50 Years Ago in Hockey: Bower Human After All

The Montreal Canadiens discovered last night that Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Johnny Bower is human after all. After being unable to put anything past Bower a week ago, the Habs managed to score three times on the veteran Leaf netminder en route to a 3-1 win over the Leafs. The game at Maple Leaf Gardens was the only one on the National Hockey League schedule last night.

Pocket Rocket Nets Winner

Yvan Cournoyer
Yvan Cournoyer

Henri Richard broke a 1-1 tie at 9:16 of the third period to give the Canadiens the win. Richard scored an unassisted goal when he knocked down a Kent Douglas clearing attempt and broke in alone on the Leaf goal. Skating in unimpeded, Richard beat Bower with a perfect shot to the far corner.

Toronto’s Bob Pulford had opened the scoring late in the first period with his 28th goal of the season. After a scoreless middle frame, Yvan Cournoyer tied it up at 5:35 of the third with his 16th. Gilles Tremblay netted number 26 on the year with just over three minutes left to make the final 3-1.

Toronto coach Punch Imlach was seething after the game. He singled out Bower for giving up two weak goals and wasn’t happy with the overall effort:

We just threw the game away. Douglas tries to clear the puck to the side when he’s got all the rest of the rink open. And Pronovost lets Tremblay get away from him for the third goal.

Toronto did hold a territorial advantage, outshooting Canadiens 39-30. Gump Worsley was very sharp between the pipes for Montreal. His best work came in the final frame when he made 17 saves as the Leafs pressed for the comeback. He was named the game’s first star.

Amerks Tip Bears

Brian Conacher
Brian Conacher

The Rochester Americans edged the Hershey Bears 5-4 last night in Hershey, Pa. in one of two American Hockey League games. Springfield Indians blanked the Pittsburgh Hornets 2-0 in the other contest.

Brian Conacher scored the winner at 3:42 of overtime to push Rochester past Hershey. Bronco Horvath, Dick Gamble, Duane Rupp and Larry Jeffrey also scored for the visitors. Gene Ubriaco had a pair of goals for the Bears, with Myron Stankiewicz and Wayne Rivers adding singles.

Bill Sweeney and Randy Miller scored for Springfield in their shutout win over the Hornets in Pittsburgh.

Big Night for McNeill

Billy McNeill
Billy McNeill

Billy McNeill had a big night for the Vancouver Canucks to cement his lead in the Western Hockey league scoring race. McNeill scored two goals and added four assists for a six-point night as the Canucks pounded the Los Angeles Blades 7-4.

McNeill now has 97 points on the season.

Howie Hughes and Phil Maloney also had two goals each for Vancouver.

In the other WHL game, Victoria Maple Leafs took a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. Lou Jankowski scored his 30th for Victoria, while Alain Caron notched number 45 for the Bisons.


Birthday boy Gordie Howe
  • San Francisco Seals are looking for a goalie. After incumbent Jack McCartan, who was the only netminder on the Seals’ roster, was injured on Tuesday, the Seals have been unable to find a replacement.
  • The Detroit Red Wings have called up five members of the Memphis Wings of the CPHL. All five will stay with the parent club for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Joining Detroit immediately are Doug Roberts, Jimmy Peters, Jr., Irv Spencer, Bryan Campbell and Warren Godfrey.
  • Red Wings also said that Ab McDonald, called up from Memphis last week, with remain in Detroit as well.
  • Detroit’s Gordie Howe celebrates his 38th birthday today. He is one of the best 38-year olds in any sport. This season, Howe has scored 29 goals and 45 assists for 74 points.