By the time the 1947-48 hockey season ended in early March, St. Lawrence had put together the most successful team the school had seen to date. St. Lawrence finished 6-3-0 in collegiate play and broke all of the previous school records. The Saints were managed by first-year coach, Paul Patten, who doubled as the school’s backfield coach for the football squad. Defenseman Jack Klemens served as captain in his final season at St. Lawrence. The school paper and yearbook boasted a record of 9-5-1. However, six of the contests were considered exhibitions due to games against Canadian schools and other hockey programs outside of the college ranks. Either way, it was the first winning season in St. Lawrence hockey history. And in what could be considered the biggest accomplishment, this winning season was played almost exclusively in opponents’ rinks. The Skating Saints only played one game on home ice.
The Saints scored 112 goals throughout the season. This shattered the previous school record of 39 goals scored during the 1940-41 season. Tom Gerard scored 23 goals with 19 assists to set the school record at the time for most points scored in a season. Bud Crutchley tied Gerard for the school record in assists with 19 as well. There were several notable games for the program as well. In the Saints’ first-ever meeting with Princeton, St. Lawrence shocked the hockey world with a 6-3 victory at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink. And the scarlet-clad hockey team defeated Union late in the season by a seemingly improbable score of 17-0.
This season jump started the program. St. Lawrence put together 16 seasons in a row with winning records thereafter. This included the 1960-61 season where the Saints were national runners-up. In 1951, the program moved the hockey games indoors to Appleton Arena where the Saints home games are played to this day in Canton, New York.
Photo Credit: 1948 Gridiron Yearbook