50 Years Ago in Hockey – Stemmer Scores Winner

Rookie forward Peter Stemkowski scored the winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs last night as they came from behind to edge the Chicago Black Hawks 4-3 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  In the other two scheduled games, the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers while Montreal bombed Boston  6-2.

Leafs continue mastery over Hawks

Stemkowski’s game-winner against Chicago came with less than eight minutes to play in the game, snapping a 12-game scoring drought for the first-year centre.  Left winger Frank Mahovlich set up Stemkowski with a perfect pass to send him in alone on Hawks’ goaltender Denis DeJordy.  DeJordy had taken over at the start of the third period for Glenn Hall, who had been injured when hit on the inside of the thigh by a Carl Brewer slap shot in the middle stanza.

Black Hawks grabbed the early lead in this one, scoring twice before four minutes had elapsed in the first.  Eric Nesterenko netted his 10th at 1:25, followed up by Doug Mohns’ 12th just over two minutes later.  Mahovlich drew Toronto to within one before the period came to a close.

Frank Mahovlich had a goal and an assist for the Leafs.
Frank Mahovlich had a goal and an assist for the Leafs.

Pierre Pilote scored number 10 on the season for Chicago early in the second period to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead, and that would mark the end of the offence for the visitors.  Dave Keon once again pulled the Leafs to within one two minutes after Pilote’s marker.

Toronto took over the game in the final frame, out shooting the Hawks 15-5.  Andy Bathgate knotted the score at threes just past the eight-minute mark, setting the stage for Stemkowski’s heroics.

Terry Sawchuk was a main reason for the Toronto win, making several great saves, including two breakaway stops on Chicago right-winger Ken Wharram.

The win was Toronto’s seventh in 12 games against Chicago this year.  They have tied twice while losing only three times.

Wings hang on against Rangers

The Detroit Red Wings jumped out to a 3-1 first-period lead over the New York Rangers and then held on to claim a 3-2 win at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit.

After a Don Marshall goal had given the Rangers an early 1-0 lead, the Red Wings struck for three in a row before the first frame had ended.  Ted Lindsay’s 13th tied the score, Larry Jeffrey fired his fourth of the year to put the Wings out in front 2-1, and then Alex Delvecchio’s 14th upped the margin to two.

Rod Gilbert scored the only goal of the second period to cut the Wings’ margin to only one, but the Rangers could not find the equalizer and that is how the game ended.

Red Wing rookie netminder Roger Crozier made 22 saves in another gutsy performance for the 22-year-old.  For the second consecutive game, Crozier lost teeth, but refused to leave the match.  That happened in the third period when Marshall’s stick caught Crozier in the mouth, cutting his upper lip and knocking out a tooth.

Wings rookie Roger Crozier starred, despite losing teeth for the second game in a row
Wings rookie Roger Crozier starred, despite losing teeth for the second game in a row

The Rangers made a final, frantic effort to tie the game with 10 seconds left as they stormed the Detroit goal.  There was a wild scramble in front of Crozier with just two seconds on the clock, but a gallant Crozier denied the Rangers to preserve the win.

Detroit defenceman Bill Gadsby was lost in the first period when he tore a rib cartilage and did not return.  It’s not known how long he will be out of the lineup, so the Wings have recalled defenceman Warren Godfrey from their American Hockey League Pittsburgh farm club.

Backstrom with four helpers for Habs

In Montreal, Ralph Backstrom had four assists while John Ferguson scored two goals as the Canadiens trounced the Bruins.  Montreal was never headed in this one, leading 4-1 at the end of the first period.

Ralph Backstrom had 4 assists against the Bruins
Ralph Backstrom had 4 assists against the Bruins

Other Montreal goal-getters were Claude Larose, Jean Beliveau, Claude Provost and Bobby Rousseau, back in the lineup after missing a couple of games with an injury.  Ed Westfall and Murray Oliver replied for the Bruins.

Boston rookie goalie Jack Norris was no match for the high-powered Montreal offence. He gave up six goals on 31 shots.  It’s been a rough start to the youngster’s NHL career as he fills in for the Bruins’ regular netminder, the injured Ed Johnston.

Montreal has now won nine of 12 starts against the last-place Boston club.

How Joe Primeau became a Leaf

Milt Dunnell of the Toronto Star reports that Conn Smythe was joined in the Maple Leaf Gardens press box last night by two of his  former players, Joe Primeau and Carl Voss.  Smythe, referring to the pair, said “these are the first two men I signed for the Rangers and for the Leafs when we were first getting started.”

What is so surprising is that it was the Hall-of-Famer Primeau whom Smythe signed for the Rangers, according to Dunnell.

Joe Primeau - first Ranger signed by Conn Smythe.
Joe Primeau – first Ranger signed by Conn Smythe.

Smythe, if you remember, was hired to get the Rangers franchise off the ground, and he expected to be manager and coach of the squad.   So, he acquired such luminaries as Bill Cook, Frank Boucher and Ching Johnson for the franchise.  The first player he inked was  Primeau, but took the unusual step of signing him to a personal services contract.

Before the season got under way, New York fired Smythe and hired Lester Patrick to run things.  Smythe immediately bought the Toronto St. Pats franchise and transferred Primeau’s rights to that club.  Voss was the first player signed by Smythe upon his arrival.

Of course, the rest is history, as Primeau went on to become one of the all-time greats, centring the legendary Kid Line, with Charlie Conacher and Harvey (Busher) Jackson on the wings.

Voss played only eight games for Toronto, but went on to have a solid NHL career with seven NHL clubs, and is now the referee-in-chief of the NHL.

Libett leads junior Wings

Nick Libett scored three goals as he led the Hamilton Red Wings to a 7-4 decision over the Peterborough Petes in the only OHA Junior A game last night in Hamilton.  Real Lemieux added a pair of markers, with Jim Mair and Pete Loveless netting the others.

Real Lemieux
Real Lemieux

Jim Paterson fired a hat trick for the Petes, with a singleton going to George Godson.