Moving from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Philadelphia Quakers only gave the NHL one of the worst teams in its history. The Quakers only lasted one season, 1930-31, partly due to having a 15-game losing streak, the second-longest ever in the NHL. They finally snapped the streak on January 10, 1931, when they defeated the Montreal Maroons in overtime.

Until that point, the only game the Quakers won was on November 25, when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. They lost the next game, on November 29 (a 6-3 loss against the New York Rangers), and every other game through January 8 (a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks).

Philadelphia hosted its first victory in sixteen games. Montreal drew first blood, but the Quakers answered before the first period ended. In the second period, the Quakers gave themselves a nice lead by scoring two more goals, and then the Maroons could only manage one. Then about four minutes into the third period, the Quakers’ rookie goalie, Wilf Cude, was “stricken down and carried from the ice. In a fierce scrimmage in front of the net he was upset and fell on his shoulder, causing a hemorrhage underneath the collarbone.” Although recovering from the flu and fifteen pounds underweight, their senior goalie Joe Miller suited up. Facing a barrage of shots from the Maroons, Miller only let in one. At 13:43, while the Maroons were on a power play, a puck “bounded off his shoulder and caromed into the net.” The teams being tied at 3-3, they had a 10-minute overtime period. The Quakers scored at 5:20 and won the game 4-3. For the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stan Baumgartner poetically wrote, “As the fiercely driven rubber burned its way into the twine it snapped a losing streak which had reached fifteen straight and turned a meek downtrodden team into a proud fighting machine.”

The moment of victory would be brief. On January 13, the Quakers lost to the Montreal Canadiens (2-1). Philadelphia only managed two more wins, both against the Detroit Falcons (later renamed the Red Wings), on February 17 and March 12. Their abysmal record (4-36-4) made the Quakers one-season wonders.

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In her personal history, Kyle Hurst hated her toe picks and wanted to skate on a hockey team like her brother. With age comes wisdom, and realizing how poorly she skates, she now much prefers watching the professionals. Writing about history for her day job, Kyle enjoys combining her two loves by writing hockey history. She still hates toe picks.


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