The lowly Boston Bruins, cellar-dwellers in the National Hockey League, played very poor New Year’s hosts last night as they hung a 3-0 beating on the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the other NHL game, the high-flying Chicago Black Hawks edged the New York Rangers 2-1.
If the first game of 1965 is any indicator, and the Leafs had better hope it isn’t, this year is going to be a long, arduous journey for Toronto’s NHL six. The Leafs had absolutely no zip against a Boston lineup that continues to be without leading scorer Dean Prentice. It appeared that the Bruins didn’t really need Prentice last night as former bad boy Reggie Fleming gave Boston all the offence they needed with his ninth and tenth goals of the season.
The other Boston marker came off the stick of Eddie Westfall, and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
Ellis knocked out again
Aside from a total lack of offence, the worst news for Toronto this night was another concussion suffered by 19-year-old rookie Ron Ellis. Ellis was checked heavily by Bruins defender Leo Boivin and when the two fell to the ice, Ellis appeared to strike his head. The highly touted first year player was knocked unconscious for the second time in a week.
Dr. Ronald Adams of Boston said he advised Ellis to leave the game. “It’s the second time in a week, so I felt it unadvisable for him to skate tonight. I don’t think he should play Saturday, but that’s not my decision. He will be examined by the Toronto team’s neurosurgeon when he gets home.”
With things looking bleaker by the minute, Imlach decided to juggle his lines in the final frame. Defenceman Tim Horton was moved up to play right wing on a line with George Armstrong and Red Kelly, but that trio had no better luck than any of the others Imlach ran out there.
Boston’s best forward unit on the night had Billy Knibbs between Fleming and Westfall. Westfall, a part-time defenceman and winger, took the place of the injured Prentice and received credit for the game-winning goal.
The loss leaves Toronto under the .500 mark for the first time in three seasons, only five points ahead of fifth-place New York.
Hawks unbeaten in 13
The Rangers didn’t do anything to pick up ground on Toronto, losing to the NHL’s hottest team in Chicago. But it was Bobby Hull’s younger brother Dennis who took on the role of Hawks’ hero in this one.
Hull the Younger banged home a rebound off Ranger goalie Jacques Plante for the game-winning goal with less than six minutes to play. The victory enabled Chicago to run their unbeaten streak to a club-record 13 games. The Black Hawks have 11 wins and a pair of ties during the streak.
Pierre Pilote had the other Chicago goal, number two on the season and his second goal this week. With 23 assists, Pilote is now a surprising fifth in the league scoring race.
Denis DeJordy once again provided all-star calibre netminding, especially in the first period. It was the Rangers who came out flying early, pumping 15 shots at the Chicago goaltender in the first period. Only Rod Gilbert was able to find the range against DeJordy, giving the New Yorkers a 1-0 lead.
Canada to host World Championship?
The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association says it is seeking to host the 1967 World Hockey Championship. The event would be held as part of Canada’s Centennial celebration.
The CAHA said it will make a formal invitation to the International Ice Hockey Federation at the next world championship tournament this March. The 1965 World Championship is being held in Tampere, Finland.
The CAHA believes that not only will the 1967 tournament coincide with the Centennial events, but it will also mark a maturation of the new national team program, now in its early stages. The program is designed to bring Canada back to a highly competitive level in international play and the CAHA feels that the national team will be ready to skate with the Russians and other top international teams by that time.