50 Years Ago in Hockey – Leafs, Hawks Scoreless

There was one game scheduled in the National Hockey League last night, and it did not produce even one goal.  The Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Chicago Black Hawks in a tight, close-checking affair that ended in a 0-0 tie.  The only difference between this and a Stanley Cup final playoff game was that in the playoffs, they would have played until a winner was declared.

Based the performance of the two teams last night, that might have taken a couple of days.

The crowd ofd 14, 437 at Maple Leafs Gardens went home happy despite not seeing a win by the home side.  There were many positives for the Leafs in this one.  The kept Bobby Hull off the scoresheet, a rarity for any of Chicago’s NHL opponents these days.  They picked up a crucial point against one of the NHL’s best clubs over the past six weeks.  And, goalie Johnny Bower continued his fine play over the past few games, another encouraging sign of things hopefully to come.

Hull blanked

Hull was blanked thanks mainly to the defensive work of Ron Stewart and Tim Horton.  Horton, employed once again on the forward line, drew the assignment of covering Hull, along with Stewart.  Splitting the duties between the two seemed to give them the energy needed as they denied the Golden Jet even one good scoring opportunity.

Ron Stewart kept Bobby Hull off the scoresheet.

Stewart, always quick with the quip, said after the game, “That guy (Hull) has held me scoreless that last two games.”

Dickie Moore, the Hall of Fame-bound forward picked up in the draft last summer, got into the lineup and was Toronto’s best attacker.  It was easily Moore’s best performance in a Leaf uniform.  He was dangerous on almost every shift and played with zest and aplomb.  Moore’s skating was stronger than has been seen at any time since he came to Toronto.

Bower on a roll

Bower registered his second consecutive shutout and now has a scoreless string of 123 minutes and 30 seconds.  He and goaling partner Terry Sawchuk have moved into the lead for the Vezina Trophy with a 2.38 goals-against mark.  Over the past four games, Bower has surrendered only two goals and has been the main cog in the Leafs’ six-game unbeaten streak.

Johnny Bower: Veteran Leaf netminder registered second straight shutout.

Chicago coach Billy Reay wasn’t terribly disappointed with the tie.  He was happy to garner a point on the road, and it was the Hawks’ 11th straight game away from Chicago Stadium without a loss.  Goalie Denis DeJordy made a game-saving stop with less than 10 seconds to go in the final frame when he speared a Red Kelly shot that seemed destined to hit the top corner.

Chicago captain Pierre Pilote played despite having a bad case of the flu.  He was named the game’s third star.

Toronto outshot the Black Hawks 20-19.

Hewitt to Hall

Foster Hewitt, the long-time voice of hockey in Canada, was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday following a meeting of the Hall’s governing committee.  The committee also appointed two new members, Jim Norris of the Chicago Black Hawks and Gordon Juckes, secretary-manager of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.

Foster Hewitt in the early days of hockey broadcasting.
Foster Hewitt in the early days of hockey broadcasting.

Hewitt is in his 42nd year of broadcasting hockey.  He began in the old Mutual Street Arena with a senior game in 1923.

The honour was not at all expected by Hewitt: “I was practically stunned.  I think I walked around in a daze after I heard the announcement.  It came as a complete surprise.”

Also named to the Hall was Tommy Lockhart of New York.  For many years he was the president of the United States Amateur Hockey Association and is considered the premier builder of the game in the United States.

AHL Aces ditch helmet edict

The Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League today lifted the order they put in place last month requiring all of their players to wear protective helmets.  The order was revoked after two of their players were fined yesterday for removing the headgear.

Defenceman Doug Harvey and forward Cleland Mortson, two veterans, took off their helmets during Tuesday night’s game against  Baltimore.  Amounts of the fines were not revealed.  It couldn’t have been too significant, since Harvey told Aces’ general manager Frank Carlin he would be fining him every game, since he had no intention of wearing the lid again.

Doug Harvey hates the helmet, won't wear it again.
Doug Harvey hates the helmet, won’t wear it again.

The players held a meeting and they all agreed that the headgear was affecting their play.  Carlin did not disagree:

“My job is to see that we win games.  If the players are convinced that the helmets detract from their game, there’s no point in aggravating the situation by forcing them to wear them.”

Two players will continue to wear the helmets.  Red Berenson had worn the bonnet before the order came out and will continue to do so.  Jim Morrison, whose fractured skull was one of the reasons the Aces made the order, will also keep wearing the head protection.  He returns from the injury tonight.