The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a 5-3 win over the visiting Chicago Black Hawks in a Christmas night special at Maple Leaf Gardens. The game was one of three on the National Hockey League schedule. In the other contests, Montreal nipped Detroit 4-3 while the lowly Boston Bruins ended a 12-game winless skein with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
At Toronto, the Maple Leafs defeated a Chicago team that was travel-weary after having to take a circuitous route from the Windy City that began on Christmas Eve. The journey began when the Black Hawks boarded a train bound for Toronto. Eighty miles out of Chicago, the train had to stop because of an earlier derailment that blocked the tracks.
As the Hawks’ train waited for the route to be cleared, the team went to sleep. Upon awakening very early Christmas morning the players initially were told that they were 150 miles from Toronto. Much to their chagrin, they soon learned that the train had reversed and headed back to Chicago.
Once back in the city, the team was loaded onto a bus to the Chicago airport. As luck would have it, a severe snowstorm moved into the area and word was that all departing planes would be grounded.
Chicago coach Billy Reay was about to call Toronto to advise that the game would have to be canceled when their plane received clearance for take-off at noon. The team arrived in Toronto at mid-afternoon, of course, in a snowstorm.
The game itself was highly entertaining. Bobby Hull scored twice for the visitors, his 26th and 27th of the season. Pierre Pilote had the third Chicago goal, but that came at 17:27 of the final frame with the Leafs up by three, and it was of little consequence.
Five Leafs shared in the scoring, with one goal each netted by Kent Douglas, Frank Mahovlich, Wally Boyer, Eddie Shack and Bob Pulford. Both Terry Sawchuk of the Leafs and Chicago’s Glenn Hall put in solid performances in goal for their clubs.
Hawks’ coach Reay was livid after the game, accusing Toronto’s Eddie Shack of spearing Stan Mikita of Chicago. Referee Frank Udvari saw the play and assessed Shack a two-minute minor for slashing.
Richard Stars for Habs
Henri Richard was the hero for Montreal in their home-ice win against the Red Wings. The Pocket Rocket had a hand in all four Habs markers with a goal and three assists. His goal was the game-winner.
The Red Wings came into this game with 10 wins over the previous 12 games. It took contributions from every Montreal player in a great team performance for the Habs to get by the red-hot Wings.
Detroit drew first blood with Alex Delvecchio lighting the lamp at 9:22 of the first period. Canadiens got that one back with two and a half minutes left in the period on a Claude Provost tally.
Gilles Tremblay put Montreal up by one early in the middle frame, only to have Norm Ullman fire his 14th of the year to knot the score at 2-2 at the end of two.
Canadiens took the lead once again, early in the third on a goal by Jacques Laperriere. Just about five minutes later, Gordie Howe tied it up once again with his 15th.
That set the stage for Richard’s game-winner. He found the range against Red Wings goalie Roger Crozier at 17:49. Gump Worsley then held the fort for the final few minutes to give the Habs the win.
The game marked the return to the lineup for Montreal defenseman J. C. Tremblay, who has been out a month with a fractured cheek bone. Aside from a little early rust, Tremblay was a solid performer.
Late Goals Give Bruins Win
The Boston Bruins welcomed defenseman Ted Green back from an extended absence of over three weeks last night and his return was just the tonic the cellar-dwelling Beantowners needed
Third period goals by Tommy Williams and rookie Bill Goldsworthy powered the Bruins to a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers at the Boston Garden. The win snapped a 12-game winless streak for the Bruins. Green had three assists.
The teams battled through a scoreless first period, punctuated by a spirited bout between Rangers Vic Hadfield and Bob Woytowich of the Bruins. Bill Hicke gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead at 9:45 , with Murray Oliver tying it up for the Bruins 55 seconds later.
Boston’s Dean Prentice gave the Bruins a 2-1 edge with the only goal of the second stanza. His second of the season was set up by Green and call-up Gary Dornhoefer.
The final 20 minutes started off with Phil Goyette of the Rangers tying the score at the 30-second mark. Williams waited only two minutes to score the game-winner on passes from Leo Boivin and Green. Goldsworthy netted the insurance marker with 5:15 left in the game when he combined with Bobby Dillabough and Green.
St. Catharines Player Injured in Accident
Left winger Kerry Bond of the St. Catharines Black Hawks of the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A Series is in satisfactory condition in a Peterborough hospital after being involved in a car accident on Christmas Eve.
Details are sketchy, but Peterborough police said the accident occurred following a high-speed chase through the streets of downtown Peterborough. Police said that they chased the vehicle for about a mile at speeds in excess of 75 miles per hour.
During the pursuit, the offending car sideswiped a parked car and then collided with another vehicle after losing control when it traversed a raised railway crossing. Three people in the other car received minor injuries when it crashed into a house.
Police say that charges will be laid but gave no other details.
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.