Skip to main content

Lester Patrick's Greatest Game: In Rossland, Not New York

Here is a fantastic read from Greg Nesteroff of the Nelson Star newspaper in BC's beautiful Kootenays....

Hockey legend Lester Patrick’s incredible career included several Stanley Cup wins as a player and coach. He also co-founded and played in Western Canada’s first professional league and came out of retirement at age 44 to tend goal as an emergency replacement in a Stanley Cup final.

Yet when asked to name his most memorable game, his mind flashed back to the Kootenays, where he and brother Frank played for Nelson while working for their father’s lumber company.

According to a Canadian Press story in the Regina Leader Post of May 22, 1957:

“Lester recalled in an interview that the greatest game of his career was played in a small open-air rink in Rossland during the 1907-08 season ... Lester, known to Rossland fans as ‘that Stanley Cup player,’ was captain of the Nelson squad and subjected during the first game to ‘the old razz berry.’

“He mapped the plan of action accordingly and for the first 45 minutes didn’t move from his own end of the ice while Rossland scored two goals. With 15 minutes to go the Silver Fox was the only fresh man on the ice. He held the puck almost all the time, scored two goals and set up two more to lead Nelson to a 4-2 win.

“‘It was wonderful,’ Lester says. ‘I think it was my greatest game.’

Maybe so, but Lester did play in bigger contests and won Stanley Cups, even if, judging by the following photo, he did not quite know what to do with it . . .


Comments

Iain Fyffe said…
Let's see if Lester's 50-year-old memories stand up to fact-checking. According to Craig Bowlsby's Knights of Winter, there are three recorded games in 1907/08 where Nelson played Rossland. The scores were 7-3, 4-3 and 3-4. Patrick played point, and did score 2 goals in a game, but it was the last one (a loss). The second game fits the fact pattern a bit, Nelson was behind after the first half, and Patrick scored on a great run early in the first half (not late in the game) and his team came back to win.

Nothing in 1908/09 matches, they'd have known Lester by then and he played rover that season.

It holds up better than some old stories like this, but perhaps Lester should have referred to the Nelson Miner before telling the tale...

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M