Born in Toronto on a Wednesday of this date in 1903, Hooley Smith grew up the city’s east-end Beaches. He won Olympic gold playing for Canada in 1924, then joined the Ottawa Senators, where he learned to hook check at Frank Nighbor’s knee. (The hook, of course, is not to be confused or conflated with the poke, though it often is, here included, I think — though Smith was, no doubt, a formidable poker, too.) His time in Ottawa ended in suspension: he was suspended for a full month in 1927 after swinging his stick at the head of Harry Oliver of the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals that year. He played nine seasons for the Montreal Maroons after that, captaining the team to a Cup in 1935, whereupon, for efforts, he was also rewarded with a horse. The depiction here dates to 1930; Tim Slattery is the cartoonist. Smith also skated for Boston and the New York Americans before calling it quits in 1941. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.
Mercy Rule: Canada opened the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, in France, with three games in three days, beating Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Switzerland by a combined score of 85-0. Represented by Toronto’s Granites, Canada featured Harry Watson (he scored 37 goals in six games) and Hooley Smith (playing at left defense rather than more forwardly, as he tended to do, later, in the NHL). The Canadians — spoiler alert — went on to win the gold.
The Swedes — pictured here, above, in the dark sweaters — kept it close, sort of. The weather had been Black-Sea balmy, but a snowstorm briefly blinded the game during the first-period, which ended with Canada ahead by 5-0. In the second, Sweden’s goalkeeper got a warning from the American referee for dropping to his knees. Soon after that, the goalie, Ohlsen, stopped a shot from Canada’s captain, Dunc Munro, with his forehead. The players paused, as you’d hope they would, and Ohlson woke up after three minutes. Watson scored just twice on the secondary Swedish goalie before Ohlson returned near the end of the middle period. Brave man. To honour his pluck, Beattie Ramsey put two quick goals past him.
The Canadians took it easy in the third, reported the correspondent from Toronto’s Daily Star. It was during “a spell of loafing” that Holmkvist, the Swedish captain, almost got his team a goal. It was threat enough that the ever vigilant Ramsey woke up and scored for Canada, goading his teammate Smith to immediately add two more goals.
Next, well — we just couldn’t help ourselves, could we?
Final score: 22-0.