50 Years Ago in Hockey: Bruce Gamble a Sure Thing for Leafs

Bruce Gamble, playing in only his second game with the Toronto Maple Leafs, put in a scintillating performance as he backstopped the Leafs to a 4-0 whitewashing of the Montreal Canadiens last night in Montreal. The game was the second in a back-to-back, home-and-home series in which Toronto took three of four points from Canadiens.

The other scheduled National Hockey League game saw the New York Rangers nip the Boston Bruins 5-4 at The Garden in Boston.

Second NHL Start Since ‘62

Gamble was called up to Toronto for Wednesday night’s game from Tulsa of the CPHL. The 27-year-old journeyman last appeared in the NHL in 1962 when he was with the Boston Bruins. He had seen previous action with the Rangers.

Red Kelly
Red Kelly

After a solid performance in the 3-3 tie Wednesday, Gamble was simply superb last night. Montreal had 31 shots at the portly netminder with the receding hairline, and were unable to find a chink in his armour. Even when the Habs mounted a furious comeback attempt in the final 20 minutes with 15 drives at the Leafs goal, they couldn’t get the puck past Gamble by hook or by crook.

After Wednesday’s rough match, accentuated by a couple of spirited brawls in which Toronto held a decided edge, Montreal abandoned their customary speed and finesse game last night. The Habs seemed intent on exacting some revenge for the way the Leafs manhandled them on home ice. That was a disastrous route to take for Canadiens, as they were constantly chasing the puck and the play and were never in control at any time.

And whenever the home side did manage to organize into some sort of offensive push, Gamble was there to deny every try.

Toronto centre Red Kelly said that the Habs played exactly the way the Leafs hoped they would:

They played right into our hands. They were barging all over the ice looking for trouble. We stuck to hockey and received good goaltending from Bruce. He was alert, quick and confident.

As good as Gamble was, the best player on the ice was Leafs’ Davey Keon. Keon didn’t score, but he did find time for one assist while his defensive work constantly frustrated the Habs at every turn. He did have a couple of excellent chances, but Gump Worsley in the Montreal goal made great saves to deny the goals.

Leafs markers came from Kelly, Pete Stemkowski, Bob Pulford and Frank Mahovlich.

Referee Bill Friday, who officiated Wednesday’s game, sent an early message to both clubs by calling nine penalties in the opening 20 minutes. Montreal tried the rough stuff early and suffered the consequences. The only real fisticuffs that broke out was a tussle between Claude Larose and big Pete Stemkowski.

Fleming Nets Winner for Rangers

Reg Fleming
Reg Fleming

Reggie Fleming cashed in a rebound late the final frame to give the New York Rangers a 5-4 win over the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden. It was the second straight win for the Blueshirts over their non-playoff rivals in two nights.

Fleming’s winner came at 15:22 of the third. He had just left the penalty box after serving his fourth penalty of the night. With the New Yorkers on a power play, Rangers’ Bob Plager took a shot from the point that Boston goalie Ed Johnston managed to stop. But he was unable to corral the rebound and Fleming was Johnny-on-the-spot to pot the winner. It was his second goal of the night.

Don Marshall also scored twice for New York. Vic Hadfield had their other goal.

Boston got goals from Ron Stewart, Don Awrey, Forbes Kennedy and Eddie Westfall.

Rangers had a 4-0 lead before the Bruins roared back to tied the game. They were fortunate to eke out the win. Boston fans felt the Rangers had referee Vern Buffey to thank for victory.

Canada Drubs U.S. 7-2

The Canadian national hockey team got off to a flying start at the World Hockey Championships being held in Ljubjana, Yugoslavia. The Canadians trounced the United States team by a lopsided score of 7-2.

The Canadiens led 3-0 before the game was 10 minutes along and cruised the rest of the way. Goalie Seth Martin’s veteran savvy seemed to settle the young Canadians. The presence of another veteran, Lorne Davis, also steadied the Canuck squad.

Morris Mott
Morris Mott

George Faulkner led the Canadian attack with two goals. Singles were netted by Ray Cadieux, playing-coach Jackie McLeod, Morris Mott, Fran Huck and Marshall Johnston.

Emery Ruelle and Larry Stordahl connected for the Americans.

Coach McLeod was pleased with his club’s effort, but remained cautious on how they would fare in the tourney:

I’m quite pleased with the way the boys played, but we have a lot of work ahead.

Wayne Dornak, manager of the U.S. team, blamed the loss on a slow start caused by a long wait in the dressing room while the opening ceremonies were taking place. He said it “took some the edge off” his team and the Canadians took full advantage.

A couple of days earlier, the Americans had defeated Canada 2-1 in a tune-up game. The star in that contest was U.S. goalie Tom Yurkovich and the Canadians were worried about another hot performance by the American netminder. That wasn’t the case, as Yurkovich was badly off his game right from the start.

Campbell Comments on Gardens TV Monitor

National Hockey League president Clarence Campbell says that the television monitor installed at the timekeeper’s bench at Maple Leafs Gardens is strictly an experiment and is in no way intended to second-guess the league’s officials.

“It was Stafford Smythe’s idea and I decided to go along with it. It is strictly a personal deal and will not be tried in other arenas this winter.

“It isn’t meant to embarrass the officials. The instant playback should allow them to make more accurate decisions on such things as disputed goals.

“I don’t think a monitor should change a referee’s call on a penalty. But it might sharpen his judgement on fouls if he can check what he thought he saw with the instant playback.”


Smythe elaborated on how the system can aid in making sure the right calls are made:

“The monitor is especially important over disputed goals where the referee and goal judge get their signals crossed. Professional hockey men don’t agree with me, but I think TV cameras would settle such disputes fairly.”

Smythe was referring to managers and coaches. He says that those types believe they can win such beefs “by hollering and shouting.” He said he would prefer a camera’s evidence, even if the decision went against his team.


  • CBC Radio will carry broadcasts of Canada’s games against Czechoslovakia and Russia on March 10 and 11. Dan Kelly will handle the play-by-play with Don Chevrier adding colour.
  • The Elmira (Ont.) midgets advanced to the final of a youth hockey tournament in Washington D.C. with a 4-0 win over Baltimore. Elmira scorers were Darryl Sittler, Dennis Brubacher, Ken Snider and Bill Wright.
  • Montreal Junior Canadiens upset the Peterborough Petes 3-1 last night. Jacques Lemaire, Don Liesmer and Lucien Grenier scored for the Baby Habs. George Godson found the range for the Petes.
  • Dave Kelly’s shutout goaltending lifted the Portland Buckaroos to a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Blades in WHL play. Gerry Goyer and Fred Hilts had the Portland goals.
  • Seattle of the WHL whacked the AHL Rochester Americans 8-5.