The only two scheduled National Hockey League games last night both ended in 5-2 scores. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeating the New York Rangers at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, while the visiting Montreal Canadiens downed the Chicago Black Hawks at the Stadium in Chicago.
Selby, Shack Net Two Each
At Toronto, two of the Maple Leafs’ lesser lights led the way past the Rangers. Brit Selby and Eddie Shack each scored their first two goals of the season to provide most of the offence for the Leafs. Another player who has been much-maligned as of late, defenseman Kent Douglas, scored the other Toronto marker.
Ranger goal-getters were Rod Seiling and Cowboy McKenzie.
The Leafs grabbed the lead early in this one, with Selby connecting after only 48 seconds of play for the first period’s only score.
Selby upped the margin to 2-0 just before the midway mark of the middle stanza with an unassisted goal on a breakaway. The rookie winger picked up a loose puck at the Toronto blue line with nothing between himself and the goal. He broke in alone with Rangers’ Rod Gilbert giving chase. Gilbert must have been surprised at Selby’s speed and made a desperate lunge at the Toronto rookie in an effort to knock him off-balance from behind. Selby showed great composure, regained his balance and showed the poise of a veteran by waiting for New York goalie Ed Giacomin (also a first-year man) to make the first move. Giacomin did exactly that and Selby’s patience paid off as he whipped a quick shot into the corner.
About five minutes later, Shack delighted a sold-out Toronto crowd with his first goal of the season, and first since being recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League last week. That gave the Leafs a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Leafs potted two more early in the third with Douglas and Shack doing the honours. The Rangers finally began to mount an attack in the final 10 minutes of the game, but the Seiling and McKenzie goals were a case of too little, too late.
20,000 Pack Chicago Stadium
In a raucous Chicago Stadium, where an estimated 20,000 fans jammed the place to the rafters, the Canadiens shocked the first-place Black Hawks. The game was a snooze-fest for the first period as the NHL’s two power house clubs opened up like a pair of boxers sizing each other up in early rounds. Neither club mounted much of an attack.
The second frame saw five goals scored, although the teams managed only 14 shots between them, with Chicago firing nine at Gump Worsley in the Montreal goal.
The Black Hawks drew first blood with Kenny Wharram potting his sixth at only 48 seconds. Canadiens came back five minutes later with John Ferguson netting his fourth of the season.
The Habs took over the game for good with two goals within a minute and 37 seconds. Gilles Tremblay converted a nice setup by Yvan Cournoyer and Jean Beliveau to make it 2-1 at 12:08. Dave Balon followed up with his first at 13:45 when he was sent in alone by Claude Provost.
Hull Gets 12th Despite Provost Shadow
Bobby Hull got that one back with his 12th of the year, with just over four minutes left in the second. Hull executed a beautiful tip-in of a Pierre Pilote point shot on which Worsley had no chance.
Hull was, other than that goal, constantly frustrated by the close checking of Provost. Provost, given the thankless assignment of shadowing the Golden Jet, did his usual clean and efficient job of neutralizing hockey’s greatest scorer.
The Canadiens scored two in a wild third period that saw each club fire 16 shots at the opposing goal.
Provost’s third made it 4-2, with Balon and Ralph Backstrom helping out. Claude Larose then rounded out the scoring with his second of the year, with just over nine minutes left.
The game was a rough affair, with fisticuffs breaking out in the first and third periods. Half-way through the opening 20 minutes Chicago’s Matt Ravlich squared off with the Habs’ Dave Balon, playing his first full game of the year. Ravlich scored a clear-cut decision over the Montreal left-winger.
Battle Royale with Seconds Left
With three seconds left in the game, and the issue no longer in doubt, a melee broke out when Hull went to the defence of line-mate Chico Maki, who was decked by an elbow courtesy of Terry Harper.
Hull got in three quick punches to the kisser of Harper and staggered the Montreal rearguard. However, big Ted Harris, after scuffling with and disposing of Phil Esposito, took on Hull and shook the Hawks star with a solid right cross to the jaw.
Not to be outdone, the Chicago fans got into the spirit of things and a brawl broke out in the upper mezzanine. One fan nearly fell over the railing to the lower level before cooler heads (and the Chicago police) prevailed.
Montreal coach Toe Blake called the win for the Canadiens “a great team effort” and singled out the line of Red Berenson, Larose and Ferguson for special praise.
Niagara Falls Edges Oshawa
The Niagara Falls Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and then held on to defeat the Oshawa Generals 4-3 In a OHA Junior A game last night in Oshawa.
The Flyers got goals in the opening frame from Ted Snell, Jean Pronovost and Don Marcotte.
In the second period, George Babcock got Oshawa on the board at 13:22 but Niagara Falls came back with their fourth goal, courtesy of Jim Lorentz at 16:13. Bobby Orr brought Oshawa back within two just two minutes later.
The third period was a tight one. Orr notched his second of the night at 9:15 to make the score 4-3, but the Gens were unable to get the equalizer on Falls goalie Bob Ring, and the Flyers hung on for the 4-2 victory.
- The Detroit Red Wings have sent defenseman Gary Bergman to Memphis of the Central Professional Hockey League. Taking Bergman’s spot on the roster is veteran Warren Godfrey, 34, who was called up from Memphis.
- Billy Reay, coach of the Chicago Black Hawks, says that Wayne Maki, brother of the Hawks’ Chico, is two years away from making the NHL.
- There is a report that Carl Brewer, who retired from the Toronto Maple Leafs at training camp, will sit out all of this season, but will come back with the Leafs next year.
- Reports out of Boston suggest that the last-place Boston Bruins are close to making a major trade. Teams most likely involved are Toronto or Detroit. Both clubs have excess centres in whom the Bruins are interested.
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.