1925 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1925 Stanley Cup Final saw the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) champion Victoria Cougars defeat the National Hockey League (NHL) champion Montreal Canadiens three games to one in a best-of-five game series. The Canadiens were substitute NHL representatives, as the final series to decide the NHL champion was not played.
The Cougars were the last non-NHL team to win the Cup as the WCHL (renamed the Western Hockey League for the 1925–26 season) folded after the 1926 Cup Final, leaving the Stanley Cup to become the NHL's de facto championship trophy. The Cougars would also be the last team based west of Chicago to win the Cup until the Edmonton Oilers won the trophy in 1984. These were also the last Stanley Cup Final games to be played in Western Canada until the Vancouver Canucks qualified for the 1982 Final. Games 1, 3 and 4 were held in Victoria. Game 2, held in Vancouver, was the last neutral site game in Stanley Cup Final history that did not involve the New York Rangers.
Path to the Final
Prior to the season, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) folded and two of its teams, the Cougars and the Vancouver Maroons joined the WCHL. Victoria finished the 1924–25 WCHL regular season in third place, but eventually upset the Calgary Tigers in the two-game total goals WCHL championship series by a combined score of 3–1.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens also finished the NHL regular season in third place. In the NHL playoffs, Montreal went on to beat the second place Toronto St. Patricks, 5–2, in a two-game total goals series. The winner of that series was to go on and play the first place Hamilton Tigers. However, the Tigers were suspended after Hamilton players staged a strike in an attempt to receive more compensation because the league extended the regular season from 24 to 30 games. As a result, the Canadiens were declared the 1924–25 NHL champions.
With the demise of the PCHA, the Stanley Cup playoffs reverted to a single best-of-five series to determine the champion. However, the Cup Finals still annually rotated between the east and the west, and thus all of the games in the 1925 Finals were played on the West Coast. Games one, three and four were played at the 4,200 seat Patrick Arena in Victoria; Game two was played at the Denman Arena in Vancouver. The decision to use the larger Denman Arena (10,500 seats) for game two was based on the huge demand for tickets. The Cougars jumped to a two games to none series lead with 5–2 and 3–1 victories, but the Canadiens won game three, 4–2. In game four, Gizzy Hart scored the game-winning goal in Victoria's 6–1 win to clinch the Cup.
Cougars goaltender Hap Holmes recorded a 2.00 goal-against average for the series. Jack Walker led Victoria in goals with four, while Frank Fredrickson scored three. Overall, eight different player combining for the Cougars' 16 goals.
|Game-by-Game||Winning Team||Score||Losing Team||Location|
|1||March 21||Victoria Cougars||5–2||Montreal Canadiens||Patrick Arena|
|2||March 23||Victoria Cougars||3–1||Montreal Canadiens||Denman Arena|
|3||March 27||Montreal Canadiens||4–2||Victoria Cougars||Patrick Arena|
|4||March 30||Victoria Cougars||6–1||Montreal Canadiens||Patrick Arena|
|Cougars win best-of-five series 3 games to 1|
Victoria Cougars 1925 Stanley Cup champions
Victoria players Frank Fredrickson and Haldor Halderson became the first players to win both an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup. Fredrickson and Halderson had been members of the Winnipeg Falcons who won gold at the 1920 Olympic Games.
- Coaching and administrative staff
- Lester Patrick (Owner-President/Manager-Coach)
- Larry Brunnell (Trainer)&
&-name is missing from the Stanley Cup.
Stanley Cup engraving
- After the series win, a new angled ring with the words "Won/By/'Cougars' Victoria, B.C. 1925" was added between the original bowl of the Cup and the original first ring of the base. All players and the manager were included on the new ring, but trainer Larry Brunnell was left off.
- "1924–25 Stanley Cup Winner: Victoria Cougars". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. pp. 12, 57. ISBN 1-55168-261-3.
- Dan Diamond (ed.), ed. (1992). The Official National Hockey League Stanley Cup Centennial Book. Firefly Books. pp. 58–59. ISBN 1-895565-15-4.
- Zweig, Eric (2012). Stanley Cup: 120 years of hockey supremacy. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-77085-104-7.
- "First Game Saturday". Montreal Gazette. March 19, 1925. p. 14. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
- "Colorful Canadiens" Victoria Hockey History. Retrieved 2010-09-16
- “Canadiens Leave Stanley Cup With Victoria Cougars” The Montreal Gazette newspaper – March 31, 1925, page 14. Retrieved 2010-09-16
- Zweig 2012, p. 255.
Stanley Cup Champions