September 21, 2015

Bill Dickie

Campbellton, New Brunswick's Bill Dickie is a member of the National Hockey League's one game played club.

Dickie was an amateur goaltending star in the Canadian Maritimes in the 1930s. He led Mount Allison University to multiple titles. He also starred with the Saint John Beavers and Sydney (Nova Scotia) Millionaires through to 1941.

Dickie moved to Montreal for the 1941-42 season, backstopping the lowly Montreal Pats in the Quebec Senior League. He would win only 10 times in 40 games played, a rare poor season for the puckstopper.

But that season was also the season Bill Dickie made his National Hockey League debut. On February 5th, 1942 the Chicago Black Hawks were in town to play the Montreal Canadiens. In the days when teams only carried one goalie per team, the Hawks had a big problem on this night. Their goaltender Sam LoPresti was unable to play due to a severe eye injury. They called upon the Pats who arranged for Dickie to suit up for the Hawks. He would win his one and only NHL game as the Hawks beat the Habs 4-3.

It was an interesting night for Dickie, to say the least. Newspaper archives indicate an on-ice incident involving a fan who jumped on to the ice furious over a disallowed Montreal goal. The fan confronted both Dickie and the goal judge but was quickly removed by ushers.

Earl Seibert was impressed with Dickie's play that night.

"He's as good as most (NHL goaltenders). He played a swell game for us that night. We were surprised. He knows how to clear and I don't think there was a rebound all night."

That proved to be Dickie's last season in hockey as military service kept him busy in the following three seasons. There is no statistical evidence to suggest he, unlike many players, played hockey during this time anywhere. He also never resumed his career after his discharge.

Dickie studied chemistry while at the University of Mount Allison and found plenty of work in the industrial setting. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 81.

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