Another night of NHL exhibition games across North America with four matches taking place. In the one NHL-only game, the Bruins routed the Rangers 6-2. In the other contests, Toronto stung Seattle of the Western Hockey league 7-1, Montreal edged their Omaha (CPHL) farm club 3-2, while Detroit got by their Pittsburgh AHL farm club by the same 3-2 margin.
Big M leads Leafs
In the game at Seattle, Toronto coach- general manager Punch Imlach and assistant King Clancy injected some sartorial splendour into the proceedings by showing up in top hats and tails behind the Leaf bench. Imlach’s new look must have had a positive effect on the Stanley Cup champs, as they coasted over the Totems.
Big Frank Mahovlich continued his hot pre-season scoring pace with a pair of markers for Toronto. Other Leaf goal-getters were George Armstrong, Billy Harris, Ron Ellis, Ron Stewart and Andy Bathgate. Harris’ goal was the prettiest of the night, coming off a spectacular end to end solo rush. Gerry Leonard was the only Totem to beat a Leaf netminder, as he scored against Terry Sawchuk, who played the first two frames.
Best Seattle player was Bill McFarland, who was dangerous all evening. McFarland is a practicing lawyer, a rarity in the world of professional athletes.
Ab McDonald is Bruins best
In Winnipeg, the Boston Bruins claimed the easy 6-2 win over the New York Rangers, although it didn’t look like it would finish that way early. The New Yorkers had struck quickly, with Jean Ratelle scoring only six seconds into the first period. The lead didn’t last as the Bruins fought back, led by two goals from newly acquired Ab McDonald, picked up in an off-season trade with Chicago. Single scorers for Boston were Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Leiter, Murray Oliver and Ron Schock. The other Ranger goal came off the stick of Val Fonteyne.
The Bruins now are at .500 in exhibition games with a 5-5 record. The Rangers have won three and lost two.
Howe paces Wings
Gordie Howe was once again the man leading the way for the Red Wings in their narrow win over the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League. The guy known simply as “Power” to other NHL players fired a pair of goals for the Wings. Defenseman Albert Langlois was the other Detroit scorer. Andre Pronovost and Lowell MacDonald counted for Pittsburgh .
Habs edge Knights
In the other game, the Montreal Canadiens just managed to get by the Omaha Knights of the CPHL, coming from behind for a 3-2 victory. Omaha grabbed a 2-0 first period lead in this one on goals by Norm Dennis and Ray Brinkworth. The Habs came back with three goals of their own in the second period. Ralph Backstrom, Bobby Rousseau and Henri Richard lit the lamp for Montreal.
Swede signs with Rangers
In off-ice news, a bit of history may have been made by the Rangers today. They signed 22-year-old Ulf Sterner, a native of Sweden, to a professional contract. Sterner is the first European born and trained player to ink an NHL deal. He will be assigned New York’s farm club at St. Paul in the CPHL.
Rangers’ GM Muzz Patrick said, “We’ve been very pleased with Sterner’s play in training camp. There are many talented players in Sweden and we hope to bring more of them over here in the future.”
Hull won’t sue
Chicago’s high scoring left winger Bobby Hull suffered a severed tendon in his left index finger thanks to an off-season auto accident. However, much to the chagrin of NHL goalkeepers, he appears to have lost none of the zip on his vaunted slap shot. While having a good legal case against the driver who caused the smash-up, Hull has instructed his legal representative to belay any court action at this time. Although he is in significant pain, Hull feels that if the injury does not hamper his production, a suit wouldn’t be worth the distraction it might cause.