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Christmas Night

For those who regularly attended games at the old Auditorium, it was a different era than today. There were few quality shows on black and white TV and the National Football League had limited support and exposure. Sports fans eagerly looked for entertainment and many flocked to the Reds? traditional Sunday night home games.

But it was not just Sunday nights that had become ?Hockey Night? in Providence. The Reds also regularly entertained AHL adversaries on important holiday nights like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Today, those holidays are rarely scheduled.

Longtime followers agree that Christmas night games at the Auditorium were historically wild and unpredictable. The enemy always seemed to play mean spirited, as if they resented having to be on the road. And the Reds, stuffed with home-cooked turkey, played with equal belligerence.

One Christmas night, Kent Douglas, an aspiring prospect with Springfield who later made it to the NHL, decided he would take on Reds? player-coach Ferny Flaman, a man with the reputation of having never lost a fight.

Big mistake. Ferny toyed with his agitator for a few seconds, then gripped Douglas by the seat of the pants and nap of the neck and casually hurled the young upstart into the Indians? net. A few minutes later, with the help of several teammates, the embarrassed Douglas emerged from the entanglement of his skates and the goal mesh. Never again did Douglas annoy Mr. Flaman.

Another Christmas night, sometime in the 1960s, Cleveland was the unhappy visitor. The Barons were led by the famous Fred Glover, one of the best players in the league, a tough fighter, and what many opponents called ?the consummate stick man.? Glover kept his stick high to establish his turf and to issue a visual warning, ?Private property. Do not enter.? That evening a Reds? player entered Glover?s area and a fight ensued, one that developed into a jolly, holiday bench-clearing brawl involving all 30 players dressed for the game. It took 40-minutes to subdue the brawl and a CPA to record the penalties.

"Peace on Earth" this Christmas!

Christmas Night (1959) Nutcracker ?Sweet?: Terry Reardon, the Reds fiery GM, is shown on the ice in his ?civvies.? Terry argued and won the battle to allow a Reds? last-second goal against Springfield, at first nullified by referee Lou Farelli (# 4). Our dynamic leader pointed out that red light, signifying a goal, had preceded the green light that indicates time out or the end of a period. Terry came out a winner but was fined $100 by the AHL for his appearance on the ice, ?out of uniform.? Truly a Nutcracker ?Sweet.?

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