Game 123 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2

Game 123
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2
Tuesday, December 25, 1934
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs rammed a 6-2 defeat down the Montréal Canadiens’ Christmas stocking here tonight, and gave a holiday crowd a smart demonstration of why they are the leading team in the National Hockey League today.

The Leafs scored in the first, split a pair of goals in the second with the Flying Frenchmen, and then banged in four goals in the final twenty minutes while the Canadiens scored one.

Bountiful reserve strength for the forward lines and a rugged set of rushing defencemen made the Leafs too much for the toiling Canadiens to do much with tonight. The Leafs got their attacks away so fast they caught the Canadiens flat footed, and they backchecked so persistently that the Red Shirts found it hard to get going.

Aiding the Leafs in their convincing victory, George Hainsworth had a great evening in the Toronto goal. Cool as ever, Hainsworth kicked out a dozen shots that looked like sure goals.

Bill Thoms scored first, Hec Kilrea and Buzz Boll assists. Georges Mantha evened it up for the Canadiens in the second on a double pass from Pit Lépine and Wildor Larochelle. Charlie Conacher scored the next on a pass from Joe Primeau. Early in the third, the Leafs struck again, Buzz Boll slamming in a goal on a play with Hec Kilrea.

Leroy Goldsworth put the Canadiens closer with a goal from just outside the crease. Lépine and Georges Mantha got assists. Pep Kelly and Andy Blair fed Harold Cotton passes for another Leaf goal. Harvey Jackson was next to score, Conacher and Primeau figuring in the assists. The final goal was a smart effort by “Pep” Kelly, who scooped up a pass from “Headline” Hollett and banged it past Wilf Cude.

The Leafs started Harold Cotton, Andy Blair and Bill Thoms against Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine and Aurèle Joliat. There was little excitement until the Leafs’ first string came on. Charlie Conacher crashed through the Canadiens’ defence, but Code dove at him to make a sensational stop. “Red” Horner was benched for tossing Leroy Goldsworthy into the boards. The Canadiens were still trying to score when Horner came back.

Charlie Conacher took a pass from Joe Primeau, and bounced a hot shot off the top bar of the cage. It hit Cude’s back and dropped to the ice, Cude falling on it. Sylvio Mantha nearly beat Hainsworth on a rush with Larochelle. Hec Kilrea and Buzz Boll started a play that ended in a goal for the Leafs, Boll drawing the Canadiens’ defence to one side before passing to Bill Thoms, uncovered in front of the Canadiens’ cage. Thoms flipped the puck in from the edge of the crease.

The Canadiens gave Hainsworth a little excitement when Roger Jenkins, Georges Mantha and Pit Lépine scrambled inside the Toronto blue line and rocked the Leafs’ goaler with a couple of hard drives. Happy Day reeled off an end-to-end rush with a fine burst of speed, and plunked a smart drive for the corner off Cude’s pads. The Canadiens scrambled in front of Hainsworth.

“Tony” Savage crashed through the Toronto defence, but was pulled down from behind by “King” Clancy and got a penalty for it. The Canadiens clamoured for a penalty shot, but referee Mike Rodden refused it. The Canadiens sent five men up the ice. “Headline” Hollett was given a penalty for roughing, and the Leafs were two men short.

George Hainsworth made a smart dive to stop Goldsworthy’s close shot. The red light flashed in the next scramble, but referee Rodden ruled the play offside. Hainsworth stopped another hard one from Jack McGill. Clancy came back. When Hollett came back, Hainsworth breathed easier.

Clancy got another penalty for holding Lépine as Georges Mantha passed to him. Hainsworth was on the hop as the Canadiens scrambled in front of him five strong. The Leafs heaved the puck up the ice to break up the skirmishes. Clancy came back. Horner raced down alone, but his shot was wide. Harold Cotton and Sylvio Mantha went off for cross checking. Larochelle rapped a shot square into Hainsworth’s pads from six feet out.

