Odd things take place in wartime hockey, wrote Andy Lytle in his report in the Toronto Telegram of the Toronto-Boston game of November 27, 1943. He was referring to the presence of Abbott, practice goaltender for the Maple Leafs, playing goal for the Bruins. Boston's regular netminder, Bert Gardiner, fell ill and couldn't play, so team manager Art Ross borrowed Abbott, an ordained minister, for the night's action.
Abbott had played with the Dunnville Mudcats as a youngster, but his career more or less ended during a practice with the amateur Hamilton Tigers when a deflected shot hit him in the eye. He devoted his life to the Baptist ministry and during the war found himself assigned to the Toronto area. He approached Leaf coach Hap Day about keeping his pads in the game, so to speak, and Day gladly took him on as a spare goalie.
In his only NHL appearance, the Preacher allowed seven goals but was peppered with 52 shots, including one by Babe Pratt that knocked him out cold for a few minutes. The Leafs coasted to a 7-3 win.