Game Recap and Box Score ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/okjLsW97kL
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 16, 2017
Bill Cook wasn’t Sgt. Pepper, but his New York Rangers played their first-ever hockey game against the Montreal Maroons 91 years ago today.
Captain Bill Cook and his New York Rangers took the ice for the first time ever in front of 13,000 fans at Madison Square Garden as they took on the visiting Montreal Maroons. Cook scored the lone goal in the history-making game, leading the Rangers to a 1-0 win.
The introduction of the teams to the ice that day was a story in itself. Both teams were accompanied on to the Garden ice by their respective bands like a pair of college teams. The visiting Maroons received a louder ovation than the home team, which was trying to get away from the color scheme of the New York Americans and wore dark blue uniforms with red and white stripes.
The article and box score used by the Rangers official Twitter account appeared in the New York Times and was written by Seabury Lawrence. The game was a charity game for the Grosvenor Neighborhood House, but as Lawrence wrote, “the players displayed no charity towards each other.”
Things got physical early on as the Rangers tried to match the speed of the Maroons. But the real heavy fighting and stickwork began in the third period when New York’s Frank Boucher and Montreal’s Bill Philips had a “wild battle” on the ice, each drawing five-minute major penalties.The two would be fined $15 each for the major penalty and Boucher was cut on the neck and could not return to the game.
The Rangers goal was a brotherly affair. Bun Cook skated down the ice and passed to the left of the net to brother Bill who was practically staring at an empty net to shoot at and gave the Rangers 1-0 lead at 18:37 of the second period.
Here’s what the Rangers inaugural roster looked like:
- Hal Winkler – Goalie
- Clarence Abel – Defense
- Ching Johnson – defense
- Frank Boucher – Center
- Bill Cook – Wing
- Bun Cook – Wing
- Murray Murdoch – Substitute
- Reg Mackey – Substitute
- Ollie “Rocco” Reinikka – Substitute