The National Hockey League had a full slate of three games for the U.S. Thanksgiving evening and all contests produced some very interesting results.
In Chicago, a travel-weary Toronto Maple Leaf team played perhaps its most complete game of the season in doubling the score on the Black Hawks with a 4-2 win. At Boston, the Bruins battered the previously hot New York Rangers to the tune of 6-1, while Norm Ullman led the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 home-ice win over Montreal.
Bathgate leads Leafs
The Leafs, who didn’t get to bed until 7 a.m. on game day, put on an energetic and efficient performance against Chicago before an announced crowd of just over 16,000. The actual attendance was closer to 20,000.
Andy Bathgate led the way for the Leafs with two goals. Ron Stewart and George Armstrong added the others against Hawks goalie Glenn Hall, who did not have one of his sharper games. Chico Maki and Bobby Hull scored for Chicago, who were actually leading 2-1 half-way through the game.
Toronto had a built-in excuse for a poor performance thanks to a nightmarish journey from New York on Wednesday night. It all began when their flight was delayed for three hours due to a storm in New York. Upon their arrival at O’Hare Airport in the Windy City, they learned that their luggage was inadvertently placed on a later-arriving flight, so a decision was made to wait at the airport for it. By the time the team reached their hotel, it was well into the daylight hours.
Ron Stewart, who netted the game winning goal, had the best line of the night. “I guess those 12 o’clock curfews kill us. There’s nothing like four hours around an airport to put on in a winning frame of mind – mad at the world.”
Terry Sawchuk was back in goal for the Leafs after being bombed the night before by the Rangers. He was very solid in registering his fourth win over the Black Hawks this season.
Green does it all
The Bruins’ lopsided win over the Rangers was due in large part to the stellar work of defenceman Ted Green. Green, known more for his bombastic approach to the game, scored a goal and set up two others to take over as the team’s leading scorer with 12 points. All three of his points came within a six-minute span in the second period.
Other Boston goal-getters were Wayne Rivers, Reggie Fleming, Forbes Kennedy, Dean Prentice and Leo Boivin. Only Earl Ingarfield was able to dent Boston netminder Ed Johnston’s armour for the Rangers.
Wings hold on to first
The Detroit Red Wings managed to maintain their grasp on first place in the NHL standings with their 3-1 victory over Montreal. After Ron Murphy scored just under six minutes into the game, Norm Ullman fired a pair of goals, both off rebounds to put the Red Wings ahead 3-0 at the end of the first frame. After Claude Provost brought the Habs back to within two goals at 10:45 of the sandwich session, the Wings threw a blanket over the Montreal offence and cruised the rest of the way.
Wings’ rookie goalie Roger Crozier was a big part of that success. He made 32 saves on the night, many from point-blank range. The Canadiens now have gone four games, all on the road, without a win.
AHL Bears unbeaten in ten
The Hershey Bears extended their unbeaten streak to ten games with a 6-3 win over the Baltimore Clippers last night in Baltimore. In the other AHL contests, reserve goaltender Ross Brooks registered his first AHL shut out as Providence got by Springfield 3-0 and the Quebec Aces humbled the Rochester Americans 7-4.
Hershey scorers were Ralph Keller, Roger DeJordy, Michel Harvey, Bob Woytowich and Pete Conacher, who scored twice in the final frame. Ken Schinkel, Ted Taylor and Harry Pidhirny replied for the Clippers.
At Providence, Brooks was making only his eighth AHL start, replacing the injured Ed Giacomin. He made 27 saves and was completely in control of the game from start to finish. He was supported by markers from George Ranieri, Pierre Brillant and Jeannot Gilbert.
Ranieri is a particularly nice story. He is making a fine comeback this season after missing most of last year with a severe head injury.
Guy Gendron was the pace-setter for Quebec at Rochester with a pair of goals for the Aces. Singletons came off the sticks of Skip Sutherland, Cleland Mortson, Ed Hoekstra, Guy Rousseau and Don Blackburn. Young Peter Stemkowski tallied twice for the Amerks, with Stan Smrke and Red Armstrong netting the others.
Hamilton wins fourth straight
In OHA Junior A action, the Hamilton Red Wings won their fourth game in a row with a 5-2 victory over the Oshawa General. Peterborough outscored St. Catharines 7-5 in the other league game.
Red Wing scorers against the Generals were Jim Mair, Bob McGuinn, Real Lemieux, Brian Watt and Nick Libett. Defencemen Bobby Orr and Nick Beverly counted for Oshawa.
Andre Lacroix’s two goals powered the Petes past St. Catharines. Leo Thiffault, Danny Grant, John Vanderburg and Garry Monahan had the others. Brian McDonald was a two-goal scorer for the Black Hawks, with Mickey Cheravety, Wayne Maki and Maurice L’Abbe getting singles.
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.