April 27, 2016

1934: Hawks Smother Wings For First Stanley Cup Title

The year is 1934. The Chicago Black Hawks, the lowest scoring team in the NHL this season, surprise everyone in the playoffs with their smothering defensive play and a few timely goals. The Hawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings three games to one.

The Hawks greatest asset was goaltender Charlie Gardiner. "Bonnie Prince Charlie" would limit Detroit to just two goals in Chicago's three victories, including a shutout in the final game which went to double overtime. Sadly, it would prove to be Gardiner's last game as he would die of a brain hemorrhage after the season.

The aforementioned double overtime game's hero was Mush March. March had a reputation for scoring famous goals, but none bigger than on April 10th, 1934. He scored the winning goal at 10:05 of the second overtime period - the only goal of the game - clinching Chicago's first ever Stanley Cup final.

Another hero for the Hawks was hard hitting defenseman Lionel Conacher. Johnny "Peanuts" O'Flaherty said "Conacher blocked more shots than Charlie Gardiner and was the definite difference in the finals". Conacher also was noted to have rushed the puck out of his own zone on many occassions, scoring two goals on these rushes. He was included as one of the game's three stars in six of the eight games in the post season.

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