Game 103 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2

Game 103
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, November 26, 1931
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens edged out a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in an exciting National Hockey League game here tonight.

Apparently undamaged in spirit by their 7-1 defeat at the hands of Boston early in the week, the Flying Frenchmen played good hockey to win here tonight, and had a slight edge throughout on the Leafs, who scored both their goals when the world champions were a man short.

Nick Wasnie, the Canadien wingman, scored two of the Canadiens’ goals, and Joliat the other. Charlie Conacher and Jackson counted the two Toronto goals.

Howie Morenz drew a major penalty, the first inflicted here this season, when he cut “Red” Horner over the eye with his stick after Horner tripped him on one of his wild rushes. Tempers ran high throughout the game, and both teams handed out stiff body checks generously.

Pit Lépine, who played an outstanding game for the Flying Frenchmen, fed Wasnie a perfect pass for a goal in the first period. In the second, Charlie Conacher took a pass from Primeau and beat Hainsworth. Joliat stickhandled dizzily through the Toronto defence and flipped a shot into the net unassisted.

Then Jackson skirted the Canadiens’ defence and poked one past Hainsworth to even it up. Leduc broke from a scramble, drew the Toronto defence to one side, and gave Wasnie a pass to count the Canadiens’ winning goal. The third period was goalless, the Canadiens standing off the Leafs’ last minute attempts.

Morenz got the puck on the faceoff and passed to Gagnon, who carried it over the Toronto blue line. Both Morenz and Gagnon got a shot at Grant, and then Joliat got a penalty for cross checking on the defence. Marty Burke took a shot at Grant from inside the blue line, and Morenz got another chance at the Toronto cage guardian.

Just after Joliat came back, Nick Wasnie scored for Les Canadiens. The right winger took a perfect forward pass from Lépine inside the Toronto defence and hooked the rubber past Grant. Conacher drew the first Toronto penalty for high stickwork.

Rivers was chased for feuding in a corner. Gracie and Blair tamed on the most dangerous rush Toronto had shown up to that point, and Blair just missed the rebound as Hainsworth beat him to the draw. Cotton was chased for batting the puck forward with his hand. Joliat was sent off for tripping. Clancy made a rush to centre ice and shot from outside the blue line, the shot flying high over the netting. Grant had to save a cornering shot from Lépine. Conacher lifted Primeau’s rebound at Hainsworth and missed. Primeau missed his own rebound shot.

Conacher took a quick shot at Hainsworth from Primeau’s pass, but George cleared smartly. The Canadiens’ forwards backchecked steadily at centre ice and ruined many Toronto attacks. Two of the Leafs’ attacks were offside, and then Bailey took an easy shot at the Canadiens’ goal. Morenz took a pass from Munro and made Grant reel under the shock of his drive.

King Clancy got a fine shot on Hainsworth, and Darragh took a swing at the rebound but missed. Morenz rushed, causing a wild scramble outside the Toronto net, which sent Grant to the ice to smother the puck. Gagnon was chased. Morenz made a great rush, and Grant’s smart save was all that stopped him. The Leafs sent five men up the ice in an effort to score. Day was penalized for roughing S. Mantha.

Morenz and “Red” Horner got into a tangle in a corner after the big defenceman tripped the flashy centre. Morenz clipped Horner across the face and drew a major penalty. Charlie Conacher went down left wing with the Canadiens a man short, took a pass from Primeau, and poled the puck past Hainsworth, tying the score.

Conacher butted Leduc with his stick and was sent off. Toronto were two short when Finnigan was banished for trying to trip Lépine, but Conacher was back almost immediately. Joliat put the Flying Frenchmen ahead again when he slipped around the Toronto defence and beat Grant with a tricky wrist shot.

Mondou got a penalty and the Canadiens were four men against five. S. Mantha was chased for hooking Darragh’s stick. The Leafs were six men against four, but could not score. When Mondou came back, Jackson skirted the Canadiens’ defence, drew Hainsworth from his cage, and poked the puck in. It was their second goal when the Canucks were short a man.

After a wild scramble outside the Canadiens’ goal, Leduc broke away and skated the length of the ice, passing to Wasnie after he had drawn the defence to one side. Wasnie scored cleanly. Bailey missed a perfect chance from four feet on Cotton’s pass out.

The last period started at a hot pace. Wasnie let go a wicked cross shot at Grant, and then Finnigan got a try at Hainsworth. Joliat feinted through the Leafs’ defence for a shot on Grant. The Canadiens backchecked and pokechecked dizzily at centre ice. Lépine was sent off for tripping Primeau. Larochelle drifted down the centre and nearly beat the Toronto goalkeeper with a long shot.

Bailey was sent off for charging just after Lépine came back. Morenz sent Grant sprawling with a hot drive from the blue line. Morenz and Gagnon teamed for an attack that ended with a smart save by Grant. Darragh made a nice lone try, but was sandwiched by Burke and S. Mantha. Lépine hit the post after circling the defence. Morenz and Wasnie teamed for a dangerous attack down left wing and netted the puck, but the play was offside.

The Canadiens fell back on the defensive with only five minutes to go. Conacher and Primeau made two nice tries, but were checked at the blue line. Primeau dumped Joliat and was sent to the bench. Morenz rushed fast down right wing, but was tripped at the defence. Bailey took a backhand shot at Hainsworth, and then Lépine broke clear, but missed the goal. Toronto were all up in the Canadiens’ end of the ice when the game ended.

Story originally published in The Globe, November 27, 1931

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 05:00 – Wasnie (Lépine)
TOR PP GOAL – 10:00 – Conacher (Primeau)

MTL PENS – Joliat (2), Rivers
TOR PENS – Bailey, Conacher, Cotton

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:15 – Joliat
TOR PP GOAL – 09:00 – Jackson
MTL PENS – Morenz (major), Gagnon, S. Mantha, Mondou
TOR PENS – Conacher, Day, Finnigan

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 05:00 – Wasnie (Leduc)
MTL PEN – Lépine
TOR PENS – Bailey, Primeau

MTL – Hainsworth (W)
TOR – Grant (L)

MTLGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: Marty Burke, Albert Leduc, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C), Dunc Munro. Forwards: Johnny Gagnon, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Armand Mondou, Howie Morenz, Gus Rivers, Nick Wasnie.
TORGoaltenders: Benny Grant. Defence: King Clancy, Hap Day (C), Red Horner, Alex Levinsky. Forwards: Ace Bailey, Andy Blair, Charlie Conacher, Baldy Cotton, Harold Darragh, Frank Finnigan, Bob Gracie, Busher Jackson, Joe Primeau.

MTL – 3-2-1 (.583)
TOR – 0-3-2 (.200)