Game 077 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 077
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Saturday, March 26, 1927
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Maple Leafs finished the professional hockey season at the Arena on Saturday night in a rather suspicious manner, by stopping the winning streak of the fast traveling Canadiens at eleven games, defeating them by 2 to 1.

It was a well played, interesting game, and both clubs played high class hockey considering that nothing but two points depended upon the result. It was the first win for the Leafs over the Habitants in six games.

Contrary to the expectations of the small crowd who mostly attended to get a glimpse of the Canadiens before they stepped into the Montréal Maroons, the game was not a pink tea affair. The locals went into the fray as if their very life depended upon the result, and they soon had the Frenchmen stepping along at a rapid pace.

Speed was the keynote of the whole affair, and there has not been many faster games played at the Arena this winter. Niether club depended a lot upon a defensive style of play, and as a result, the game was wide open from start to finish.

Both clubs had many chances to score, but sensational work on the part of the two goaltenders, George Hainsworth and John Ross Roach, kept the score down.

Bill Carson, at centre for the locals, played one of the best games of the season. He worked in on top of Hainsworth many times, but always something went wrong at the last minute, and he failed to get on the score sheet. Carson also made many plays for his teammates to execute, and gave a real exhibition of backchecking. “Butch” Keeling, Irvine Bailey and “Pat” Patterson also traveled at top speed, and they were dangerous every time they had possession of the rubber. “Butch” Keeling was the pepper pot of the night, and he had a little feud with every man on the losing club, but the much looked for “bust” did not materialize.

Gross played his best game since joining the pro ranks, and incidentally scored the winning goal. It was a funny counter. Gross let drive from the blue line, and Hainsworth lost sight of the puck. He jumped over to the corner of the net to stop the shot, and the puck landed in the spot he had vacated. Both Hainsworth and Gross were surprised when the goal umpire shoved on the little red light.

“Happy” Day and Bill Brydge played a smart game in front of Roach, and they both were prominent on the attack. Bert Corbeau and Halderson also got into the game on the rearguard, and the four of them got in a lot of useful work.

“Howie” Morenz was the smartest performer on the ice outside of Bill Carson, the former Stratford star was all over the ice. He scored the lone goal for the losers, and almost landed on the score sheet several other times. Gagné, Joliat and “Pit” Lépine played hard, and Herb Gardiner, Leduc and Mantha worked well defensively.

The Habitants did not take kindly to the defeat. They tried hard to win, but they were careful not to sustain any injuries or damage themselves otherwise for the coming series with the Maroons. They have a smart club, and if they meet defeat in their quest for the world’s title, the team that puts them out will know they have been in a battle.

Story originally published in The Toronto Daily Star, March 28, 1927

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 18:50 – Morenz (Mantha)

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 08:00 – Bailey (Day)
TOR GOAL – 09:00 – Gross (Patterson)
TOR PEN – Keeling

3rd Period
MTL PEN – Gagné

TOR – Roach (W)
MTL – Hainsworth (L)

TOR Goaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Bill Brydge, Bert Corbeau (C), Hap Day, Harold Halderson. Forwards: Ace Bailey, Bill Carson, Lloyd Gross, Butch Keeling, Bert McCaffrey, George Patterson, Carl Voss.
MTLGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: Herb Gardiner, Albert Leduc, Sylvio Mantha (C). Forwards: Art Gagné, Gizzy Hart, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Howie Morenz.

TOR – 15-24-5 (.398)
MTL – 28-14-2 (.659)