Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks continued his assault on the National Hockey League record books with two goals last night. The markers helped the Hawks to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers in the only game on the schedule.
Hull Need Six for 50
Hull’s pair gives him 44 goals on the season, just six shy of the magical 50 mark. Hull shares that record for most goals in a season with Maurice (Rocket) Richard and (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, both of the Montreal Canadiens. With 25 games left in the season the Golden Jet looks to be a cinch to eclipse the record with room to spare.
The game itself was a dramatic affair, with the Hawks staging a stirring comeback from what was a 3-1 deficit late in the second period. Territorially, the game shouldn’t have been close, as the Hawks outshot the Rangers 36-19. But the Rangers took advantage of some early shaky goaltending by Chicago’s rookie netminder Dave Dryden.
Rookie Goalie Shaky
Dryden was between the pipes for the second consecutive game for the Black Hawks. Chicago coach Billy Reay said that Glenn Hall has been given a week off from all hockey activities to rest up for the playoffs. The veteran netminder won’t even practice during his club-imposed sabbatical. Denis DeJordy has been recalled from St. Louis of the Central Professional Hockey League to back up Dryden.
The Hawks started quickly, with Doug Mohns netting his 14th of the season at 1:23 of the first. Mohns took a pass from Stan Mikita and beat Ranger goalie Ed Giacomin from close in.
About five minutes later, Vic Hadfield of the Rangers evened the score at 1-1. Hadfield’s goal had a bit of an odour to it. He fired a weak shot from a bad angle but the puck hit Dryden’s pad and as he played it awkwardly, it trickled into the net.
The middle session saw New York take a two-goal lead with a couple of goals only four minutes apart. Billy Hicke connected at 4:47, beating Dryden with a 15-foot wrist shot. Doug Robinson then scored at 8:44. His shot was right at Dryden, but the puck dribbled through his pads and into the net.
Hull Sparks Comeback
The Hawks began their comeback late in the period when Hull scored his first of the night with 2:09 left in the period. He broke in from centre ice and eluded a desperate poke check from Giacomin before sliding the disk into the other side of the net.
Chicago dominated the final frame and didn’t take long to even the score. Mikita notched number 22 on the year at 2:19 to tie things up. He converted a Ken Wharram rebound from about five feet.
Hull then powered home the game-winner just two seconds before the six-minute mark to give the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish. That goal also was a result of a rebound. Giacomin managed to stop Phil Esposito’s drive but Hull was Johnny-on-the-spot to ram the puck home.
Junior All-stars Dump Flyers
The Ontario Hockey Association Junior A All-stars put on an impressive show last night. They easily handled the Memorial Cup champion Niagara Falls Flyers, beating them 8-4 before 2,800 fans in Niagara Falls. All anyone could talk about after the game was a 45-second stretch in the second period where a game of keep-away on a Niagara penalty resulted in one of the prettiest goals ever scored in any league.
The All-stars power play unit of Andre Lacroix, Mickey Redmond, Danny Grant, Jim McKenny and Bobby Orr literally owned the puck. They threw it around the Niagara zone with pin-point accuracy as the five players looked to set up the perfect scoring chance.
Flyers on the ice chased the disk gamely, but their efforts were futile. The stars seemed to genuinely enjoy their little game until Grant finally put the Flyers out of their misery by picking a corner on Niagara goalie Bob Ring.
Toronto Marlboros coach Gus Bodnar wasn’t exaggerating his admiration. He told Frank Orr of the Toronto Star:
It’s just about the finest goal I’ve ever seen.
Montreal Canadiens farm hands gave the Habs management a glimpse of what they hope the future holds. They scored seven of the eight All-star goals. Grant, Redmond and Lucien Grenier each had two goals, with the other coming from Jacques Lemaire. Jim McKenny of the Toronto Marlboros scored the other goal for the OHA team.
Tom Webster had two goals for Niagara Falls. Jean Pronovost and Dave Woodley added singles.
Montreal Junior Canadiens coach Scotty Bowman handled the All-stars bench. He used all his players equally and rotated the lines evenly. Bowman was impressed with his lineup of future stars:
I’d like to take that team as one of the expansion clubs for the National Hockey League. In about four years they’d be a sound pro club. – Scotty Bowman
One of the great debates in junior hockey circles this year has been about whether McKenny or Orr will be the better pro. Bowman had the two paired together and they seemed to compliment each other perfectly.
One Baby Habs player who didn’t want to be identified was suitably impressed and commented:
Imagine if you played on a team with those two on defence you’d never have to back check.
Proceeds from the game went to the OHA emergency fund for injured players.
Owen First Presenter
When the National Hockey League governors begin to listen to applicant expansion franchise presentations next week, the first group they hear from should at least be able to provide some showmanship.
Tony Owen, who is hoping to win the franchise that will be located in Los Angeles will lead off the presentations. Owen is a Hollywood movie and television producer who leads a group of entertainment and business types. He, as will all applicants, be given 30 minutes to make his pitch.
The governors hope to hear from six applicants in the first session.
Sad Day for Bower
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower quietly attended the funeral of a nine-year-old minor hockey player who was killed in a traffic accident last Friday.
William Holt, who was a big fan of Bower, was walking with a playmate to Richmond Hill Arena, where Bower was slated to appear. Holt was struck by a car and pronounced clinically dead at the scene. Bystanders did not give up and the boy was revived and rush to Toronto Western Hospital. A four-hour operation was performed in an attempt to save the boy’s life, but 25 hours later, he passed away.
Bower quietly arrived at the funeral service and had hoped to go unnoticed. Word spread quickly and he was asked to walk in an honour guard of town minor hockey players and officials. The Leaf goaltender accepted the request and accompanied the procession.
Intermediate Player Dies
A 29-year-old hockey player who had been advised on Monday to quit hockey died from a heart attack during an intermediate game Tuesday night in Monkton, Ontario.
Don Ronnenberg, who would have been 29 today, suffered a heart attack just after finishing a shift. Ronnenberg was a long-time Monkton player and was taking part in a Western Ontario Athletic Association Intermediate D game against Blyth. The game was called off immediately after Ronnenberg collapsed.
Ronnenberg was the father of three children, ranging in age from three months to seven years. On Monday he had undergone a physical checkup and had received a satisfactory report, but was advised by his doctor to quit playing hockey.
Retired police detective, involved in hockey at all levels for over 50 years. Member of Society for International Hockey Research and presently a video analyst for the leader in advanced hockey analytics (we work exclusively for 2 NHL clubs, and provide advice on an ad hoc basis to many other clients). Currently the Assistant General Manager for the Pelham Pirates of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Previously owned the Faceoff computer hockey simulation and also provided all player ratings for the EA Sports series of NHL computer games from the late 90’s into the mid 2000’s.