It took one play-off series in the 1938-39 season for Mel Hill to be tagged “Sudden Death”, a nickname that would stay with him for life. Born in Glenboro, MB, Hill played junior hockey in Saskatoon and senior in Sudbury. The right winger had been rejected by New York Rangers, but the Boston Bruins gave him a chance and they were glad they did. After scoring ten goals during the 1938-39 season, Hill added six more during the playoffs including three sudden death overtime winners in a semi-final series against the Rangers. They went to the finals when Hill scored after 48 minutes of overtime in the seventh game.
Boston defeated Toronto Maple Leafs in five games to win the Stanley Cup. It was the first of three cups for Hill. He won again with the 1940-41 Bruins and with Toronto in 1944-45. Hill played three seasons and part of a fourth with Boston, one with Brooklyn Americans, and four with Toronto before going down to the American Hockey League. Mel Hill finished his career back in the West playing three years for Regina Caps. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. During long overtime games today, many announcers still say, “Where is Sudden Death Hill?”
b. February 15, 1914
d. April 11, 1996