The Toronto Maple Leafs lost more than a hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens last night when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the New York Rangers in one of two National Hockey League games. The Leafs also lost defenseman Bobby Baun, possibly their best defender in this early season, with a frightening injury when he was felled by a rising shot off the stick of New York’s Rod Gilbert in the third period. Baun was taken to Toronto General Hospital where he was kept overnight for observation. He was released early this morning, but it is unknown how long he will be out of the lineup.
Linesman Feared Eye Injury
The scene was a scary one, as the shot caught Baun in the facial area. He fell to the ice immediately, writhing in pain. First on the scene was linesman Neil Armstrong, who shuddered when commenting on the incident:
“My first thought was that Baun’s eye was gone.”
After the game, Baun was undergoing treatment at the Gardens hospital and was still woozy and not completely aware of what was going on. He seemed preoccupied with asking team mates who came to see him what time it was.
The game itself wasn’t a terribly exciting affair. The young Rangers hustled all night and beat the Leafs to the puck on a consistent basis. The Leafs held a slight edge in play with a 30-28 advantage in shots on goal, but those numbers belied the relative quality of their play. The Rangers were full value for their victory.
Toronto had a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to the first goal of the season for veteran Allan Stanley.
Former Leafs Set Up Gilbert
The second period looked like it would end scoreless until the final minute. Gilbert tied it up at 19:22 on a nice backhand shot. He was set up by Arnie Brown and Rod Seiling two former Leaf prospects traded to Rangers in February of 1964. Earl Ingarfield then scored his first of two goals with one second left in the middle frame, finishing off a nice play engineered by winger Don Marshall.
The final period saw the Leafs tie the score briefly when Davey Keon finally notched his first of the season. The tie lasted less than four minutes as Ingarfield potted his second of the evening and what would prove to be the winning goal. Marshall then added an insurance goal with 27 seconds left to make the final score 4-2.
Pappin Demoted, Shack Called Up
Toronto general manager-coach Punch Imlach was thoroughly disgusted with his team after the game, and with two players in particular. Immediately after the team arrived in the dressing room after the game, young forward Jim Pappin, who had an awful night, was dispatched to the Rochester Americans of the American League.
Imlach was also upset with the play of defenseman Kent Douglas, who was told by Imlach that if not for Baun’s injury, he’d be Rochester-bound as well.
In other post-game news, the Leafs recalled crowd favourite Eddie Shack from the Amerks. He is expected to join the team in time for today’s game in Chicago.
Bruins Upset Habs
In the other game, the lowly Boston Bruins pulled off the upset of the season so far with a shocking 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens right in the Forum in Montreal.
Rookie goalie Bernie Parent, playing for the first time in his home town of Montreal, came up with a great effort to lead the Bruins.
Parent, coming off a disastrous game in which he surrendered eight goals to Detroit, was beaten only once by the vaunted Montreal offence. Bobby Rousseau scored his fifth of the year in the first period on a play on which the netminder had no chance. Parent wasn’t phased by the early goal and shut the door on the Habs the rest of the way. He made 23 saves on the night.
Ron Stewart, with his fourth of the season, tied the score with the second period’s only goal. The period was one of the worst seen all year at the Forum, with the shots on goal total of 5-4 for Montreal completely indicative of the play.
Veteran left wing Dean Prentice, who was recently switched to centre, scored what proved to be the game-winner just before the six-minute mark of the third. He skated in alone to beat Montreal goalie Charlie Hodge with a quick shot. Defenseman Ted Green added the insurance with less than two minutes to play on a long shot from the point that beat Hodge. The play came directly off a faceoff won by Prentice.
Busy Night in AHL
Four games were played in the American Hockey League last night, as well as one interlocking game with a Western League team.
Mike Walton scored twice to lead the Rochester Americans to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Bisons. Quebec Aces whipped the Springfield Indians 5-1 with five players sharing in the Aces scoring. Cleveland edged Hershey 3-2 on a goal by Dick Mattiussi. Baltimore blanked Providence 3-0 as Cesare Maniago recorded the shut out.
The interlocking game saw Portland of the WHL blast the Pittsburgh Hornets 7-2.
Oshawa Doubles Rangers in OHA
In the only OHA Junior A game last night the Oshawa Generals doubled the score on the Kitchener Rangers, skating off with a 6-3 win.
George Babcock scored twice for the Generals, with Bobby Orr, Wayne Cashman, Danny O’Shea and Dan Sanford adding singles. Rangers goal-getters were Walter Tkaczuk, Jim Krulicki and Claire Alexander.
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.