Harry Watson scores at will in Olympics Chamonix, France January 25 - February 5, 1924
Harry Watson (centre) scored 36 goals in five Olympic games in 1924.
Imagine a hockey player at the highest level of play who was so good that he scored practically whenever he wanted. Such was the skill of Canada’s Harry Watson at the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France. Watson played just five games that year, but he scored a preposterous 36 goals!
He went by the nickname “Moose”, and, to be sure, Watson was one of the biggest players on ice in any game he played, even in Canada. But he was immensely skilled with the puck and could also skate as well as anyone, making him a threat every time he had the puck. To wit, in Canada’s first game of the 1924 tournament, against Czechoslovakia, Watson scored three goals in the first period, six goals in the second, and two more in the third — a total of eleven goals. And, remember, this was when games were only 45 minutes long (3 x 15). Final score — Canada 30, Czechoslovakia 0.
HARRY WATSON. photo by GREATES HOCKEY LEGENDS
Harold Ellis "Moose" Watson (July 14, 1898 – September 11, 1957) was a Canadian amateur ice hockey forward who played for the Toronto Granites and the 1924 Canadian Winter Olympic hockey team.
Born in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Watson also lived in England and Winnipeg, Manitoba before moving to Toronto at the age of 15. He played for the Whitby Athletics in the Ontario Hockey Association. He then played for St. Andrews College and was a first team all-star in 1915. Watson played for the Toronto Aura Lee before serving in the Canadian military during World War I.
After the war, Watson joined the Toronto Dentals in a playoff series against the Hamilton Tigers, which the Tigers won. For the 1919-20 season, he joined the new Toronto Granites, the OHA team from the Toronto Granite Club. Led by Watson, the Granites won the Allan Cup in 1921-22 and 1922-23, with Watson named a first-team all-star in both seasons. They then represented Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics, winning the ice hockey gold medal. At the Olympics, Watson scored 37 goals in five games as the Canadian team outscored the opposition 132-3 over six games.
He turned down several lucrative offers to play professionally in the National Hockey League. Charlie Querrie, manager of the Toronto St. Patricks, offered Watson $10,000 to join his team for the 1924-25 season, but Watson declined. His Granites teammate Hooley Smith would have a 17-year NHL career, but Watson wanted to enter the business world and retired as a player in 1924.
In 1930, he became coach of the Toronto National Sea Fleas senior amateur team. During the 1931 playoff season, Watson refereed several OHA games. In December 1931, during his second season behind the bench for the Sea Fleas, Watson made a brief comeback as a player at the age of 33 after one of his players was unable to make a road trip. As coach, Watson guided the team to the Allan Cup in 1932.
Watson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962 and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1998.