50 Years Ago in Hockey – Hawks Punch Ticket to Finals

The Chicago Black Hawks rallied from a 2-0 deficit last night to upset the first-place Detroit Red Wings and claim a spot in the Stanley Cup finals against Montreal.  This will mark the first Black Hawk appearance in the finals since they won Lord Stanley’s mug in 1961.

Hawks trailed 2-0 after one

The entire series seemed to be a come-from-behind effort for Chicago.  They lost the first two games of the series to trail 2-0, and even in last night’s decider, they trailed 2-0 after one period.

The Red Wings came out flying in that first period.  Gordie Howe was dominant, dictating the pace of play and basically not allowing the Black Hawks to have the puck.  He set up Norm Ullman’s opening goal at 7:04 and then scored one himself at 16:35.

Gordie Howe was dominant early in the game.
Gordie Howe was dominant early in the game.

However, the Wings, who have been hobbled by injuries throughout the series, were unable to maintain momentum against the younger, healthier Hawks.  As time went on, Chicago gradually took over the play, although the issue was still in doubt until the midway mark of the third period.

Five-on-three power play turned the tide

The big break that got Chicago on the board was a five-on-three power play near the half-way mark in the game.  Parker MacDonald was sent off for holding at 7:10 of the second, followed 39 seconds later by Bill Gadsby for elbowing.  To make matters worse, Ted Lindsay delivered a few choice words to referee Art Skov, who promptly sent Lindsay to the sin bin for 10 minutes to ponder the error of his ways.  Lindsay’s lengthy absence likely disrupted the line rotation that Detroit coach Sid Abel had been using, and caused an extra workload on an already tired forward unit.  At that point, Skov was certainly the least popular man in the building.

Just over a minute after Gadsby was banished, Bobby Hull picked off a Warren Godfrey pass and unleashed one of his patented slap shots that beat a partially screened Red Wing goalie Roger Crozier high to his right.

Bobby Hull's goal got Chicago rolling.
Bobby Hull’s goal got Chicago rolling.

With just less than two minutes to play in the middle stanza, the suddenly rejuvenated Scooter Line struck to even the score.  Doug Mohns was sent in alone by Stan Mikita and beat Crozier with a nice deke.

Mikita’s redemption

Mikita scored the series-winning goal at 9:42 of the third period.  Much maligned earlier, Mikita fully redeemed himself by depositing Chico Maki’s rebound past a helpless Crozier.  Maki had been inserted onto the Scooter line in place of Kenny Wharram, who just hasn’t been able to get going in this series.

Stan Mikita
Stan Mikita

A rush by Hull provided the insurance goal.  The Golden Jet broke in on the Detroit defence and lost the puck as he was checked,  but took both Detroit defenders with him as he went down.  Eric Nesterenko, in Maki’s spot, picked up the loose disk and whipped yet another screened shot high over Crozier.

After the game, Hull said he figured the Hawks had the game in the bag early in the third while the score was still knotted at two.

“They didn’t come at us like they did at the start in the first couple of shifts of the first period.  They were more tired than we were.

“I knew we had them when they came out for the last period and didn’t show any zip.  They were dying near the end of the second but I thought they might get a second wind.”

Abel: “The double penalty was what did it”

Detroit coach Sid Abel said , “the turning point came when they got their first goal and we were short two men.  We had the momentum up until that point and they had it the rest of the way.

Sid Abel is proud of his squad despite the loss.
Sid Abel is proud of his squad despite the loss.

“And the tying goal really killed us.  If we had been able to get a third goal to get a 3-0 or 3-1 lead it would have been a different story.

“The double penalty was what did it.  Bruce McGregor and Ullman both missed the net on point-blank chances, then Parker MacDonald and Gadsby were tagged with those two penalties.

“If Bruce or Normie score, it’s all over.  But then Hull blows one past Roger and it got them going.  When Mohns tied it up, they were really rolling.  Somebody has to lose.  This time it was us.  I still couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

Abel also felt that his Wings reached their peak just a bit too early.

“You always like to reach your peak in Stanley Cup play, but we peaked at the end of the regular season and just went downhill in the playoffs.”

Hawks coach Billy Reay thought the turning point was when his club netted their second goal.  He also disagreed that Mikita had gone from goat to hero with the deciding goal.

“You guys make me laugh.  Ullman scored a pair of fluke goals here and you make him the No. 1 star.

“I thought Mikita was outstanding throughout the series, not just tonight.”

Lindsay retires, for good this time

After the game, Ted Lindsay said that he was retiring for good this time and will not play for the Red Wings next season.

Ted Lindsay is retiring for good this time.
Ted Lindsay is retiring for good this time.

“I proved my point, that I could do it, and I completed my career with the Red Wings as I had always hoped I could do.

“The fact that we were able to finish first was a terrific bonus.  That we couldn’t make it to the final is a disappointment but it’s over and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I won’t give it another shot.”

Lindsay finishes his career with 379 goals and 472 assists.  He is the most penalized player in NHL history, having served 1,608 minutes in the sin bin.

Marlies fall to Flyers

The Niagara Falls Flyers eliminated the Toronto Marlboros in their OHA Junior A final series with a 3-1 win over the Dukes last night in Niagara Falls.  Niagara took the series, four games to one.

Two Flyer goals within six seconds in the third period turned the trick for the winners.

The game had been scoreless for the first two periods, although the Flyers held a wide territorial advantage.  They outshot Toronto 19-10 over the first 40 minutes, and only the fine work by Marlie goalkeeper Gerry Desjardins kept the game even.

Defenceman Jim McKenney, easily Toronto’s best skater in the series, opened the scoring early in the third.  He converted a rebound off a Gerry Meehan shot on a play on which Niagara Falls goalie Bernie Parent had no chance.

At 11:03, Derek Sanderson’s goal tied the score at 1-1.  Like McKenney, Sanderson scored on a rebound.  Desjardins had made a fine save on Bill Goldsworthy’s difficult shot, but was unable to corral the loose puck and Sanderson poked it in.

The teams adjourned to centre ice for the faceoff, won by the Flyers’ Ted Snell. He slipped a pass to Bud Debrody who found Brian Bradley alone in front of the Toronto cage.  With all kinds of time, Bradley had no trouble beating Desjardins.

Brian Bradley scored the series-winning goal for Niagara Falls.
Brian Bradley scored the series-winning goal for Niagara Falls.

Bradley also scored the insurance goal, with just less than five minutes left in the game.

Niagara outshot Toronto by 15-7 in the final frame.