Game 135 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3

Game 135
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3
Thursday, March 12, 1936
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs, with curly haired Bill Thoms playing the star role, staged a six goal scoring outburst in the third period here tonight to defeat the Montréal Canadiens 6 to 3, and end virtually all hopes of the French team entering the National Hockey League playoffs.

Thoms was the hero of a dazzling assault, scoring three goals himself and passing to “Buzz” Boll for a fourth. The centre player’s sniping made him the first player in the league to score 20 goals this season. His total was boosted to 21. Charlie Conacher of the Leafs raised his total to 20 with one goal.

Holding grimly to their slender chance of overhauling the third place New York Americans for the last playoff berth in the Canadian Section, the Canadiens made a great stand for two and a half periods. The defeat left them five points behind the Americans with only four games to play.

Three misconduct penalties and a private feud between manager Conny Smythe of the Leafs and manager Sylvio Mantha of the Canadiens featured in the first period, in which the Montréal team built up a 2 to 0 lead. Leroy Goldsworthy and Jack McGill did the scoring.

Smythe first came into the limelight when he opened a verbal assault on referee Mike Rodden, after a scuffle between “King” Clancy and Johnny Gagnon had been quieted down. Later, Smythe went to the penalty box and did some shoving and jostling when manager Mantha was waved there to serve a penalty for tripping “Red” Horner.

But the real excitement came as the period ended. Horner and Paul Haynes of the Canadiens started a fight on the ice, and were still at it when they skated off. In the milling beside the players’ benches, Smythe took a few punches at Mantha. The referees stopped this, and Horner and Haynes drew misconduct penalties.

Trailing 2-0, and facing the prospect of the Montréal Maroons gaining first place in the group by tying Chicago, the Leafs opened up in the second period without success. Wilf Cude held off the Leafs until the start of the third.

Then Thoms opened an attack that netted six goals, and put Toronto alone on top of the standing, leading the Maroons by a single point. The centre star bagged two within two and a half minutes, the first on Horner’s pass.

Aurèle Joliat put the Canadiens ahead again, but Joe Primeau scored with a long shot, and Conacher sent Toronto ahead for keeps on Boll’s pass. Boll and Thoms both scored in the final minute.

Davidson snapped the puck out in front of Cude soon after the start, but Primeau coasted in too late to pick up the pass. On the return rush, Sylvio Mantha went the length of the ice to round Day on the left defence, and slip a perfect pass t o Goldsworthy for the first score of the game. The score came with less than a minute of play.

Both teams were hitting a terrific clip, and Day tested Cude with a hard shot after taking a relay from Primeau. Day took the first penalty for tripping Goldsworthy, and the two teams changed lines. Day was back before any damage was done.

Kelly just missed sniping the corner of the net on a shot from the right boards, but Cude covered fast. The Leafs’ front line of Thoms, Finnigan and Boll forced the play, but were weakened when Boll was waved to the penalty box for tripping Lesieur.

A scuffle broke between Gagnon and Clancy. It was no sooner quieted when Conny Smythe began to fight with referee Rodden. When things calmed down, no penalties were handed out. Davidson killed time by ragging the puck, and Boll returned from the penalty box.

Smythe still was in a belligerent mood, for when Sylvio Mantha was penalized for tripping Horner, the Leaf manager tried to shove Mantha around as he entered the penalty box. But Mantha refused to be drawn into any argument. Conacher blasted a hard drive at Cude that knocked the little goaler right off his feet.

Boll was waved for tripping Gagnon, and Thoms got a misconduct penalty for arguing about Boll being penalized. The Leafs were at full strength when the Canadiens went two goals up on McGill’s counter. Drouin made the play inside the Toronto defence and passed to McGill, who beat Hainsworth with a low backhander.

Just after the period ended, Horner and Haynes started to battle in the corner. They carried their fight to the left bench where, for a moment, it looked as if a general free-for-all would develop. Smythe managed to get right in the middle of the melee, paired with Sylvio Mantha, and threw a few punches at the Canadiens’ manager. Order was finally brought about by the referees, with Haynes and Horner getting misconduct penalties.

Art Jackson made the first dangerous Leaf sortie when he tried to split between Lesieur and Miller. He shot just as he was dumped, but Cude made a fine stop. Harvey Jackson was in all alone a few moments later, but a bounding puck robbed him of his chance. The Leafs were outskating the Tricolor, and Kelly missed a backhand drive from ten feet out.

