Game 094 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3

Game 094
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3
Thursday, February 6, 1930
Arena Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Continuing their work of wrecking the NHL playoff chances of the Toronto Maple Leafs which they began last Tuesday night, those hurtling Habitants, the Montréal Canadiens, held the locals to a 3-all tie at the Arena Gardens last night before a crowd that filled all available space in the building.

The Montréalers tied the score in the final minute of the third period, after getting two fairly easy goals in each of the first two sessions. It was an unfortunate “break” for the Leafs, but it must be admitted that the Smythemen brought it upon themselves to some extent, for they missed numerous golden chances to add to their score, and also fell back upon defensive hockey to stave off the Canadiens after the Leafs had taken a lead in the early part of the third period.

Charlie Conacher, the youthful but brilliant right wing player of the locals, gave a starry performance by scoring all three of the Toronto tallies. It was Conacher who twice equalized the count after the Canadiens had jumped to the front. He also put the Leafs ahead for the only time in the game soon after the third period started, but the Flying Frenchmen refused to accept defeat, and they launched a series of three, four and five men attacks in the latter stages of the third frame that robbed the Leafs of a victory.

It was a great hockey game and was filled, particularly in the final stages, with some of the most thrilling and exciting play seen here this season. The overtime period found the players weary, but play was not allowed to lag. Twice in the last minute of the game, Harvey Jackson had chances to land the winning goal, but over-eagerness spoiled these opportunities.

Again it was the second string line of the Maple Leafs that kept the team in the running. The Primeau-Conacher-Jackson combination proved the most effective front line, and their showing was all that saved the Leafs from a defeat. Except for rare moments, the Canadiens had the better of the play, when the more experienced and regular Leaf forwards were put out on the ice. The “Kid” front line, opposing the second string line of the visitors had all the better of the contest, and even when pitted against the brilliant Morenz and the tricky Joliat, they more than held their own.

The Canadiens opened the scoring in the first minute of play, when Morenz whistled one of his dangerous shots almost from the faceoff mark at centre ice. Smith partially deflected the puck, causing Chabot to make a quick shift. The goalkeeper failed to get his legs together in time, and the puck entered the cage through his pads. It was a fortunate “break” for the Canadiens.

Their second goal was almost as easily earned. Pit Lépine had combined with Joliat for a rush on the Toronto net, but the puck went into the corner. Lépine circled in front of the Leaf cage to go back to his position, but as he turned, Joliat passed the puck out of the corner, and Lépine, right in front of the net and not a Toronto player near him, had plenty of time to outguess Chabot with his shot.

The Leafs, however, kept pace with their opponents through the first two periods, thanks to some beautiful sniping by Charlie Conacher. The locals equalized the score in the first period when Day and Conacher combined to break through the Canadiens’ defence. Day handed Conacher a pretty pass to enable him to go right in on Hainsworth and outtrick the goalkeeper with a deliberate shot. Twice before, Conacher had been in alone on the Montréal net, but each time Hainsworth had saved when Charlie had to hurry his shot. This time he made no mistake.

The second period lead of the Canadiens was short lived. Lépine scored after the teams had fought halfway through the frame on fairly even terms as regards the play. In little more than a minute after Lépine’s tally, Joe Primeau and Charlie Conacher speeded down the ice and Primeau passed to Conacher, who again bore down on Hainsworth and outguessed the goalkeeper by stickhandling the puck right into the cage.

Conacher and Primeau combined again in the third period to give the Leafs a lead. It was another beautiful effort on their part, and was almost a duplicate of their previous effective rush. Conacher again carried the puck right in to the goalmouth, drawing Hainsworth out of position before he attempted to score.

The Canadiens made a determined effort to get the equalizer, and for the balance of the period, the Leafs were fairly well bottled up behind their own blue line. The Canadiens threw caution to the winds and dashed down on the Toronto net in three and four man rushes, and Chabot was jumping from side to side to turn back their desperate drives for a goal. The Toronto net guardian turned them aside frequently when it appeared as if a goal was certain.

