The first weekend of the 1964-65 NHL season is in the books, and it ended with the hapless Boston Bruins dropping their fourth straight game. This time it was a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. In other action last night, the Red Wings edged Chicago 3-2 while Toronto and New York skated to a 3-3 stalemate.
Habs’ defence smothers Bruins
In Boston, a late second period goal by rookie Claude Larose proved to be the game winner for Montreal. Larose stole the puck from Boston defenceman Leo Boivin and beat Bruins backstop Eddie Johnston. Another rookie, Yvan Cournoyer had scored Montreal’s first goal earlier in the period. Veteran Claude Provost sealed Boston’s fate with an empty net goal with only two seconds left in the contest. Johnny Bucyk scored his first of the seaosn for Boston.
Montreal coach Toe Blake assessed the game in this way: “Let’s just say that the Bruins didn’t push us around as usual.” Blake pointed out that the Montreal defence, led by the physical play of Terry Harper and Jacques Laperriere, belted Bruins at every opportunity and took the starch out of any attack the home team tried to muster.
Charlie Hodge had a relatively easy time of it in goal for the Habs, facing only 18 shots. Johnston was kept quite a bit busier for the Bruins, and if not for his work, the score might have been much more lopsided.
Howe the Wings downed the Hawks
The previously winless Detroit Red Wings tasted victory for the first time last night, albeit by the narrowest of margins, by nipping the Chicago Black Hawks 3-2 at the Olympia in Detroit. And it was the grand old man of the Wings, the great Gordie Howe, who led the way, as he has so many times in the past.
Howe had a hand in all three Detroit goals, scoring the first two himself, and then setting up the deciding goal, finished off by Parker MacDonald. Rookie goalie Roger Crozier won his first of the season, facing 24 Chicago drives in the process. He allowed only goals to Chico Maki and rookie Doug Robinson.
Red Wing coach Sid Abel was happy to get that first victory under his belt. “When you start losing, you keep wondering when you’ll win one. We should be all right now. Our defence tightened, Roger was solid in the nets and we got the goals we needed.”
Chicago’s general manager Tommy Ivan had this view of the game:
“We didn’t play too badly, we had scoring chances enough but couldn’t capitalize. When you keep firing wide, you don’t get many goals. You know we have a youth movement going on and I was impressed with the way Esposito, Brenneman and Robinson went.”
“We only spotted Wharram, who made two appearances Saturday, but when he gets back to form from that head injury, we’ll be in good shape for the race.”
Hawks’ coach Billy Reay summed up the game in one simple sentence: “Our problem was too much Howe.”
Leafs blow 2-goal lead
The Toronto Maple Leafs might be Stanley Cup champions, but they were reminded last night that you have to play the entire sixty minutes of each game if you are going to be successful in the National Hockey League.
The Leafs had a 3-1 lead over the Rangers in front of nearly 14,000 fans in Madison Square Garden before completely collapsing in the third period. Jimmy Pappin scored a pair of goals for Toronto, and defenceman Kent Douglas, best Toronto player on the night, added the third. The Leafs seemed to have the game well in hand, but stopped skating in the third period as the Rangers outshot them 16-9 over the final 20 minutes.
Adding salt to the wounds of a lost lead was the fact that it was former Toronto farm hand Lou Angotti leading the way for New York with two goals. Another former Leaf, Bobby Nevin scored the third.
Angotti relished the win over his former employers. “I’ve never enjoyed two goals more than that pair. It gave me a great deal of pleasure to take a win away from those guys.”
It was suggested that Angotti never got a good chance in Toronto due to various injuries he had sustained while with the Leafs. He responded, “That’s their story, not mine. I know they never gave me a look when I was healthy.”
Angotti is quickly becoming a favourite of the boisterous New York gallery with his tireless forechecking and generally industrious play.
AHL action – six in a row for Quebec
The Quebec Aces won their sixth straight AHL game last night by edging the Springfield Indians 3-2. Wayne Hicks, Jimmy Morrison and Don Blackburn had the Quebec goals while Bill Sweeney and John Rodger replied for the Indians.
The Rochester Americans won their second in a row over Cleveland, this time hammering the Barons 5-2. Peter Stemkowski, Bronco Horvath, Dick Gamble, Gerry Ehman and Red Armstrong scored for Rochester. Cleveland goal-getters were Ted Lanyon and Bob Courcy.
Providence got by Baltimore 2-1 for their second straight weekend win. George Ranieri and Serge Boudreault counted for the Reds. Kenny Schinkel had the Baltimore goal.
In the other AHL game last night in Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Hornets scored three straight goals to wipe out a 2-goal Bisons lead to take a 3-2 win. Rookies Oscar Gaudet and Paul Popiel had given the Queen City a 2-0 second period lead, but the Hornets stung the Herd with three quick ones within a five-minute span in the third period. Claude Laforge, Jerry Toppazzini and former Bison Murray Hall handled the scoring chores for Pittsburgh.
Bisons goalie Ed Chadwick could in no way be blamed for the loss. His work had kept the team in the game early, and he had little chance on any of the three scores he allowed. Hank Bassen made 33 saves in the Pittsburgh goal and was a key factor in the Hornets’ win.
Niagara Falls flying in OHA
The Niagara Falls Flyers remained unbeaten in OHA Junior A play last night as they claimed a 4-3 decision from the Toronto Marlboros. The Flyers now have three wins and a pair of ties. The main reason for the Flyers fine record to date is that they have the best goaltending tandem in junior hockey in Doug Favell and Bernie Parent. Coach Bill Long plans on alternating the pair for the entire season.
Toronto tasted defeat for the first time this season thanks to Parent’s strong work in goal and a two-goal performance by Ted Snell for the Falls. Jean Pronovost and Don Marcotte also found the net for Niagara. Brit Selby scored twice for Toronto, with Barry Watson adding the other.
Two youngsters were very strong on the Flyers’ blue line. Sixteen year old Barry Wilkins and fifteen year old Richard Ley have been solid all season.
In other OHA games, Kitchener downed Peterborough 4-2, Montreal dropped Hamilton 6-4, and St. Catharines and Oshawa skated to a 3-3 draw. Best performers of the night were Ron Buchanan of Oshawa with three goals, and Norm Ferguson of the Junior Canadians and Gary Marsh of Hamilton with two each.
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.