Champion Seattle Metropolitans
Start date March 17, 1917
|Location(s) Seattle, WA: Seattle Ice Arena (1–4)|
Coaches Seattle: Pete Muldoon Montreal: George Kennedy
Similar 1920 Stanley Cup Finals, 1918 Stanley Cup Finals, 1919 Stanley Cup Finals, 1929 Stanley Cup Finals, 1927 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1917 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Seattle Metropolitans and the National Hockey Association (NHA) and Stanley Cup defending champion Montreal Canadiens. Seattle defeated Montreal three games to one in a best-of-five game series to become the first United States-based team to win the Cup. It was also the first Stanley Cup Final to be played in the United States, as all games were played in Seattle.
Paths to the final
Seattle won the PCHA title after finishing the 1916–17 regular season in first place with a 16–8 record. Meanwhile, Montreal advanced to the final series after narrowly defeating the Ottawa Senators, 7–6, in a two-game total-goals playoff series to end the 1916–17 NHA season.
The games of the Final were played at the Seattle Ice Arena. Games one and three were played under PCHA seven-man rules; games two and four were played under NHA six-man rules. Bernie Morris scored 14 of Seattle's 23 total goals for the series, including six in their 9–1 victory in game four. Future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Hap Holmes recorded a 2.90 goals-against average for the Mets.
In game one, Didier Pitre scored four goals as he led the Canadiens to an 8–4 victory. Pitre opened the scoring in the third minute before Morris tied it four minutes later. Jack Laviolette scored twenty seconds later to put the Canadiens ahead, followed by Pitre to put the Canadiens ahead 3–1 after one period. Con Corbeau and Newsy Lalonde scored in the second to put the Canadiens ahead 5–1 after two periods. In the third, Morris and Frank Foyston scored to bring Seattle within two goals, before Pitre scored again. Morris scored to make it 6–4 before Pitre and Corbeau scored to make the final score 8–4.
Seattle tied the series with a convincing win played under NHA hockey rules. Morris opened the scoring at nine minutes of the first period. Wilson scored to make it 2–0 for Seattle after the first period. Morris and Foyston scored in the second to put Seattle up 4–0 after two periods. Frank Foyston then scored twice in the third period to complete his hat trick and give Seattle a lead of 6–0. Seattle then played defensively but Tommy Smith scored in the final minutes for the Canadiens to spoil the shutout. Frustration boiled over at the start of the third period with a fight between Roy Rickey and Billy Coutu before Harry Mummery jumped into the fray.
The game was played at a fast clip with no goals before Morris scored after ten minutes. Montreal's goaltender Georges Vézina made several big saves in the second to hold Seattle off from scoring. Coutu and Rickey had their third fight of the series and Coutu was given a twenty-minute penalty and Rickey a ten-minute period. The Canadiens held off Seattle in an ensuing power play to end the second with Seattle holding a one-goal lead. In the third, Foyston scored after five minutes and Morris scored a quick pair of goals to give Seattle a 4–0 lead.
In an individual rush, Morris put the Mets ahead early in the first period. The Canadiens tried to fight back, but were stymied by the defences of Seattle. Seattle scored three times in the second period to put the game out of reach. In the third, the onslaught continued, as the Mets led 7–0 before Laviolette scored to break the shut out.
Seattle Metropolitans 1917 Stanley Cup champions
Several of the Metropolitans had won the Stanley Cup together on the 1914 Toronto Blueshirts: Jack Walker had been playing coach of Toronto, with Eddie Carpenter (a substitute with Toronto), Frank Foyston, Hap Holmes and Cully Wilson.
Stanley Cup engraving
After the finals, "Seattle/World's Champions/Defeated Canadians/1917" was added to the Cup (Note that the anglicized form of "Canadiens" was engraved).