Chicago Black Hawks superstar Bobby Hull finally notched his 50th goal of the season last night. The swift-skating left winger tied the record he shares with Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion with a goal at 5:15 of the third period in the Black Hawks’ game against the Detroit Red Wings. Chicago won the game 5-4.
There were two other games on the National Hockey League schedule last night. Toronto and Montreal battled to a 3-3 tie in Toronto while New York dumped Boston 5-3.
Thirteen Games to Break Record
Hull now has 13 games left to break the long-standing NHL record for goals in a season. Richard scored his 50 in 50 games in the 1944-45 season. Geoffrion tied the record in the 1960-61 season in a 70-game sked. Hull first tied the record in the very next season.
Hull came very close to duplicating Richard’s feat, scoring his 50th in his 52nd game.
The record-tying goal came on a nice three-way passing play with Stan Mikita and Ken Wharram. Mikita brought the puck into the Detroit zone and slipped a slick pass to Wharram. Wharram raced to the net and dropped a pass to Hull, teeing it up perfectly for the Golden Jet. Hull made no mistake, whipping a 12-foot wrist shot past Wings goalie Hank Bassen. Bassen had absolutely no chance on the play.
The Chicago Stadium crowd of somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20,000 exploded into a wild ovation. The deafening salute lasted for over 10 minutes and even included fans singing “for he’s a jolly good fellow.”
Hull had two more shots on goal during the rest of the third period but was unable to connect for the record-breaker. Detroit lifted Bassen for an extra attacker in the final minute, but with only 15 seconds left to play the Hawks couldn’t get the puck into the Detroit zone.
Hull added a pair of assists for a three-point night. Other Chicago scorers were Lou Angotti, Phil Esposito, Wharram and Doug Mohns. Gordie Howe led the Detroit attack with a pair of goals. Alex Delvecchio and Bruce MacGregor had the others.
After the game, Hull described the historic goal:
“Stan carried it over the blue line and threw it over to Kenny and he came over and left it there for me. I came in a little bit late and fired a low shot on the goalkeeper’s left.”
The 27-year-old Hull spoke of retirement in three years to the assembled throng of reporters crowded around his locker in the Chicago dressing room.
“I’ll be 30 then, with 12 seasons behind me in the NHL. I think I’ll be ready to quit then. I don’t want my boys growing up in the city. I’ll move out to the farm where they can get the fresh air youngsters need.”
Hull said he regretted a decision to leave his eldest son, Bobby Jr., 5, at home for this game.
“I wish he’d been here. Joanne wanted to bring him, but he’s been acting up a lot lately, so I said no.”
This could be a sign of the pressure that Hull has said, up to know, has not affected him. He admitted last night it could be a factor:
“You know Joanne always says I take my frustrations out at home – and maybe I do. There are problems. This is a tough grind. Now that the monkey is off my back I may get more out of less and we can concentrate on first place.”
Ending his news conference, Hull referred to recently deceased Black Hawks owner James Norris Jr.:
I’m only sorry Mr. Norris wasn’t here to see it.
Leafs, Habs Play a Crowd-Pleaser
At Toronto, the Leafs and Canadiens played one of the roughest and most entertaining matches seen in years. In a game that had a little of everything, both teams left all they have out on the ice. If these two clubs meet in the playoffs, the series can’t help but be memorable.
The game included a second period brawl that matched Leafs’ Orland Kurtenbach and Bob Baun against Montreal’s John Ferguson and Terry Harper. It was the first time that Toronto fans had an opportunity to witness bit Kurt’s fistic prowess and he didn’t disappoint. Harper is a game lad, but he was no match for the hulking Kurtenbach, who won a unanimous decision.
Harper needed 16 stitches to repair the damage inflicted by Kurtenbach.
In the hockey department, Ralph Backstrom, Jean Beliveau and Gilles Tremblay scored for Montreal. Beliveau’s goal was the 380th of his illustrious career. He now stands alone as the third-highest goal scorer in NHL history.
Toronto goal-getters were Red Kelly, Frank Mahovlich and George Armstrong. Armstrong’s goal tied the game at 11:10 of the final frame.
Bruce Gamble made his debut in the Toronto goal and played well, making 33 saves on 36 Montreal shots. Given the frenetic pace of the game in front of an unusually enthusiastic Maple Leaf Gardens crowd, the veteran was likely a better choice than junior A goalie Al Smith.
Charley Hodge played the first 40 minutes in goal for Montreal. He was caught just behind the right ear by a Bob Pulford shot late in the second period and was cut for 16 stitches. Gump Worsley took over the Habs’ netminding duties for the final period.
Late Rally Lifts Rangers
Three goals in the third period powered the New York Rangers to their 5-3 home-ice win over the Boston Bruins.
Goals by Bill Hicke, Bob Nevin and Vic Hadfield in a span of just less than six minutes in the final frame brought the Rangers back from a 3-2 deficit.
Bruins had a 2-0 lead in this one on goals by recent call-up Wayne Maxner and veteran Johnny Bucyk. Earl Ingarfield scored two quick second period markers to tie the score at 2-2. Pit Martin’s goal late in the sandwich session sent the Bruins to the third leading 3-2.
Cesare Maniago played a solid game in goal for the Rangers. He made 38 saves in what was a busy night for him. He also sustained a head injury early in the second period when he was hit by a stick during a flurry around the Ranger net. After receiving first aid at the Ranger bench, he returned to the net to finish the game.
NHL Trying Instant Replay?
National Hockey League referees are about to get some help. Whether they take advantage of the offered assistance is another thing altogether.
A television monitor has been installed at the timekeeper’s bench in the penalty box at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Stafford Smythe, Maple Leafs president, says that the television screen has been installed so that referees can review plays during the game and alter their calls if they discover a ruling they made was in error.
A similar television setup has been installed in the referees dressing room. Smythe says that he was given permission by the NHL for a one-month trial of the system.
Frank Udvari was the referee in charge of the Toronto – Montreal game last night. He saw the system but did not take advantage of it. He apparently wasn’t aware of why it was there.
I wasn’t told anything about it or why it was there. There was a TV set in our dressing room as well, but nobody told me why it was there, either.
The set in the penalty box was facing away from the ice surface and it would have been difficult for the official to see a replay unless he removed the timekeeper from his perch.
- Seth Martin will be in goal for Canada when they open the World Hockey Championships against the United States in Yugoslavia.
- Detroit Red Wings have sent LW Ab McDonald to Memphis of the CPHL.
- Ted Taylor’s third period goal gave the Baltimore Clippers a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons.
- Claude Labrosse scored the winner as Victoria Maple Leafs doubled Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in WHL play.
- Portland of the WHL defeated Rochester Americans of the AHL 4-3 in an interlocking game. Arnie Schmautz netted the game-winner for the Buckaroos.
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.