It was a rough night for goaltenders at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto last night. The Maple Leafs and Rangers scored 12 goals between then, with Toronto coming out on the long end of a 8-4 decision. In the other two National Hockey League games, Montreal edged Boston 2-1 while Detroit handled Chicago 3-1.
Three Hat Tricks in One Game
Despite all the goals, the main topic of conversation after the game in Toronto was a “double knockout” achieved on one play by Leafs’ Eddie Shack.
The scoring outburst of 12 goals has been a rarity in the NHL these days. It was a night of hat tricks, as three players, Dave Keon and Bob Pulford of the Leafs and Rangers’ Earl Ingarfield, turned in three-goal performances. And it was a tough go for Ranger goalie Ed Giacomin and Leafs’ Johnny Bower. Both goaltenders went all the way for their respective teams.
Both Goalies Go the Distance
That both netminders played the full 60 minutes is a curious thing in itself. With coaches now having a spare goalie at the ready at all times this season, NHL bench bosses seem reticent to replace a man having a bad night. However, in the case of Giacomin and Bower last night, it’s likely both might have welcomed the respite. Bower said as much after the game.
“I was talking to Glenn Hall of Chicago and he thinks it would be a good idea to use a substitute. I know when I’m having a bad night and I wouldn’t mind being substituted. The team is the important thing.”
Bower’s goalkeeping partner Terry Sawchuk echoed Bower’s sentiments:
“A goalkeeper knows in the pre-game warmup whether he’s sharp or not. No goaltender wants to get bombed for nine goals the way I was that night in Chicago. He’d be happy to see the other guy come in.”
First Hat Trick for Keon
Keon’s three-goal night was the first of his NHL career and he grabbed the puck from the third as a souvenir. Along with Pulford’s three, the other Toronto scorers were Shack and Frank Mahovlich. For the Big M, it was the third successive game in which he has scored the game-winning goal.
Bob Nevin was the other Ranger goal-getter.
Shack’s Double-Knockout Goes Unpenalized
Shack’s double-knockout of Rangers Rod Gilbert and Phil Goyette in the second period had to be some sort of unofficial NHL record. But neither Ranger saw any humour in the incident and both were incredulous that referee Bill Friday saw no reason to penalize Shack on the play.
“I don’t feel well, he gave me this” said Gilbert after the game, pointing to a large welt on his cheekbone.
Goyette described the play this way:
He jumped me from behind and crosschecked me on the back of the neck.
Goyette said he had pinched a nerve and was momentarily paralyzed, while Gilbert was dazed for several minutes. Both returned to play after a short rest.
Few people noticed the incident, which took place away from the play, but Shack, who himself had taken a blow to the head earlier, explained:
I gave him (Gilbert) and elbow, and I figured I was gone for a penalty, so I gave him another one, but I hit the wrong guy (Goyette).
The game was the 11th in a row in which the Rangers have gone without a win.
Parent’s Goaltending Kept Bruins Close
In Montreal, the game was a contrast of two teams being frustrated for entirely different reasons. The Bruins were almost completely inept, disorganized and unable to mount any sort of sustained attack against a supremely efficient Montreal defense.
Canadiens, on the other hand, seemingly entered the Boston zone at will, only to be stymied time and time again by the brilliant goaltending of Bruins rookie Bernie Parent. Montreal outshot Boston 28-9 over the first 40 minutes
Gilles Tremblay and John Ferguson were the only Habs to beat Parent, and Ferguson in particular heaped praise on the young Boston netminder, recalling a great catch he made of a shot from 10 feet out:
I thought they had the net boarded up. I knew there was time and tried to make sure by getting the puck up to the high corner. But Parent got his glove up there in a flash.
Johnny Bucyk scored the only Boston goal when he deflected a Ron Stewart shot past Canadiens’ goalie Charlie Hodge.
The game featured the NHL debut of 19-year-old Boston defenseman Gilles Marotte. Marotte was called up from the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OHA Junior A league for the game. The youngster was used sparingly but acquitted himself quite well.
The Bruins also announced a couple of moves with their goalkeepers. Gerry Cheevers has been sent to Oklahoma City of the Central Professional Hockey League. Goalie Jack Norris has been transferred from Oklahoma City to the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League.
Bathgate Pots Two for Wings
Veteran Andy Bathgate scored a pair of goals to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Black Hawks last night at the Olympia in Detroit. Bathgate also assisted on a Gordie Howe goal for a three-point night.
The win was the first in five tries for the Wings against Chicago this season. They are now just two points behind the second-place Black Hawks.
Detroit had a 2-0 lead before the game was four minutes old. Howe opened the scoring at 48 seconds, followed by Bathgate’s first at 3:24.
Bathgate netted his second of the game for the second period’s only goal. He beat Chicago goalkeeper Glenn Hall with a blazing slap shot from about 70 feet that looked like it might go right through the net and the end boards.
Hawks’ Eric Nesterenko ruined Wings goalie Roger Crozier’s shutout bid with a goal at 13:42 of the final frame.
Crozier was outstanding for Detroit, making 22 saves on the night.
Harris Refuses Demotion
Detroit Red Wings forward Billy Harris has refused a demotion to the minors. Harris was informed he would be sent to either the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League or the Memphis Wings of the Central Professional League.
Harris is unsure of his hockey future and will take some time to ponder his next move:
I’m going to spend Christmas here with the family. Then I’ll consider being sent down, perhaps to Memphis. I’ve been to Pittsburgh in the winter and who’d want to go there?
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.