Game 079 – Canadiens 9, Maple Leafs 1

Game 079
Canadiens 9, Maple Leafs 1
Saturday, January 7, 1928
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

One of the largest crowds to ever witness a professional hockey league game in Toronto saw the leading Montréal Canadiens give the Toronto Maple Leafs a most decisive trimming at Arena Gardens Saturday night.

The score was 9 to 1. It is the biggest score rolled up in the NHL in the past two seasons, and in these days of goalless and other kinds of low scoring hockey games, it may stand as a record for some time.

The Leafs have a habit of appearing at their worst when the turnstiles click the loudest and longest. It would have been pleasing indeed had they gone out and handed the Canadiens a beating. The fans were in the mood to thoroughly enjoy such a performance, and they were quite unprepared for the debacle that followed. For eighteen minutes of the contest, the teams battled even, and it was a hockey game.

Then the brilliant Morenz scored a goal for the Canadiens, and gave the Flying Frenchmen a start. In the second period, they piled in goals in a manner to give Jack Roach, the local net guardian, a dizzy spell, and they did not let up to any appreciable extent in the final period, even when the game was well salted away, and the fans were marching to the exits.

To add a touch of irony to the injury, the lone Toronto tally was unearned. It was a gift from the officials, who ruled that Gardner, the Canadien defenceman, had thrown his stick in checking Carson, as the latter bored in on the visiting net near the end of the final period.

The Leafs, though, weakened by the loss of Art Duncan, who was unable to play owing to a charley horse, held the league leaders even for most of the first period, and some good hockey was produced. It was not until the Canadiens had a three goal lead in the second period and Danny Cox drew a five minute penalty that the locals became demoralized, and the speedy Frenchmen gave a display of speed and combination that could not be dented. It is doubtful if any team in the league could have defeated Cecil Hart’s players Saturday night, and it had to be the Toronto team’s luck to be in a weakened condition before the record crowd of the past two seasons.

Howie Morenz again demonstrated why he is regarded as the most brilliant player in the NHL. The Canadiens’ great centre player scored three goals of his team’s total, and was the best man on the ice. He engineered a good many of the most dangerous attacks on the Toronto net, and the locals seemed unable to stop him. The temperamental Joliat collected one tally, but he did not display as much good hockey as some of his teammates.

Gaudreault was conspicuous with his clever stickhandling and he scored a goal, while Leduc scored a couple of tallies and played a powerful game defensively. Larochelle scored a goal also, but it was a soft one, a long low shot from the wing completely eluding Roach. Gagné, whose neat skating and stickhandling are pretty to watch, got the other Canadien tally.

Curiously enough, the Canadiens were at a disadvantage when Morenz tallied the first goal. Joliat was serving a penalty for charging Cox, and the Leafs were pressing hard to take advantage, when Gardner broke away and, carrying the puck to the defence, passed to Morenz, who bore in on Roach and stickhandled the rubber past the goalkeeper into the net.

Morenz and Gardner combined for the second goal early in the second period. Roach blocked shots from both of them, then sprawled on the ice and almost grabbed Morenz’s second shot as the players scrambled for the rubber in front of the goal. Gaudreault beat Roach for the third goal with a drive from the wing. Rodden, Cox and Hebert were all in on top of Hainsworth in the next two minutes, but could not locate the net.

Then Cox drew a major penalty for tripping in front of the goal, and while he was off the Canadiens gave Roach the worst beating he has experienced in his professional hockey career. Larochelle, Leduc and Morenz scored in that order, the puck being kept constantly in Toronto territory, and the Canadiens swarming around the net like angry hornets.

The final period opened with the score 6 to 0, and Joliat made it seven while Bailey was serving a penalty, Gagné passing the puck for the counter. Rodden and Herbert gave a good display of teamwork for the Leafs, and both were through the opposing defence twice, but were unable to tally. Hart gave Leduc a pass for the eighth goal, and then Toronto was awarded its only tally shortly after. Gagné scored the final goal near the end of the period when he took a pass from Larochelle.

Day and Carson were the pick of the Leafs, but Keeling, Bailey, Herbert and Rodden gave good performances also. Herbert and Rodden combined well together, and should have had a couple of counters. Cox was good on backchecking, while Ramsay and Gorman were only fair on the defence. Roach was not to blame for the big count. With the scant protection afforded him, the wonder is the score was not larger.

Story originally published in The Globe, January 9, 1928

1st Period
MTL SH GOAL – 17:00 – Morenz (Gardiner)
MTL PENS – Joliat, Langlois

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:10 – Morenz (Gardiner)

MTL GOAL – 06:58 – Gaudreault (Larochelle)
MTL PP GOAL – 11:00 – Larochelle
MTL PP GOAL – 11:40 – Leduc
MTL PP GOAL – 14:00 – Morenz
MTL PEN – Leduc
TOR PENS – Cox (major), Keeling

3rd Period
MTL PP GOAL – 03:00 – Joliat (Gagné)
MTL GOAL – 08:00 – Leduc (Hart)
TOR GOAL – 15:00 – Carson
MTL GOAL – 16:00 – Gagné (Leduc)
MTL PEN – Gaudreault
TOR PENS – Bailey, Day, Gorman

MTL – Hainsworth (W)
TOR – Roach (L)

MTLGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: Herb Gardiner, Albert Leduc, Sylvio Mantha (C). Forwards: Art Gagné, Leo Gaudreault, Gizzy Hart, Aurèle Joliat, Charlie Langlois, Wildor Larochelle, Howie Morenz.
TORGoaltenders: John Ross Roach. Defence: Hap Day (C), Art Duncan, Ed Gorman, Beattie Ramsay. Forwards: Ace Bailey, Bill Carson, Danny Cox, Jimmy Herbert, Butch Keeling, Eddie Rodden.

MTL – 14-1-4 (.842)
TOR – 7-8-3 (.472)