Game 121 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)

Game 121
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)
Tuesday, February 20, 1934
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The old firm of Aurèle Joliat and Howie Morenz kept the Montréal Canadiens in third place of the Canadian Section standing of the National Hockey League with an overtime goal that gave the Flying Frenchmen a 3-2 win over the league leading Toronto Maple Leafs before 9,000 excited fans here tonight.

The Canadiens needed victory badly to keep their one point margin over New York’s Amazing Americans in the race for a playoff berth. They got their two points after coming from behind to tie the score and send the game into overtime. Then they staged a furious onslaught in the extra session to score the winning goal when Happy Day of the Leafs was serving a major penalty, and Lépine of the Canadiens and Conacher of Toronto were serving minors, the outcome of a wild fist fight.

Clancy was in the penalty box when the Canadiens scored in the first period. Johnny Gagnon rapped home a goal, with Lépine and Georges Mantha figuring with an assist each. Then Primeau took a pass from Harvey Jackson, skated through an open defence, and flipped the puck past Chabot to pull the Leafs up even. Andy Blair took Harold Cotton’s forward pass to circle the Canadiens’ net and jab the puck into the corner. The Leafs were ahead 2 to 1.

The Leafs were without Clancy in the second period when the Canadiens tied the score. Joliat snared a loose puck, and a double pass sent the puck to Georges Mantha and then to Léo Bourgault, who whipped it into the cords.

Lépine and Conacher had been on bad terms all evening, and had served a minor each for carrying high sticks in the goalless third period. In the overtime, they clashed again. “Happy” Day mixed in the fight and was awarded a major penalty for attacking Lépine. Conacher and Lépine each got a minor.

While the three of them were in the coop, the Canadiens put on a furious drive. Morenz whirled over the Toronto blue line and slid the puck to Joliat. The little left wing veteran pivoted suddenly, stickhandling past the defence, and fired a quick shot into the corner.

The Leafs put on a determined attack at the start of the second period. Kilrea was in on Chabot twice, but was outguessed by the goaler.

Horner carried the puck behind the Canadiens net twice, but was blocked by Sylvio Mantha. A Canadiens’ three man rush was repulsed at the blue line, and another went wrong through poor passing.

Day rushed, but his shot was wild. Lépine headed a three man Canadiens attack, but Georges Mantha was pinned against the boards. Day and Lépine started fencing with their sticks.

Referee Rodden handed Day a minor penalty. The Canadiens rushed to the attack. They had five men up for a minute, but after Boll and Kilrea had broken away for a dangerous rush, they played more cautiously. The Canadiens were carrying on a ferocious attack when Day returned.

Joliat engineered a great play for the Canadiens, stickhandling inside the Leafs’ defence and giving Morenz and Larochelle a chance right in front of the goal. They both missed. Hainsworth made a sensational save off Georges Mantha from a six foot range.

Conacher collided with Lépine and sent him crashing to the ice. “Pit” was carried off the ice limp as a dish rag. There was no penalty. Gagnon and Clancy started bodying each other in a corner and both went off. Coins and papers rained down from the crowd. When play was resumed, Joliat picked up the puck after the faceoff in Toronto territory and whipped a pass to Georges Mantha, who passed to Bourgault, who was uncovered. Leo banged the puck into the cage, tying the score. Boll nearly beat Chabot with a low shot from the boards. Both sides were at full strength again, and they were on fairly even terms for the remaining few minutes of the period.

The Leafs started with a powerful drive. King Clancy headed two rushes and Buzz Boll scooped up a loose puck inside the Canadiens’ defence to whip a hard backhand at Lorne Chabot, who dropped to his knees to save. Aurèle Joliat fed Howie Morenz a couple of passes, but Morenz was stopped at the defence.

Clancy was sent off for cross checking Joliat. The Canadiens sent five men up to make the most of their advantage, and a hot scramble formed in front of George Hainsworth. Horner cleared out the puck in time. Morenz made a great rush, sweeping behind the Leafs’ cage, but Hainsworth foiled him.

Gagnon scored from a scramble on assists from Lépine and Georges Mantha. A moment later, with Clancy back, Primeau jumped through a gap in the Canadiens’ defence to shoot the puck behind Chabot.

Lépine got through the Toronto defence, but Hainsworth trapped his shot between his pads and the goal post. Toronto had an advantage when Marty Burke was waved off for tripping Kilrea.

The Canadiens took to having the puck up the ice. The redshirts held out safely till Burke was back in action. Conacher got through the Montréal defence, but Chabot fell across the goalmouth and Chuck’s shot hit his pads. Sylvio Mantha headed a fast rush.

