Frequently during World War II, several NHL
teams went up to Canada or traveled around the U.S. to play a minor league
team to raise charity for war funds and help boost the country's morale.
Well on a famous date in Rangers history, they went to Winnipeg to play a
Canadian Navy hockey team.
The Rangers coincidentally were having
their training camp in Winnipeg during the midst of World War II. While
they were there, they drew much attention from the fans as people paraded
for autographs and to meet the players in their entire splendor. It was
then decided that they would play the local Navy team in a "tune-up
game" before starting the season. The Rangers happily obliged, and
the stage was set for an old-fashioned hockey game on October 26th, 1942.
A total of 5,000 hockey fans attended the
game and watched quite a show. Surprising to most the game was more than
just an exhibition as both teams played quite dirty which got the crowd
immediately involved. The Rangers scored 5:23 in as Bryan Hextall whipped
a shot past Navy net minder Roy Roche, this would be the start of an
amazing offensive outburst from the fabled superstar. Exactly 30 seconds
later Hextall ripped another shot past Roche to give the Rangers a fairly
early 2-0 lead. A couple minutes later he was celebrating a hat trick, and
the crowd gave him warm cheers and stood on their feet.
After it was all said and done the Rangers
skated away with the win at a 9-2 score. Hextall had six points (3 goals,
and 3 assists). New York goalie Steve Buzinski was impressive between the
pipes and got the victory.
One of the more humorous antics during the
game was a fight between referee Dick Davis and Navy defenseman Vic
Lofvendahl. Davis called Lofvendahl off for a tripping minor in the third
period but he refused to go to the box, and punched Davis. The referee
came back at him and after their little tussle, both men were flat on the
ice. Lofvendahl received a match penalty and was ejected from the game.
Another chapter of Rangers history had been
written. Not many know about this game played 60 years ago but it provided
memories for the players and fans alike.
New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Navy Goal
First Period Scoring
New York Rangers - 5:23 Bryan Hextall 1 (Phil Watson)
New York Rangers - 5:53 Bryan Hextall 2 (Lynn Patrick, Babe Pratt)
New York Rangers - 8:07 Bryan Hextall 3 (Lynn Patrick, Phil Watson)
New York Rangers - 14:29 Lynn Patrick 1 (Bryan Hextall, Alf Pike)
New York Rangers - 14:39 Lynn Patrick 2 (Bryan Hextall)
New York Rangers - 17:01 Gord Davidson 1 (Grant Warwick, Bob Kirkpatrick)
Winnipeg Navy - 17:38 Hughie Milar 1 (Brian Lynch, Vic Lofvendahl)
Second Period Scoring
New York Rangers - 5:58 Phil Watson 1 (Ott Heller)
Third Period Scoring
New York Rangers - 1:25 Babe Pratt 1 (Unassisted)
Winnipeg Navy - 7:35 Hughie Milar 2 (Gib Nordin, Joey Johns)
New York Rangers - 16:27 Ed Slowinski 1 (Bryan Hextall)
Goalies of Record
New York Rangers: Steven Buzinski: 1-0-0
Winnipeg Navy: Roy Roche: 0-1-0
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