50 Years Ago in Hockey: Habs Win First Place Showdown

The Montreal Canadiens won the first of their two weekend first place showdown matches with the Chicago Black Hawks last night at the Forum in Montreal. Captain Jean Beliveau scored the game winner as the Canadiens edged the Hawks 2-1 in one of three National Hockey League games scheduled. In the other two contests, Toronto hammered Boston 8-3 and Detroit doubled the Rangers 4-2.

Teams Tentative To Start

With two such important games this weekend, both clubs started last night’s game tentatively, like the proverbial boxers feeling each other out. The Black Hawks held the edge in play in a scoreless opening 20 minutes, outshooting Canadiens 9-4, although neither goalie, Glenn Hall of Chicago or Gump Worsley of Montreal, were tested severely.

Henri Richard opened the scoring.

That all changed in the middle frame, when both teams picked up the pace. The rest of the game saw hard-hitting and fast skating, with both Hall and Worsley making standout stops to keep the score close.

Henri Richard scored the game’s first goal for Montreal at 6:17 of the second with his seventh of the season. Chicago evened the score in the final minute of the period thanks to Ken Wharram’s 10th.

That set the stage for Beliveua’s game-winning tally at 16:34 of the third. Chicago was two men short at the time, with Doug Mohns off for tripping and Al MacNeil for the rarely called clipping infraction. Beliveau lifted the puck over Hall during a wild scramble in front of the Chicago goal. Hall had already made saves on Claude Provost and Beliveau but was unable to grab the third consecutive shot.

Beliveau described his deciding marker:

There were enough players crowding the net already. So I pulled back when the puck came out and was able to lift it over the goalie.

Chicago coach Billy Reay was livid at the double penalty call by referee John Ashley, no stranger to controversy. Reay protested a little too vociferously and Ashley called a bench minor on the Hawks. Reay sent Bobby Hull to serve the sentence, a ploy he has used in recent games.

Stan Mikita - showed up referee John Ashley.
Stan Mikita – showed up referee John Ashley.

Stan Mikita then engaged in an exercise that cost him a misconduct and game misconduct as he tried to show up Ashley during a faceoff.

Mikita tried to delay a faceoff in the Chicago zone, claiming he had a broken stick. Ashley refused his request, at which time goalie Hall tried to bend Mikita’s blade. Hall’s efforts were to no avail and the lumber remained intact. Mikita then took matters into his own hands, stepped on the stick with the blade of his skate and intentionally broke the now rather dilapidated piece of ash.

Referee Ashley by this time had seen enough and tossed Mikita from the game with the two misconducts, and the accompanying $75 in fines.

After the game, reporters tried to talk to Reay, who was still steaming at his team’s treatment at the hands of the official.  Chicago general manager Tommy Ivan headed off the scribes and provided the only Chicago commentary of the night:

Billy may say something he shouldn’t. But we can hardly blame him.

Leafs Hand Bruins Sixth Straight Loss

Brit Selby
Brit Selby

The Toronto Maple Leafs, a team who has had an almost fatal inability to score goals this season, may have found the cure for their paucity of offensive success this season, thanks to the lowly Boston Bruins. The Leafs found the range eight times against former Toronto prospect Gerry Cheevers in goal for the Bruins in an 8-3 crushing at Maple Leaf Gardens.

A veteran and a youngster led the way offensively for the Leafs. Eddie Shack and Brit Selby each scored two goals for the Leafs. Shack, formerly an almost permanent resident of coach Punch Imlach’s dog house, became the Leafs’ leading scorer this season with nine markers, one more than team-mate Dave Keon.

Another highlight for the assembled throng at the Gardens was the first NHL goal by Wally Boyer. Boyer, who was called up from Rochester earlier in the week and playing in his first NHL game, and was killing a penalty when he beat Cheevers. He also set up a second short-handed goal by Orland Kurtenbach and was selected the game’s third star for his efforts.

Bob Pulford and Dave Keon had the other Toronto goals.

Wally Boyer scored his first NHL goal.
Wally Boyer scored his first NHL goal.

Boston scorers were John Bucyk, Bob Woytowich and Murray Oliver.

Al Arbour, also making his season debut with the Leafs, was one of Toronto’s more dependable rearguards. He garnered an assist on Boyer’s goal.

Boston coach Milt Schmidt looked like a defeated man after the game. He bemoaned his team’s lack of experience on defense.

“You know what our problem is? We haven’t got a defenseman on the ice other than Leo Boivin that anybody respects.

“The kids are trying, but they’re getting pushed into the corners. They’re inexperienced and nobody in this league respects inexperience – they pick on it.”

Red Wings Bag Sixth in a Row

The red-hot Detroit Red Wings made it six wins in a row with a tidy 4-2 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden last night. Third period goals by Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe were the difference in the game.

Ab McDonald
Ab McDonald

After a two-game respite, rookie goalie Eddie Giacomin returned to his normal post between the pipes for the Rangers, but his presence made little difference for the slumping Blueshirts.

Ab McDonald put the Red Wings up 1-0 with his fifth goal of the campaign late in the first period. It was the big left winger’s third goal in as many games. He picked up a loose puck after Doug Barkley’s point shot bounced directly to him off a Ranger defenseman.

Floyd Smith scored goal number nine for him at 6:33 of the second to put Detroit up by two before defenseman Harry Howell got the Rangers back in the game just less than six minutes later. Detroit led 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Delvecchio and Howe scored just over two minutes apart to give the Red Wings a 4-1 lead. Delvecchio’s score was a power play marker and was set up nicely by Howe. Then the big right-winger netted his 10th of the year on a slick passing play he executed with Norm Ullman.

Rangers managed to get one back when Rod Gilbert scored just a minute after Howe’s goal, but that was as close as the home side would get.