Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Amazin' Seattle Mets

It was 80 years ago today: On March 27, 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans shocked the hockey world, upsetting the mighty Montreal Canadiens to become the first team outside eastern Canada to win the fabled Stanley Cup. The Mets, champions of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, faced off against Les Habitants (the National Hockey Association champs) for a best-of-five series. After losing the first contest, the Mets took the final three games, winning the deciding match at the long-gone Seattle Arena, then located on Fifth Avenue between University and Seneca Streets. The Seattle squad was led by Bernie Morris, who scored 14 goals in the series, along with goalie Harry “Happy” Holmes and coach Peter Muldoon.

The Mets and the Habs tangled again for the 1919 championship. After each team won two games and shared a tie, the sixth and deciding game was canceled due to the influenza epidemic. No winner was declared, and it'd be another sixty years before any pro team would win Seattle's second championship (the Sonics in '79). We're still waiting for our third.

Hey, that's me in this creepy 2001 photo, standing beside the circa-1893 Stanley Cup. Just below the base of the actual cup at the top, on the first tier where the trophy begins to widen, is engraved: "SEATTLE / WORLD'S CHAMPIONS / DEFEATED CANADIENS / 1917." I tried to get a pencil rubbing of it, but the engraving was too worn down over the decades to produce any legible results.
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