50 Years Ago in Hockey – Wings Whip Hawks

The Detroit Red Wings, just as coach Sid Abel predicted, look to be turning their semi-final series into an offensive display.  The poured a half-dozen goals into the Chicago net last night as they dumped the Black Hawks 6-3.  The Red Wings now lead the series two games to none.

Wings power play deadly

Over 15,000 ecstatic fans packed the Detroit Olympia and witnessed an impressive display of expertise on the power play by Detroit.   Four of the Red Wing goals were scored while the Black Hawks were playing a man short.

Chicago actually drew first blood in this one, with rookie Fred Stanfield finding the range on Detroit netminder Roger Crozier after only 1:29.  Stanfield was left uncovered in front of Crozier and converted a nice Bill Hay setup.

Detroit came back just before the nine minute mark of the first to tie things up on a rare Al Langlois goal.  The tally was Al’s first in 48 career playoff games, on a long slapshot that Chicago goalkeeper Denis DeJordy never saw.

The Red Wings came out stronger in the middle frame, scoring twice  and appeared to be taking control of the game.  Norm Ullman and Gordie Howe, with his first of two on the night, were the marksmen.


Howe scored again in the first minute of the final frame to give the Wings a three-goal margin.  However, Chicago superstar Bobby Hull had other ideas and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Golden Jet makes it close

Only 26 seconds after Howe’s goal, Hull made the score 4-2 as he deflected Stan Mikita’s shot past Crozier.  Then, just less than three minutes later, Hull struck again with a howitzer  after Mikita had won a faceoff.  Unfortunately for Chicago, that would be the last goal they would score in this game.

Crozier came up big, shutting the door with big saves on Eric Nesterenko and Chico Maki.

Big saves by Roger Crozier kept the Wings in front.
Big saves by Roger Crozier kept the Wings in front.

Val Fonteyne made a big play to send Eddie Joyal into the clear at 9:12, and the speedy Joyal made no mistake, beating DeJordy to the top corner.  Parker MacDonald added a sixth goal with just less than five to play to make the final score 6-3.

Unlike the first game, the second was a rough affair with both teams laying on the body. Larry Jeffrey had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher with a suspected back injury after he was checked by Hull in the second period.

Reay berates ref

Chicago coach Billy Reay was upset with the officiating, but chose his words carefully after the game.  He barred the press from the dressing room for at least 15 minutes before calming down enough to make his statement.

Chicago coach Billy Reay
Chicago coach Billy Reay

“This series is far  from over yet, and If Mr. Campbell and Mr. Voss think that was fair refereeing out there tonight, then that’s all I’ve got to say.”

Reay was upset at a call by referee Frank Udvari.  He assessed a five-minute major to Hull for high-sticking in the third period.  Joyal’s goal came while Hull was in the sin bin.

Minutes earlier, Gordie Howe had clipped Hawk defenceman Elmer Vasko with a high stick, cutting him for several stitches.  Howe received only a two-minute minor.

Detroit coach Sid Abel understood Reay’s comments.

Sid Abel singled out veterans like Marcel Pronovost for praise.
Sid Abel singled out veterans like Marcel Pronovost for praise.

“I guess he had to say something like that.  He lost, didn’t he?”

Abel, like Toe Blake of the Canadiens the previous evening, cautioned against the overconfidence that accompanies a two-game lead.

“Two wins don’t make a series.  They’ll be tough at home.”

Abel’s main concern is the injury status of three of his players.

“I’m worried about Larry Jeffrey, of course, but also about Gary Bergman and Val Fonteyne.  Bergie wants to play, he’s that type, but he can’t.  His knee isn’t right.  Fonteyne has a stiff neck and a numbness in his arm.  They’re taking him right to hospital and putting him in traction.

“Of course we have Pit Martin ready to play, but if we’re three men short, then I don’t know what I’ll do.  Call somebody from Pittsburgh, I guess.”

Abel also thought his team played better than in the opening contest.

“I thought we played much better tonight than in the first game, showed more of the old zip.  But the old guys, Lindsay, Howe and Marcel (Pronovost) in particular went well.  Gordie could have had five goals himself.”

Howe had the line of the night for a reporter that asked him why the Detroit oldsters don’t look old.

“You know what the definition of old is?  Somebody that’s 10 years older than you are.”