Saturday

George Carroll

George Carroll is a bit of a legend in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Together with his six brothers, he dominated the Moncton hockey scene for many years. George was a massive 6'2" and 210lbs in an era when most players were in the 5´6" - 5'8", 140-170lbs region. He was a devastating hitter who used to inflict a lot of damage to opposing players.

The whole Carroll clan were very skilled hockey players. Blair, Fred Jr., Harold, Jack, Cecil, Ken and George. They were in fact so good that the entire family once won a two game challenge series against the best professionals assembled by the Moncton Victorias during the 1922-23 season.

Four of the Carroll's normally played on the Victorias team but where challenged to meet the rest of the pros. With Cecil in goal,George and Jack on defense, and Fred centering Blair and Harold they amazed everyone and beat the Vic's 6-4 and 4-3. The Carroll's triumph later became a part of Moncton's hockey lore.  Some people even said that if the Carroll's had challenged an NHL team that  they wouldn't have been out of place.

George began his career by playing for the Corncobs Juniors (1912-13), Moncton Machinists (13-14) and then the Moncton St. Bernard's (14-17) in the local city leagues. He only played a total of 16 games between 1913-19 mainly due to the fact that he was enlisted in the army during the WWI.  Between 1918-25, George played for the Moncton Victorias where he dominated on defense. He led the league in penalty minutes four times in five years and collected 220 PIMs in only 53 games. Which is a lot even by today standards.

The Moncton Victorias could have been re-named to Moncton Carrolls since they had four brothers on the team with three additional Carrolls around the corner. During the 1920-21 season the Vic's played in the newly formed Maritime Independent League. The Carrolls and George in particular were outstanding and led the Vic's to several titles in the MIL. George was named to three first All-Star teams and to one second in the four years of the leagues existence.

Around 1920, the powerful Montreal Canadiens were looking for George to shore up their defense. George stayed with the Vic's though, and continued with his physical play like in the 1922-23  opener against the arch-rival Amherst Ramblers.  The Ramblers were strengthened by ex-Toronto NHL defenseman Ted Stackhouse.  Ted was 6'1" and 200lbs and was one of very few players at that time who measured up physically to George. It didn't matter to George who ,in front of a full house of 1100 spectators, flattened Stackhouse with a bone-crunching hit that KO'd the big Ramblers defenseman and sent him to the hospital with a  broken ankle. That hit was George in a nutshell and the crowd loved him.

It was this kind of play that the NHL teams liked, and as the Maritime league folded he was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Maroons on November 13, 1924. George was only used as a spare player and didn't see much ice time at all. He was traded to the Boston Bruins a month later after only four games for the Maroons. George was used as a spare in Boston as well and only dressed for 11 games.

At age 28 George returned to Moncton, but was unable to be reinstated as an amateur. So he was restricted to coaching instead. He coached his hometown Sunny Brae Rovers in 1925-26. In 1929-30 he coached the Summerside Crystals in the P.E.I senior league. In 1933-34 and 34-35 he moved to the junior ranks and coached the Moncton Young Acadiens and Moncton Maple Leafs. During this time he also refereed.

There have been many interesting brother combinations over the years. There have been numerous two, three or four brother combos, but very few six or seven brother combos with the skills of the Carrolls. The six Sutter brothers of course come to mind, but the seven Carroll brothers were unique because they beat a professional and powerful team on their own. Only George made it to the NHL but some of his brothers could have played there as well and not be out of place.

5 comments:

Ian Car 6:54 PM  

Great story. George was my great grandpa from my Dad's side. Any more information you or anyone else would be greatly appreciated.

djjcarroll 7:36 PM  

Ian I would like to get in contact with you. George Carroll was my uncle and his brother Blair was my father.
Don J J Carroll
New Brunswick

Barb Carroll 12:15 PM  

Don,

I am your cousin Lance Carroll, your Father was my Great Uncle. We visited you in Bathurst when I was 8 or so years old about 1953-54? I am visiting my Son Ian andwejust. Noticed this. My email is lbcarroll@mcsnet.ca

Elizabeth Maillet 9:29 AM  

George Carroll was my great uncle. Ken Carroll Sr was my grandfather

James 7:43 PM  

I live in Massachusetts, my grandfather has a book with the family in it with a picture of the team i believe. I was always told we have family in New Brunswick my grandfather was named Harold R. Carroll. He told me that they immigrated when they were bootlegging across the canadien border during prohibition. I wonder if we're related. My email is j.carroll120886@gmail.com. Would be pretty cool.

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