1939-40 Men’s Hockey Team

’39-’40 Men’s Hockey Team
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988

One of the finest hockey clubs the game ever assembled at Acadia was the 1940 edition. Coached by Major Fred Kelly and managed by Gerald Porter and his assistant, Noel Brown Trask the Axemen played 22 games, winning 18, tying 2 and losing 2.

In senior play that winter the college boys defeated the Wolfville Cohorts in a two-game total goal series, 6-5, as Amherst-born speedskater Jimmy Gray –later to be tabbed the “Collegiate Clipper” by Danny Gallivan –scored the deciding goal in overtime. Neil Price, considered to be the best intercollegiate goaltender in the Maritimes, sparkled between the pipes, while Middleton native Carl Bruce played a brilliant two-way game.

Following #4.. Conquest of the Annapolis Tigers, the Axemen met the more experienced Halifax Wolves in provincial semi-final play. In the opening contest the collegians pulled off a major upset with a 3-2 victory, on two goals by Jack Murdock and a single counter by Wilf Anderson the latter an outstanding Valley-born athlete who possessed a blistering shot. Equally effective that night were Price, Gray and Bruce I… Parlee. In the deciding encounter, however, the Haligonians posted an 8-1 victory, with rearguard Doug smith being Acadia’s lone goal scorer.

In intercollegiate play, the Axemen bombed St.Mary’s by scores of 9-4 and 11-5 in semi-final actions as Anderson, Gray, Parlee, and Johnny Wilson shone offensively. In sudden-death play against St.F.X., the Axemen won the provincial title as Jimmy Gray again was the hero in overtime play, scoring after 22 minutes of “extra time.”

Subsequently, in sudden-death play for the Maritime title, the Acadia club shutout St.Dunstan’s 3-0 as Anderson scored twice and Murdock once. Naturally enough, Price was again brilliant in nets, while Justin Jordan and Doug smith were very strong behind the blueline.

Unsung heros on that championship team included rookie defenseman Don Learment and goalie Walter Smith, the latter a capable backup for the agile Price.

What a pleasure it is to present for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, these members of the 1940 Men’s Hockey team.