World War II decimated the New York Rangers' lineup?probably more than any other NHL team. But it seemed that goaltending was the area hardest hit. In 1942-43, the New York Rangers employed four goaltenders?Steve Buzinski (nine games?two wins and 55 goals against), Lionel Bouvrette (one game?a loss and six goals against), Jimmy Franks (23 games?five wins and 103 goals against) and Bill Beveridge (17 games--four wins and 89 goals against). The Rangers thought they had found their solution for 1943-44 when Ken McAuley was summoned to join the Blueshirts after serving a year in the military.
Prior to his war duties, McAuley had played senior hockey in Regina. He wound up playing in all 50 games for New York that season, but had little help in his own end and the Rangers won but six games all season. McAuley allowed 310 goals, the most goals ever scored against one NHL team. He finished with a goals-against average of 6.24. In one unforgettable game, on January 23 on the road in Detroit, the Red Wings found that New York's goaltender leaked like a sieve. The final score was 15-0, and a sixteenth goal was scored (but not counted) just as the final buzzer was sounded. The Rangers only managed nine shots on the Red Wings goaltender, Connie Dion.
But the Rangers found they had no options, and McAuley was signed again for the 1944-45 season too. His record was more dignified, but still left the Rangers in last place for a second straight season. In 46 games, he won eleven times, lost 25, and tied ten games. He allowed 227 goals and had a goals-against average of 4.93. McAuley recorded a shutout, too?his only one in NHL play. With the war over, the Rangers thanked Ken McAuley and used a tandem of Charlie Rayner and Jim Henry in 1945-46. McAuley returned to Edmonton and played senior hockey once again.