Jubilant Glace Bay fans carry goalie Murray Matheson off the ice in 1956.
Allister Murray Matheson
Born: May 6, 1936 (Sydney, Nova Scotia)
Died: May 6, 2014 (Sydney, Nova Scotia)
Murray Matheson was the winning goalie for the famous Glace Bay Cinderella Miners, who persevered in overtime of the ninth and final game of the 1956 Cape Breton Junior Hockey League championship against the Sydney Millionaires. Delirious fans carried the 19-year-old goalie, still wearing his equipment, off the ice on their shoulders.
The dramatic series saw the Miners win Games 1, 2, 4 and 6 of the best-of-nine series, only to be forced to a ninth and deciding game. The paid attendance for the deciding game at the Sydney Forum was 4,398. Another 500 fans, who were refused admission, ripped open the locked doors and pushed their way into the building. The chaos prevented Matheson from getting to the Glace Bay dressing room and he barely had time to get dressed before the drop of the puck.
The Miners were nursing a 2-1 lead when the Millionaires scored with 21 seconds left to force an extra 10-minute overtime period. The young goaltender was inconsolable in the dressing room during the intermission, crying for having surrendered a goal that might cost his team the title. The Miners came storming in the extra frame, scoring twice to win the game, 4-2, the championship, 5-4, and the unforgettable nickname of Cinderella Miners.
The goalie later played in the league with the Northside Combines and the Sydney Millionaires, the team he had thwarted in the 1956 showdown.
In 1959, Matheson signed with the Conception Bay CeeBees, spending the season in Newfoundland.
Matheson spent most of his working life with Oland’s brewery before taking a job with Zepleland Brothers Construction.
He died in hospital in his hometown on his 78th birthday.
Murray Matheson (front row, second from right) was in goal the night Cinderella Miners won the Cape Breton junior championship in 1956.