with 4–3 and 3–2 wins. Then in the fifth game, Jack Darragh scored both of Ottawa's goals in the 2–1 victory to clinch the Cup.
In game one, played under western rules of seven-men hockey, the Millionaires took a 2–0 lead after the first period on goals by Alf Skinner and Art Duncan. Smokey Harris scored in the second to stretch the lead to 3–0 before Darragh put Ottawa on the board with five minutes to play in the second. The third period was scoreless, giving the first win and the series lead to the Millionaires. Skinner was badly cut in the game and was sent to the hospital.
In game two, played under eastern rules of six-man hockey, the Millionaires took the lead 3–2 after one period on goals by Harris, Duncan and Jack Adams. Ottawa tied it the second on a goal by Darragh. Punch Broadbent scored the winning goal with four minutes to play in the third period.
Game three was again played under western rules. Skinner remained out. Lloyd Cook opened the scoring for Vancouver in the second minute but Darragh countered for Ottawa five minutes later. Ottawa took the lead in the second with goals by Cy Denneny and Sprague Cleghorn before Jack Adams countered for Vancouver seven minutes later. Ottawa held off the Millionaires with a strong defensive third period to win the game and take the series lead.
Game four was played under eastern rules. The first period was scoreless. Skinner put Vancouver ahead early in the second but Boucher tied it up for Ottawa and the teams entered the third period tied 1–1. In the third, Skinner scored again and Cook scored to put Vancouver up by two goals. Broadbent scored for Ottawa a minute later. Vancouver held off the Senators to win the game and tie the series.
In the fifth and deciding game, it was estimated that 12,000 attended and 3,000 were turned away. Skinner scored to put Vancouver up 1–0 after the first period. Darragh scored twice for Ottawa in the second period to put the Senators ahead with one period to play. With two minutes to play, Cook was body-checked by Eddie Gerard and retaliated. Cleghorn then decked Cook with a punch to the jaw and a free-for-all broke out, only ended by the police going on to the ice. The three were penalized and Ottawa finished the game with five players, while Vancouver finished with six. Ottawa held on to win the game 2–1 and the series and retained the championship. After the game, the teams exchanged sweaters and much of the Ottawas' equipment was taken away by souvenir hunters.
Darragh led the Senators in scoring with five goals during the series, while goaltender Clint Benedict only allowed just 12 goals in the five games, earning a 2.40 goals-against average. Since all games were played in Vancouver, the three wins by the Senators meant they were the first team to win three road games in a Final series.
Vancouver coach Frank Patrick remarked after the series: "You have the greatest team I have ever saw. Ottawa ought to be proud of those boys. Their defensive system is marvellous. They are better than the 'Little Men of Iron', the 'Silver Seven' or any other sextet I have ever watched. It was no disgrace to lose to that aggregation."
|Game-by-Game||Winning Team||Score||Losing Team||Rules||Location|
|1||March 21||Vancouver Millionaires||3–1||Ottawa Senators||PCHA||Denman Arena, Vancouver|
|2||March 24||Ottawa Senators||4–3||Vancouver Millionaires||NHL|
|3||March 28||Ottawa Senators||3–2||Vancouver Millionaires||PCHA|
|4||March 31||Vancouver Millionaires||3–2||Ottawa Senators||NHL|
|5||April 4||Ottawa Senators||2–1||Vancouver Millionaires||PCHA|
|Senators win best-of-five series three games to two.|
Ottawa Senators 1921 Stanley Cup champions
- Coaching and administrative staff
- Ted Dey (President)
- Tommy Gorman (Manager/Secretary)
- Pete Green (Coach)
- Frank Dolan (Trainer)
- Frank Ahearn (Hon. President)&
&-missing from the team picture ‡ Played Rover a position in the Stanley Cup Finals.
- *-Note-*(This was the last season that rover position was used in the Stanley Cup Finals. WCHL/PCHA agreed to play an interlocking schedule, with PCHA dropping the rover position. The alternating games in the finals with or without the rover position was not necessary anymore. All Stanley Cup Finals games have been played with 6 players on each side since.)
Stanley Cup engraving
Just like the previous season, the Senators never engraved their name on the Cup for their 1921 championship. It was not until the trophy was redesigned in 1948 that the words "1921 Ottawa Senators" was put onto its then-new collar.
- "1920–21 Stanley Cup Winner: Ottawa Senators". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
- "hockeyleaguehistory.com - Pacific Coast Hockey Association". Archived from the original on 03 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. pp. 12, 53. ISBN 1-55168-261-3.
- Dan Diamond (ed.), ed. (1992). The Official National Hockey League Stanley Cup Centennial Book. Firefly Books. pp. 53–54. ISBN 1-895565-15-4.
- "Vancouver Takes Lead in World's Series Defeating Champion Ottawa 3–1". Ottawa Citizen. March 22, 1921. p. 14.
- "Ottawa Beat Vancouver in Second Cup Game". Montreal Gazette. March 25, 1921. p. 15.
- "Ottawa Assumed Lead in Stanley Cup Competition". Montreal Gazette. March 29, 1921. p. 12.
- "Vancouver Won From Ottawa in Fourth Cup Game". Montreal Gazette. April 1, 1921. p. 18.
- "Ottawas Retain The World's Hockey Championship Title". Ottawa Citizen. April 5, 1921. p. 10.
Stanley Cup Champions
Toronto St. Pats