Game 109 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Game 109
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Tuesday, March 22, 1932
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Canadiens handed the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-2 beating in a hectic game here tonight, and captured first place in the National Hockey League Canadian section standing for the second year in succession.

A victory for the Leafs tonight would have given them the upper berth, and the right to meet the New York Rangers in a five game series to decide the league championship. The Canadiens, instead, will face Lester Patrick’s smart New Yorkers here on Thursday night, while the Leafs go into the second place playoff series against Chicago.

The Canadiens showed the stuff that brought two world titles in a row as they outsmarted the formidable Toronto team here tonight. Their speed and deadly marksmanship from close in was too much for the Leafs, who showed signs of strain after two games on successive nights and two long train jumps.

Twenty five seconds after the crucial game got underway, with a burst of speed, Joe Primeau flashed a sizzling shot past Hainsworth and into the Canadiens’ net. It was an auspicious beginning, but the Leafs were soon halted. The world champions stepped into high gear and rapped home three goals in that first period. Jackson scored in the third, but Gagnon slipped his second goal past Chabot to keep the Canadiens still two goals ahead.

Penalties to Finnigan and Blair seriously spoiled the Leafs’ style in the first period. Two goals were scored while Toronto were at full strength, but Andy Blair was in the tolls when Gagnon counted the third Canadiens goal.

The first line of either team scored nearly all the points tonight. Charlie Conacher sent Joe Primeau the pass for the first goal, and Joe fed one to “Busher” Jackson for the other Leaf score. Johnny Gagnon picked up a brace of goals and an assist for a total of three points. Morenz got a goal and three assists, and Joliat got two assists. Georges Mantha got an assist on his brother Sylvio’s goal in the first period.

The potent “Kid” line of the Leafs registered a goal 25 seconds after the game began. Charlie Conacher dove through the defence and passed to Primeau, who sank a hard shot into the twine. It was a hot game and a heavy pace was set bright and early.

The Leafs did not hold their lead long. Marty Burke charged down centre and passed to Gagnon. The little winger stickhandled around the corner and passed out to Howie Morenz, who flipped the disc into the cage from right on top of Chabot.

Frankie Finnigan was chased for trying to give Georges Mantha the boards. The Leafs were thrown on the defence, and had a hectic time of it. Just as Frankie came back, the Canadiens jumped ahead with another goal. Sylvio Mantha and Morenz rushed together with Georges Mantha on the other wing. They started a scramble inside the defence, and Sylvio Mantha sent the puck sliding slowly along the ice. Chabot was flat and helpless, and the puck slid into the cage at a snail’s pace.

“Happy” Day went down on a fast rush and made Hainsworth stumble with a heavy drive as he cut in from the boards. It was a robust game, and hard knocks were given with some gusto on both defences. Andy Blair was chased for sending Johnny Gagnon crashing into the boards. The penalty paved the way for another Canadiens goal. Joliat started the thrust deep into a corner, and Johnny Gagnon rapped the puck home after the double pass form Joliat and Morenz.

The Leafs threw the Habitants back on their haunches for a moment with a heavy counter attack, and the Canadiens were crowded almost into their own cage in their efforts to prevent a score.

The Leafs staged a desperate attack in the early moments of the second period, and the Canadiens seemed content to stand fast and poke check at their own blue line. Charlie Conacher and Harvey Jackson roamed the wings without getting a good shot away, so closely they were checked. Primeau was stopped twice at centre ice. Aurèle Joliat stickhandled cleverly through the Toronto defence and cut loose a hard drive to Chabot’s middle. Johnny Gagnon blasted a hard one at Chabot from the wing. The Canadiens drew a penalty. Marty Burke got the call for tripping Frankie Finnigan.

The Canadiens put up an airtight defence as the Leafs threw their strongest line into the fray and left Chabot alone. The five Leafs failed to break through for a goal, and Marty was soon back in his position again. The Red Shirts were in great form, and getting better every minute. Their backchecking held the Leafs off. Chabot was making some great saves off Wasnie, young Georges Mantha and Morenz. The Leafs were not clicking like their old selves, and showed the strain of the tough schedule they have just finished.

The Leafs moved down five strong on the Canadiens’ defence, but failed to get through. “Red” Horner pumped a long shot at Hainsworth. Andy Blair made two lone rushes, but was worked into a corner. Clancy and Leduc started a wrestling match, but were parted without damage. Finnigan and Blair raced down together, but were checked at the Canadiens’ blue line. Howie Morenz made a great swerving rush, but was cut down at the Toronto defence. Harold Cotton got in on Hainsworth, but the goalkeeper stepped out to meet him, and they went to the ice together.

Howie Morenz knocked Lorne Chabot off his feet with a terrific shot. Sylvio Mantha curved in, but was dumped by Levinsky with a thud. Joliat darted in, stickhandling quickly, and rapped a hard angle shot at Chabot. Finnigan rushed, but was skated into a corner. Larochelle had a good chance inside the Leafs’ defence, but hopped the puck over the fence. The Leafs put four forwards on the ice with Horner. Jackson, Conacher, Finnigan and Primeau rushed in on the Canadiens’ defence, and the strategy bought the Leafs a goal. Primeau dived for the Canadiens’ defence and slapped the puck across smartly to Jackson. “Busher” cut in through a gap and drove a high shot into the top of the net.

Morenz and Gagnon teamed in two quick sorties that ended right on top of Chabot. Marty Burke missed another close shot from inside the Toronto guard. With a few minutes left to play, the Leafs speeded up, and the fury of their rushes carried them into a long series of scrambles, from which the Canadiens broke away occasionally for fast dashes down at Chabot.

Just after a scramble, with Hainsworth flat on the ice under a swelter of players, the Canadiens broke away again. Joliat dashed down the boards and lost the puck near the blue line. Morenz picked it up, whirled through the defence, and rapped a short shot at Chabot. Gagnon jabbed the rebound into the cage.

The Leafs began to lose hope, with the Canadiens holding a two goal lead and five minutes left to play. They still had four forwards and Horner on the ice, and rushed the Canadiens’ defence without a let up. Clancy came on with the relief. He led a dash down the left lane, but was pokechecked by Gagnon at the Canadiens’ blue line.

The Canadiens took to golfing the puck down the ice with a minute or so to go. Harold Cotton missed a long pass. Marty Burke took a swing at the puck, and it cracked referee Eusebe Daignault in the ankle. He finished the game with a bad limp. The Habitants stood firm on their blue line and slammed the puck back toward Chabot at every chance. It was soon over, and the Canadiens were left safely at the head of the Canadian section standing.

Story originally published in The Globe, March 23, 1932

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 00:24 – Primeau (Conacher)
MTL GOAL – 02:36 – Morenz (Gagnon, Burke)
MTL GOAL – 05:25 – S. Mantha (Morenz, G. Mantha)
MTL GOAL – 08:35 – Gagnon (Joliat, Morenz)
TOR PENS – Blair, Finnigan

2nd Period
MTL PEN – Burke

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 05:02 – Gagnon (Joliat, Morenz)
TOR GOAL – 07:12 – Jackson (Primeau)

MTL – Hainsworth (W)
TOR – Chabot (L)

MTLGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: Marty Burke, Albert Leduc, Art Lesieur, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C), Dunc Munro. Forwards: Art Alexandre, Johnny Gagnon, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Armand Mondou, Howie Morenz, Nick Wasnie.
TORGoaltenders: Lorne Chabot. 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, Earl Miller, Joe Primeau.

MTL – 25-16-7 (.594)
TOR – 23-18-7 (.552)