Bienvenue a R.I. Montréal
Bienvenue a R.I. Montréal
In 1940 Catholic High School of Montreal started an annual pilgrimage to Rhode Island each February to face off against Rhode Island sixes at the R.I. Auditorium. Catholic High was hailed as the top schoolboy team in eastern Canada. They would also play the Greater Boston Interscholastic All-Stars (1932-1956) in Boston during their trips. In their first meeting against the Mount St. Charles varsity, with 3500 fever-hot spectators looking on, the Hilltoppers came from behind on four occasions to tie Montreal 7-7. Rollie Lemire led the way with three goals while George Belanger added two goals and three assists. Catholic High's mascot was Howie Morenz Jr, son of great NHL legend, Howie Morenz.
The next season the Flying Frenchmen of Woonsocket (an independent team of former Mounties) took on Catholic High losing 5-3. In 1942 Mount St. Charles put together an alumni squad with Dick Rondeau of Dartmouth and Gus Galipeau, playing in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League, to test Catholic High. Rondeau scored three goals leading the Mount Alumni to a 6-2 victory.
Catholic High came back in 1944 this time against La Salle Academy (with a few stellar graduates). Howie Morenz Jr., now of high school age, sparked Catholic High as he led the way with a goal and two assists in a 6-2 victory. Jerry Kilmartin and Hank Coupe scored for the Maroon.
Mount St. Charles returned with the varsity in 1945 losing in an action-packed free-scoring game 9-7 which featured future Boston Bruin Fleming Mackell on the winners. In 1946 Mount used an informal team of varsity regulars and some graduate stars but got walloped 9-0 by the Montrealers.
Mount St. Charles put an all-star team together in 1947, strengthened by adding some ineligible Interscholastic players, but Catholic had too much power as they romped to a 7-3 victory before 3500 spectators.
Mount was out of Interscholastic League play in 1948 but a team of Mount St. Charles Grads came back tripping an undermanned Catholic High 4-3 in overtime on a Gerry Tremblay goal.
In 1949 a failed attempt was made to organize a R.I. All-Star team since the Academy figured the current Mount St. Charles team wasn't competitive enough. The classy Catholic High agreed to play a period each against Mount St. Charles, La Salle and Burrillville. The result was a 5-0 victory for the visitors before 3700 fans.
The format continued in 1950 with the same result. This time a 7-3 drubbing against the same three teams. Finally a R.I. All-Star team was created in 1951 composed of the same three teams. The format worked this time as Burrillville's line of Larry Gingell, Ed Zifcak and George Keeling accounted for five goals in a 8-5 surprise win.
Montreal returned in 1956 facing off against another R.I. All-Star team composed of players from La Salle Academy and Burrillville. The Montreal six conquered R.I. All-Stars 8-1 in their final meeting of the long series.