But frequent scrambles occurred in front of the net, and it was out of one of these, when the Canadiens had five men buzzing around the Toronto goal, that “Firecracker” Larochelle finally sifted a shot through that entered the cage. Chabot had stopped three in quick succession just previously, and the Toronto defence was disorganized at the time.

The Leafs had one or two opportunities to break away and catch the Montréal defence unprotected, but instead they preferred hoisting the puck to the other end of the rink in the old “army” way, and the inevitable occurred. The best kind of a defence is a strong offensive, and the locals would have fared better that they not relied on Nighbor’s poke check and a defensive style of play to protect their lead. True, the Canadiens launched a terrific offensive, but the Habitants left a wide open path to their net, and only on two or three occasions did the Leafs make any effort to use it.

In the overtime session, the rushes were largely solo thrusts. The Leafs got a great break near the end, when a penalty to Sylvio Mantha gave the locals the advantage of numbers. Mantha’s penalty resulted from an oversight on the Montréal bench. Burke and Charlie Conacher had just been banished for a jam at the boards, although it looked as if Morenz and not Burke was the real offender against Conacher. The Canadiens made some shifts in their lineup and play began again. But manager Connie Smythe did some loud protesting from the Toronto bench, and it was seen that the Canadiens had six men on the ice when they should only have five. As Mantha was the last man to come on, he had to take the enforced rest.

The game might have been won by Toronto then if Harvey Jackson had done a little clearer thinking. Twice the hustling left wing star had only one man to beat on the Montréal defence, and a Toronto teammate was waiting for a pass. But Jackson, in his desire to get in on the net, lost the puck each time, and the end of the game came before the Leafs could make any organized attacks on Hainsworth.

Morenz, Lépine, Sylvio Mantha and Joliat played the most prominent hockey for the Canadiens. Morenz was always a dangerous man on the attack, and, though he only got one goal, an easy one at that, he made Chabot do some nimble hopping to keep him from scoring others. Lépine gave one of his good performances, and Joliat was also dangerous whenever he was on. Mantha was the dashing spirit in the Canadiens’ third period efforts for a goal, and many times he came close to scoring it himself. Wasnie showed more speed than on his other appearances here. Larochelle, though scoring the winning goal, was not so dangerous. Once he went right through the Leaf defence to have an easy chance on Chabot, but the local net guardian outguessed him and easily smothered his shot.

While Conacher was the outstanding star for the Leafs, Primeau and Jackson were also prominent, and Cotton was particularly good. Bailey, Blair, Pettinger and Nighbor lacked effectiveness. Duncan and Day were the pick of the defence players. Chabot, outside of that first goal, performed well in the net.

Story originally published in The Globe, February 7, 1930

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 01:45 – Morenz
TOR GOAL – 09:30 – Conacher (Day, Primeau)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 11:10 – Lépine (Joliat)

TOR GOAL – 12:27 – Conacher (Primeau)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 02:08 – Conacher (Primeau)
MTL GOAL – 19:31 – Larochelle


TOR – Morenz (3), Burke (2), S. Mantha (2), Joliat
MTL – Bailey (2), Conacher (2), Smith (2)

TOR – Chabot (T)
MTL – Hainsworth (T)

TORGoaltenders: Lorne Chabot. Defence: Hap Day (C), Art Duncan, Art Smith. Forwards: Ace Bailey, Andy Blair, Charlie Conacher, Baldy Cotton, Busher Jackson, Frank Nighbor, Eric Pettinger, Joe Primeau.
MTLGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: Marty Burke, Albert Leduc, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C). Forwards: Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Bert McCaffrey, Armand Mondou, Howie Morenz, Nick Wasnie.

TOR – 11-14-4 (.448)
MTL – 14-11-5 (.550)