50 Years Ago in Hockey: Hawks Wreck Wings Home Opener

Chicago Black Hawks won their second straight game of the young National Hockey League season last night. It came at the expense of the Detroit Red Wings, who were hoping to celebrate a win in their home opener. Dennis Hull scored twice, with brother Bobby adding a single as the Black Hawks hammered the Red Wings 7-4.

In the other two scheduled NHL games, Montreal Canadiens downed the Boston Bruins 3-1 while the visiting New York Rangers tied the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-4.

Nesterenko Also Bags a Pair

Chicago's Pat Stapleton and goalie Denis DeJordy cover a shot by Detroit's alex Delvecchio.
Chicago’s Pat Stapleton and goalie Denis DeJordy cover a shot by Detroit’s Alex Delvecchio.

At Detroit, Eric Nesterenko also scored two goals for Chicago as they humbled the Red Wings in their own building. Stan Mikita and Ken Hodge also scored for the Hawks. Paul Henderson tallied twice for the home side. Alex Delvecchio and Floyd Smith had the other Detroit goals.

The Red Wings main strategy in this game was to use their “super-pest” Bryan Watson to neutralize Bobby Hull. The ploy seemed destined to work early, as the Wings held a 2-1 lead at the nineteen-minute mark of the first period. That’s when big Ken Hodge of the Hawks took matters into his own hands.

The 6-1, 190 pound Hodge charged into Watson, who is a slight 5-10, 170. The thundering check sent Watson to the ice heavily. When the Red Wings disturber finally regained his feet, it was clear he was in some difficulty. Watson left the ice and went to the Detroit dressing room. Hodge left the ice at the request of the referee, who fingered him for a two-minute minor for charging.

Watson returned for the start of the second stanza. He immediately went up against Hull who unceremoniously dumped him to the ice and that finished Watson and the Wings for the night.

The contest was a wide open affair, with the Red Wings outshooting Chicago 43-38.

Habs Handle Bruins

Bobby Rousseau
Bobby Rousseau

At Montreal, the Canadiens got the better of the Bruins thanks to a spectacular game-winning power play goal in the second period by Bobby Rousseau. With heralded rookie Bobby Orr sitting in the penalty box for interference, Rousseau took a pass from J.C. Tremblay and skated in on Orr’s defence partner Gilles Marotte. Rousseau put such a deke on Marotte that he nearly came out of his skates. The smooth-skating Montreal winger then whipped a shot to the top corner that left Boston goalkeeper Ed Johnston with very little chance.

Ted Harris and Leon Rochefort also scored for Montreal. Bruins other rookie defenceman Joe Watson ruined Montreal goalie Gump Worsley’s shutout bid.

Gilbert Rallies Rangers

Rod Gilbert
Rod Gilbert

It was the Rod Gilbert show at Toronto as the Rangers came back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the Leafs 4-4. Gilbert scored the Rangers first three goals and set up the fourth as a one-man wrecking crew against the Leafs. Wayne Hillman scored the other New York marker.

For the Maple Leafs, rookie Brian Conacher scored his first two NHL goals. Another heralded rookie, Wayne Carleton, also scored for Toronto, as did veteran Red Kelly. All the scoring in this game took place over the first two periods. The game was loosely played, with the defences not particularly effective for either club.

Cesare Maniago started in goal for Rangers, but left in the second period after suffering his second facial cut in the game, both caused by high sticks. The first incident resulted in damage to a permanent dental plate. Maniago took seven stitches close to his lower lip on the second one and he retired for the night, being replaced by Ed Giacomin.

Johnny Bower was in goal for the Leafs and made 32 saves. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the new bright lights for the colour television cameras and played well. Bower had applied generous amounts of burnt cork under his eyes (as did defenceman Kent Douglas).

Toronto was without defenceman Bob Baun and forwards Frank Mahovlich and Bob Pulford. Pulford and Baun were missing because of injuries but the reason for Mahovlich’s absence was that he has not yet signed his 1966-67 contract.

Big M Suspended by Punch

Toronto’s general manager-coach Punch Imlach says that Mahovlich has been suspended for refusing to sign the contract offered by the team. Imlach says the pact would have given the Big M a 20 per cent raise (about $5,000) over last year’s salary (thought to be in the $25,000 range).

Two other Toronto holdouts, rookies Mike Walton and Gary Smith, agreed to terms with Leafs’ Rochester farm club. The only other player still unsigned is another Toronto prospect, young winger Bill Flett. Flett has left Rochester and returned to his home in Vermillion, Alberta.