September 02, 2015

Pat McReavy

Pat McReavy was born in Owen Sound, Ontario on January 16th, 1918. He grew up excelling at all sports, including baseball, lacrosse and even horseshoes. But it was hockey that he loved most.

The game would take him all over the world.

McReavy was a Memorial Cup star with the Copper Cliff Redmen, posting an amazing 15 goals and 36 points in 12 playoff games, falling just one win short, dropping the championship game 2-1 to the Winnipeg Monarchs.

McReavy took a chance by heading north to Copper Cliff. He was playing with the famed St. Michaels Majors school, the private Roman Catholic school that his brothers also attended. Two of his brothers became priests, but Pat left school and accepted a job in the Nickel Belt.

His path to the Memorial Cup actually went through his old teammates at St. Mikes. It was McReavy, playing on a line with Red Hamill and Ron Heximer, who led the northerns past the kids from the big city.

“Pat McReavy, a centre-ice wizard, impressed Toronto observers as the best junior they’d seen all winter,” wrote the Canadian Press.

McReavy also impressed was Art Ross, manager of the Boston Bruins. He signed McReavy to a contract in 1937, but there was some worldly adventure in store for McReavy before he headed to the National Hockey League.

McReavy, along with three Copper Cliff junior teammates, joined the Sudbury Wolves for the 1937-38 season, including the Wolves undefeated exhibition tour through Europe en route to the World Championships in Prague. The team played in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Britain and other cities in Czechoslovakia before winning the World title. McReavy scored the game winning goal.

Another newspaper report raved about McReavy.

“Very fast and shifty with an abundance of hockey brain . . . Has a hard shot and is very accurate when in on the nets. The humourist of the club. One of the cleanest players in amateur hockey.”

McReavy joined the Boston Bruins in the 1938-39 season, though he would apprentice in the minor leagues for most of his three seasons there. But by the spring of 1941 McReavy helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup. After playing in just seven games in the regular season, he played in all 11 playoff games, scoring two goals and four points. His name was inscribed on the Stanley Cup, although they spelled it wrong as Pat McCeavy!

“He wasn’t particularly fast, but he was very brainy,” Bruins great Milt Schmidt remembered. “He was a very good playmaker. Defensively, well, of course we all were just so-so defensively. But he was a good playmaker. Offensively, he was a very good hockey player.”

McReavy would play only one game with the Bruins in the next season before he was traded to Detroit. The move was good for McReavy as he played what proved to be his only full NHL season in Detroit. He was just a depth player for the Red Wings, but almost won another Stanley Cup. The Wings lost game seven of the Stanley Cup final to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

World War II obligations ended his NHL career. For the next three seasons he was stationed at several bases in Quebec. He continued to play hockey, enough so that he could attempt to return to the NHL upon his discharge in 1944. He played two more seasons in the AHL before retiring as a pro.

But McReavy's hockey days were far from over. He returned home to Owen Sound in 1947 and played senior amateur hockey until 1952. He led the Owen Sound Mercurys to the Allan Cup national championship in 1951. The Mercurys would return as champions in 1954, this time with McReavy behind the bench.

McReavy was also well known in town for working at the Dominion Motors Ford dealership.

Pat McReavy passed away in 2001. He was 83 years old.

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