Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
McGee, Frank

McGee, Frank

One-eyed Frank McGee was the cornerstone of one of the greatest teams in hockey history. During his tenure with the Ottawa Hockey Club and Ottawa Silver Seven, the franchise won or defended the Stanley Cup over three consecutive years from 1903 to 1905. McGee's superior puckhandling skills and gifted scoring touch made him one of the most feared offensive threats of his day.

McGee enjoyed a successful Canadian Amateur Hockey League debut with Ottawa on January 17, 1903, by scoring two goals in a 7-1 victory over the famous Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. This proved to be a prelude to an even greater achievement as he netted five goals against the Montreal Victorias three weeks later. A month after this, Ottawa captured the Stanley Cup at the expense of the Victorias and successfully defended a challenge from Rat Portage (later Kenora, Ontario). During the four games against these two clubs, McGee scored seven times and established a reputation for being at his best in Stanley Cup matches. A short time later, the Ottawa club became known as the "Silver Seven." The name was a tribute to the success attained by an outstanding unit of seven players that often changed - except for Frank McGee.

The 1904 and 1905 seasons witnessed an even greater period of success for McGee. On February 25, 1904, he scored a then record five goals in the second game of Ottawa's successful Stanley Cup defense against the Toronto Marlboros. He duplicated this achievement a month later while helping to defeat the Stanley Cup aspirations of Brandon, Manitoba.

The Silver Seven won the championship of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1905 with Frank McGee leading the way with 17 goals in only six games. In January, Ottawa successfully beat back the challenge of Dawson City. It was in this series that McGee put forth his, most legendary performance by scoring a Stanley Cup record of 14 goals in the second match. During the 23-2 rout, the Ottawa star at one point recorded eight consecutive goals in less than nine minutes. A month later, he scored the winning goal in the third and deciding game versus the challengers from Rat Portage - while playing with a broken wrist.

The following year, McGee enjoyed a strong regular season with 28 goals in seven games. His last memorable showing in Stanley Cup competition took place in February and March 1906 when he scored six goals in a two-game sweep of Queen's University and then recorded nine goals during a two-game annihilation of Smiths Falls. At the end of March, the Silver Seven's three-year stranglehold on the Stanley Cup came to an end following a two-game series against the Montreal Wanderers. Ottawa fell short by a 12-10 aggregate score, but McGee played particularly well in the second match.

McGee retired prior to the commencement of the 1907 season. He was the focal point of one of hockey's early dynasties and his superior abilities enabled him to form potent forward combinations with the likes of Billy Gilmour, Hamby Shore and Alf, Tommy and Harry Smith. Frank Patrick said: "He was even better than they say he was. He had everything - speed, stickhandling, scoring ability and was a punishing checker. He was strongly built but beautifully proportioned and he had an almost animal rhythm."

McGee died serving his country at Courcelette, France, during World War I. One of hockey's greatest scorers, he was among the first group of players elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945.

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