In 1925 the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets decided to turn pro and join the National Hockey League as the Pittsburgh Pirates. They won their first two games. In Montreal, Georges Vezina shut them out for a period before leaving the game ill; he would never play again.
The Pirates returned to Pittsburgh. On December 2, they lost their home opener in overtime to the New York Americans. But as The Pittsburgh Press reported, "The largest crowd that ever witnessed a hockey game at Duquesne Garden turned out last night. While authentic figures are not available, it is estimated that close to 10,000 watched Odie Cleghorn's canary clad stick-handlers in their pro debut. And by the enthusiasm displayed by the railbirds, every fan in the auditorium left convinced that they had witnessed the most thrilling and spectacular contest staged in this city."
But the Pirates needed to win their two last games, which were both at home, to make the NHL playoffs. Against Boston, a Harold Darragh goal in overtime won the game for Pittsburgh, putting them a point ahead of the Bruins with one game left. The Pirates' finale was with the Ottawa Senators, who had already clinched first place and the Prince of Wales trophy. Cleghorn kept substituting in fresh skaters, and goaltender Roy Worters made Pittsburgh's two first-period tallies stand up for a 2-0 win.