The Leafs were shorthanded when Blair was penalized for tripping Georges Mantha, and the Canadiens, who had been playing cautiously, opened up. Davidson nearly caught the Canadiens by surprise when he stole the puck from Mondou at centre and coasted down centre to rip a stinger at Cude.

After Davidson’s unexpected attack, the Leafs resorted to the defensive until Blair returned. Thoms tried to kick the puck through Lesieur’s legs and skate around, but the burly Canadien rearguard upset him with a jolting bodycheck. Horner and Haynes made their appearance after serving their misconduct penalties, and the big Toronto redhead tore down the ice on a rush that ended in the corner.

Harvey Jackson, Horner and Kelly combined on a rush, but Kelly missed the last pass after Jackson had relayed perfectly to Horner. Gagnon placed the puck right on Lépine’s stick after rounding Hainsworth’s net, but Lépine missed from five feet out.

Primeau slapped one at Cude that just missed the corner. The Leafs streamed down on a four man attack that broke on Cude. McGill raced in fast and swung at a pass from Sylvio Mantha. The puck shot by the upright. Drouin breezed in a moment later, and nearly found a slit between Hainsworth’s pad and the post. Clancy took a penalty for roughing Drouin just as the period ended.

It only took a few minutes of the last period for the Leafs to draw even on two sparkling goals by Thoms. Horner made the play for the first when he carried the puck up centre and passed just as he reached the defence. Thoms sagged the corner of the net with a sizzling drive. He scored his second counter soon after the faceoff, when he picked up a loose puck inside the Canadien defence and cleverly drew Cude out of the nets.

This burst of hope led the Leafs into wide open play, which allowed the Canadiens to forge into the lead once more on a goal by Joliat. The little veteran tallied after taking a double pass from Gagnon and Lépine.

Clancy drew a penalty for hooking Lépine, who also managed to squirm through the Leaf defence. Horner was sent off immediately after for holding Desilets, to leave the Leafs two men short. Clancy came back and Thoms threaded his way right in on Cude, but the puck was rolling. Toronto regained full strength without the Canadiens being able to score.

Primeau tied the score close to the 12 minute mark when he lifted a long shot into the net. The Canadien defence was blocking Cude’s vision, and the little Welshman never saw the puck until it entered the net.

Kelly and Lesieur were sent off for high sticking, and Gagnon joined them for tripping Finnigan. Blair just missed giving Toronto the lead, shooting the puck past an open net. Conacher made no mistake when he coasted in slowly with Boll, took a pass and sent Toronto ahead 4-3. Both teams regained full strength without any other score.

Boll broke away from the pack in the last minute of play to score Toronto’s fifth goal, with Thoms getting an assist. With only seconds to go, Thoms scored after drawing Cude out of the net.

Story originally published in The Globe, March 13, 1936

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 00:46 – Goldsworthy (G. Mantha)
MTL GOAL – 15:50 – McGill (Drouin, Desilets)

TOR PENS – Thoms (minor + game misconduct), Horner (game misconduct), Boll, Day, Kelly
MTL PENS – Haynes (game misconduct), S. Mantha, McGill

2nd Period
TOR PENS – Blair, Clancy

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 02:02 – Thoms (Horner)
TOR GOAL – 02:23 – Thoms
MTL GOAL – 04:43 – Joliat (Lépine, Gagnon)
TOR GOAL – 11:32 – Primeau (Boll)
TOR GOAL – 16:13 – Conacher (Boll)
TOR GOAL – 19:25 – Boll (Thoms)
TOR GOAL – 19:52 – Thoms (Day)

TOR PENS – Clancy, Horner, Kelly
MTL PENS – Gagnon, Lesieur

TOR – Hainsworth (W, 18-21)
MTL – Cude (L, 21-27)

TOR – 6+5+16 = 27
MTL – 11+5+5 = 21

TORGoaltenders: George Hainsworth. Defence: King Clancy, Hap Day (C), Red Horner. Forwards: Andy Blair, Buzz Boll, Charlie Conacher, Bob Davidson, Frank Finnigan, Art Jackson, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Joe Primeau, Bill Thoms.
MTLGoaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell, Art Lesieur, Georges Mantha, Sylvio Mantha (C). Forwards: Joffre Desilets, Polly Drouin, Johnny Gagnon, Leroy Goldsworthy, Paul Haynes, Aurèle Joliat, Pit Lépine, Jack McGill, Bill Miller, Armand Mondou.

TOR – 21-17-5 (.547)
MTL – 11-23-10 (.364)