Gagnon made a smart play for Gerald Carson, but the big Canadiens defenceman missed a point blank shot. Hainsworth had an angle shot from Armand Mondou. Cotton went down, but was hedged in a corner.

The Canadiens hemmed the Leafs in their own defence for a few moments. Then Jack Portland and Jack Riley teamed on a passing play that produced a scramble and almost brought a score.

Clancy went down with Doraty, but Chabot was ready for his high shot. Horner rushed alone and shot too high. Andy Blair scored unassisted, swerving behind the Canadiens’ net and appearing on the other side to ram it into the corner before Chabot could get across his cage.

Joliat threatened Hainsworth twice in darting runs over the Leafs’ blue line. Horner lifted Larochelle into the boards. Lépine snared the puck from Primeau, but Horner blocked him at the defence. Hainsworth cleared straight out front on a hot shot from Lépine, and “Pit” nearly beat him to the puck. Levinsky went down with Conacher and Boll, but Conacher shot over the top of the Canadiens’ cage. The Canadiens started a scramble inside the Leafs’ defence, and Hainsworth had to make quick stops from all angles.

Primeau rushed down centre flanked by Conacher, but Sylvio Mantha took him out neatly. Joliat broke loose inside the Leafs’ defence. His shot hit Hainsworth’s pads and dropped down beside the cage. The Canadiens staged another scramble inside the Leafs’ defence. The Canadiens were putting on a hard drive for the winning goal, and the Leafs were forced to play a defensive game.

Sylvio Mantha followed Lépine in close, and his backhander off “Pit’s” pass struck Hainsworth’s chest. Conacher and Lépine were sent off for high sticking each other. The Leafs played close to their blue line as both teams were a man short. Horner went down and took a bad spill from Sylvio Mantha, just after Riley had suffered the same fate at the Toronto end of the ice. Bailey rushed with Sands, but his shot was wide. Clancy and Horner rushed, but were stopped at the Canadiens’ defence. Lépine and Conacher came back on the ice. Play went into overtime.

The extra period was barely underway when Day was sent off with a minor for holding Larochelle. The Canadiens sent on Riley, Joliat and Gagnon, and they skirmished at the Toronto end. Day came back, and Toronto was at full strength again. Lépine went down and was checked by Day. Conacher took a shot from centre ice. The Leafs were taking their time and sticking close to their blue line. Lépine and Conacher came to blows, and the other players rushed up to separate them. A major penalty was handed out to Day, who mixed in the fight, and Lépine got a minor, as did Conacher.

When play was resumed, Morenz led a Canadiens rush. Only three Leafs were in front of Hainsworth. Morenz passed smartly to Joliat, who pirouetted, stickhandling dizzily, before he snapped the rubber into the cage, putting the Canadiens out in front. The Canadiens were still swarming in when Charlie Conacher and Lépine came back into circulation. The Leafs started a final drive, but the Canadiens hung on to their lead till the bell ended the game.

Story originally published in The Globe, February 21, 1934

1st Period
TOR PEN – 02:36 – Clancy
MTL PP GOAL – 04:36 – Gagnon (G. Mantha, Lépine)
TOR GOAL – 04:56 – Primeau (Jackson)
MTL PEN – 12:00 – Burke
TOR GOAL – 19:30 – Blair (Cotton)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:00 – Day
MTL PEN – 14:00 – Gagnon
TOR PEN – 14:00 – Clancy
MTL GOAL – 14:59 – Bourgault (Joliat, G. Mantha)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 01:00 – Lépine
TOR PEN – 01:00 – Conacher

TOR PEN – 01:00 – Day
MTL PEN – 05:00 – Lépine
TOR PEN – 05:00 – Conacher
TOR PEN – 05:00 – Day, major
MTL PP GOAL – 06:27 – Joliat (Morenz)

MTL – Chabot (W, 42-44)
TOR – Hainsworth (L, 37-40)

MTL – 13+6+10+11 = 40
TOR – 17+14+8+5 = 44

MTLGoaltenders: Lorne Chabot. Defence: Léo Bourgault, Marty Burke, Gerry Carson, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C), Jack Portland. Forwards: Johnny Gagnon, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Armand Mondou, Howie Morenz, Paul Raymond, Jack Riley.
TORGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: King Clancy, Hap Day (C), Alex Levinsky. Forwards: Andy Blair, Buzz Boll, Charlie Conacher, Baldy Cotton, Ken Doraty, Busher Jackson, Hec Kilrea, Joe Primeau, Charlie Sands, Bill Thoms.

MTL – 15-17-6 (.474)
TOR – 21-9-9 (.654)