The sixth game of the Stanley Cup Final, led by the Montreal Canadiens three games to two over the Black Hawks, heads back to Chicago tonight. If the present pattern of home-team victories continues, we can expect a seventh game at the Montreal Forum on Saturday evening.
Home team has won every game
The Canadiens demolished the Hawks in game number five by a 6-0 score in what was likely Chicago’s worst playoff performance in years. Based on that result, it would not be unreasonable to expect the Habs to wind up the series tonight. But home ice has been something of a tonic to the host team in every game in this series, and it is entirely possible for a similar effect tonight.
Pronovost: Home ice worth two goals to Hawks
Detroit Red Wings star defenceman Marcel Pronovost is a firm believer in the home-ice advantage, especially when it comes to Chicago Stadium.
“I figure the visiting team has to score at least three goals in most Chicago games to win.
“I saw the game in Montreal. Hawks were terrible and looked as if they’d had the course. But don’t forget, we felt the same way after five games and they came to life to beat us.
“I think they’ll win this one and send the series to a seventh game in Montreal Saturday.”
Pronovost is currently recovering from that fractured jaw he sustained in the series against Chicago.
Ferguson will play
Canadiens have to be happy with the word the John Ferguson will suit up tonight. The rambunctious Montreal forward picked up a pretty severe charley horse in Tuesday’s game when checked by the Hawks’ Moose Vasko.
Ferguson was listed as a doubtful starter for tonight’s game and his effectiveness for the rest of the series was in serious question. However, the injury has responded well to treatment and the big man will give it a try tonight.
There is no word as to whether Ferguson has received treatment from the same wonder drug the Black Hawks used with Ken Wharram and Pierre Pilote.
Reay abandons fourth line
Chicago coach Billy Reay says that he will go with only three lines in game six. He has been using four forward units, with little success. The fourth line, comprised of Gerry Melnyk between Camille Henry and Johnny McKenzie, will be seen infrequently, if at all.
Reay explained: “Most of the regulars did so little in the game I don’t think we can risk going with the extra line in the sixth game.”
Reay also said that Glenn Hall will be his goalkeeper in tonight’s game.
Reay’s biggest problem may not be who suits up or plays for him. With Montreal’s power play scoring 19 goals in 31 chances in the playoffs, the Black Hawks must find a way to slow down the Habs when they have a man advantage.
Flyers manhandle Maroons
The Niagara Falls Flyers took a 2-1 lead over the Lachine Maroons in their best-of-five Memorial Cup Eastern Final last night with a 4-1 win at Niagara Falls.
Right from the opening faceoff, the Flyers seemed intent on teaching the Maroons a lesson for having the audacity to actually win a game against them in Quebec. They bumped the Maroons at every turn and used all sorts of tactics to slow down the Quebecers.
After a rough, scoreless first period, the Flyers decided to concentrate more on hockey in the middle frame. That strategy paid off as the Ontario champs scored three times. Jim Lorentz, Ted Snell and Don Marcotte were the marksmen who put the Flyers up.
Thirty seconds into the third period, Gilbert Lapalme got the Maroons on the board on a nice three-way passing play with Richard David and Bernard Cote.
The Flyers then threw the proverbial blanket over the Lachine offence and shut them down the rest of the way. Marcotte scored his second of the night at 15:33 to ensure that the issue was no longer in doubt.
Game four goes tomorrow night in Niagara Falls.
Amerks come from behind to nip Bears
The Rochester Americans rebounded from a 2-1 third-period deficit to edge the Hershey Bears 3-2 last night in Hershey. The win gives the Amerks a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup final series.
The Bears grabbed a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Pete Conacher and Chuck Hamilton. Larry Hillman got one back for Rochester after only 48 seconds in the second period.
Dick Gamble tied it up at 9:25 of the third with a goal off a rebound from 15 feet in front of the Hershey goal. That tally seemed to awaken what had been to that point a slumbering Rochester offence.
The Amerks continued to storm Hershey goalkeeper Claude Dufour, who held strong for as long as he could. Rochester finally broke through for the winner at 12:59 when Bronco Horvath took a drop pass from Gerry Ehman and connected on a screen shot.
Rochester outshot Hershey 35-25, and both goalies, Dufour for Hershey and Gerry Cheevers of Rochester, were outstanding.
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.