Rookie goalie Jack Norris played the finest game of his brief NHL career last night to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens. In the other two games, Chicago edged Detroit 3-2 while Montreal whipped the New York Rangers 6-1.
Westfall nets two for Bruins
Utility man Ed Westfall, who plays both forward and defence for the Bruins, was the scoring hero for Boston with two goals in their win at Toronto. Rookie Wayne Maxner had the other tally for the visitors, the first of the game.
After Frank Mahovlich tied the score early in the middle frame, it was up to Westfall to score his two, providing the winning margin.
Jack Norris, the 22-year-old goaltender playing in his 10th NHL contest was the big story in this one. He faced 29 Toronto shots and, other than being beaten by Mahovlich, was completely up to the task. Terry Sawchuk was very good in goal for the Leafs, and if not for his effort, the Boston lead would have been greater earlier in the game.
Norris gave his team mates all the credit for the victory. “That was the best protection those guys have given me since I came to the Bruins. When you get that kind of support, you can’t help but look good.”
Norris has an interesting history. He was not scouted by the Bruins, but rather was a walk-on at their Estevan, Saskatchewan junior training camp at age 15. He asked for a tryout and made the Estevan club. He turned pro with Saskatoon of the WHL, and went with the team when it transferred to Los Angeles. He was called up to the Bruins 11 games ago when regular goalkeeper Ed Johnston indicated he was tiring and needed a rest.
His NHL career got off to a rocky start when his equipment came up missing from the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. He was unable to play and Johnston had to go in. As the bad luck that seems to follow the Bruins would have it, Johnston broke his catching hand and Norris was forced into action the next game, wearing Johnston’s gear.
Norris’ equipment was found last week, but it was in such a state of disrepair, he decided to keep his new kit and continue to break it in.
Another standout for Boston was rookie defenceman Bob Woytowich, who was promoted a couple of weeks ago from Hershey of the AHL. He played an aggressive game, and was particularly effective against Mahovlich.
Coach Milt Schmidt was very happy with the rookie’s work: “Woytowich is going to be a heck of a hockey player. He was a bit green at first, but he’s learning fast.”
Leafs and Bruins continue to talk trade as Sunday’s deadline approaches, but it appears little progress was made toward the completion of any sort of transaction.
Terrible Ted tossed
Chicago Black Hawks maintained their three-point lead over Montreal in the race for first place in the NHL standings with their win over the Red Wings. The Hawks have now won six straight home games against Detroit. The Black Hawks led 3-0 early in the third period before the visitors mounted a spirited comeback that fell just short.
Bill Hay gave Chicago the 1-0 first-period lead on a 15-footer that fooled Detroit netminder Roger Crozier only because it changed direction after glancing off defenceman Al Langlois’ skate. Ken Wharram’s 29th goal less than a minute into the second frame increased the lead to two. Stan Mikita made it 3-0 early in the third with his 24th, before the Red Wings started their belated uprising.
Floyd Smith got the Wings on the board only 27 seconds after Mikita’s marker with his 12th of the year. He picked up a loose puck behind the Chicago cage and much to his surprise found that Hawks’ goalie Glenn Hall had fallen when trying to retrieve it. Smith had no trouble depositing the disk into the unguarded net.
Alex Delvecchio fired a screen shot that Hall still hasn’t seen with less than five minutes left in the game to narrow the margin to one, but that was as close as the Red Wings could come, and the final remained 3-2 for the home side.
Detroit had to play the last two frames without left winger Ted Lindsay, who was banished by referee Frank Udvari at the end of the first period. Lindsay was fingered by Udvari for high-sticking Camille Henry of the Hawks with 11 seconds left in the first. Lindsay disagreed with the call, as is his habit with most official decisions that don’t go his way, and was tagged with a 10-minute misconduct for his protestations.
Lindsay dutifully went to the sin bin to begin his sentence, but when the time in the period expired and he exited the penalty box to head for the dressing room, he tried to engage Udvari in a shouting match. It was a one-sided affair, since Udvari’s only response was to toss Lindsay from the contest, thereby solving any future problems Lindsay may have contemplated initiating.
Richard single-handedly decimate Rangers
While little Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens skated for years in the shadow of his brother Maurice, last night he was front and centre for the Habs as they completely outclassed the New York Rangers to the tune of 6-1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The younger Richard had a hand in five of the six Montreal goals, scoring three times while adding two helpers. This was Montreal’s first hat-trick of the season, and gives Henri 20 goals for the year. He could have had five on the night, as he barely missed scoring on two other great chances.
Richard treated his big night matter-of-factly. “I felt good out there tonight. In fact, I felt good all day. Sometimes you feel good in a game, but you play like mud. Other times you feel bad but you score anyway.
“This was one of those nights when everything goes well. I don’t know when I got my last hat-trick, but it’s a few years ago for sure.”
Rangers actually led the game 1-0 seven and a half minutes in on a goal by young Jean Ratelle. Richard’s first tied it up less than three minutes later and the Habs never looked back.
The other Montreal goal-getters were Claude Larose, Dave Balon and Claude Provost. Ranger goalie Marcel Paille was great in the first period, but wilted under the sustained pressure brought forth by Canadiens the rest of the night. Charlie Hodge made 27 saves in a tidy performance between the pipes for Montreal.
Mohns, Kurtenbach fined
NHL president Clarence Campbell has fined both Dough Mohns of Chicago and Orland Kurtenbach of the Bruins an extra $100 each for their parts in a stick-swinging duel this past Sunday evening.
Campbell, in announcing the monetary penalties, said, “Any further trend towards this kind of conduct will result in more drastic penalties.”
Campbell’s statement went on to say, “The incident arose out of a collision between these two players who exchanged threatening words and gestures. Suddenly both players took several two-handed swings at each other with their sticks, but fortunately neither player connected. They were separated by the officials and penalties were imposed.
“There is no dispute about the facts and in my opinion there was no exceptional provocation or excuse for either player to warrant this kind of conduct.”
Campbell had imposed like fines on Boston’s Reggie Fleming and Detroit’s Bill Gadsby a couple of weeks ago when they attempted to decapitate each other in a similar confrontation.
Rangers reject Aces bid
The New York Rangers have rejected an offer by the Quebec Aces whereby the American Hockey League club would purchase one of the two New York netminders, Jacques Plante or Marcel Paille, for $30,000.
Coach Red Sullivan of the Rangers said that for the past two days the team has been discussing the Quebec offer, made earlier in the week by their general manager Gerald Martineau. Sullivan said that the team simply had decided against the deal, and he gave no reason for dismissing the offer.
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.