Sylvio Mantha went down the ice at the head of a Canadian attack as soon as he was back on the ice. Hainsworth made three sensational saves as his defence and five Canadiens struggled in front of him. Georges Mantha rammed in the tying goal on the next rush. Lépine passed to Larochelle from a corner, and the latter relayed the puck to Georges Mantha, who scored from ten feet out.

The Leafs were ahead again less than a minute later. Primeau grabbed a loose puck inside the Canadiens’ defence and passed six feet to Conacher right in front of Cude, Conacher jabbing the puck into a corner. “Happy” Day was banished for holding.

The Leafs started the third period without Happy Day, and the Canadiens lost no time in swarming in. Hainsworth kicked out two quick shots from Joliat. Buzz Boll broke away suddenly, but Sylvio Mantha overhauled him and tripped him. Sylvio Mantha went off, and the Leafs demanded a penalty shot. It was refused.

Day came back, and the Leafs ganged the Canadien defence. “Buzz” Boll took a pass from Kilrea in a corner and shot through the milling players. Cude jumped, but the puck went between his legs. Mantha came back, and the Canadiens scored. Georges Mantha and Lépine snapped a double relay to Goldsworthy just at the mouth of the Toronto goal, and Goldsworthy flipped it past Hainsworth. Harvey Jackson was chased for tripping.

The Canadiens went up five at a time while Jackson was off, but Hainsworth was in top form and kicked everything out. The Leafs scored again. “Pep” Kelly and Andy Blair raced down and drew the Canadiens’ defence to centre. Harold Cotton got a perfect pass near the left boards, and picked off the far corner of the net with a whistling shot. Joliat darted down the ice for a nice shot at Hainsworth.

Joliat nearly scored again from a hot scramble at the goalmouth. Cude saved from Jackson’s backhander.

The Leafs put on the first line again, and Jackson flipped in another goal. Joe Primeau snared a wild Canadien pass at centre ice, and skated across the blue line with Conacher and Jackson. It was Jackson who flipped it home from close in.

Goldsworthy got through the Toronto defence. Hainsworth plunged, and the puck hit him as he fell and bounced over the top of the cage. Nick Metz raced down to the Canadiens’ end and had the same hard luck. The Leafs rammed in another goal, to make it 6 to 2. Young Pep Kelly blazed in the last goal on an assist from Hollett.

Story originally published in The Globe, December 26, 1934

1st Period
TOR PEN – 01:00 – Horner
TOR GOAL – 10:32 – Thoms (Kilrea, Boll)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:00 – Clancy
TOR PEN – 02:00 – Hollett
TOR PEN – 03:00 – Clancy
TOR PEN – 04:00 – Cotton
MTL PEN – 05:00 – S. Mantha
MTL GOAL – 16:50 – G. Mantha (Lépine, Larochelle)
TOR GOAL – 17:29 – Conacher (Primeau, Hollett)
TOR PEN – 19:00 – Day

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 02:00 – S. Mantha
TOR PP GOAL – 03:14 – Boll (Kilrea)
MTL GOAL – 04:14 – Goldsworthy (G. Mantha, Lépine)
TOR PEN – 05:00 – Jackson
TOR GOAL – 11:08 – Cotton (Kelly, Blair)
TOR GOAL – 15:24 – Jackson (Conacher, Primeau)
TOR GOAL – 19:23 – Kelly (Cotton, Hollett)

TOR – Hainsworth (W, 38-40)
MTL – Cude (L, 37-43)

TOR – 15+10+18 = 43
MTL – 11+17+12 = 40

TORGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: King Clancy, Hap Day (C), Flash Hollett, Red Horner. Forwards: Andy Blair, Buzz Boll, Charlie Conacher, Baldy Cotton, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Hec Kilrea, Nick Metz, Joe Primeau, Bill Thoms.
MTLGoaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Gerry Carson, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C), Tony Savage. Forwards: Leroy Goldsworthy, Roger Jenkins, Aurèle Joliat, Wildor Larochelle, Pit Lépine, Jack McGill, Paul Raymond, Jack Riley.

TOR – 14-2-1 (.853)
MTL – 5-7-3 (.433)