Game 142 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1 (OT)

Game 142
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1 (OT)
Saturday, March 6, 1937
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Throw up the caution signals – here comes the Maple Leafs’ NHL playoff special.

Dick Irvin and his puck engineers roared along to their third straight victory – the longest run of the season – as they vanquished the sectional leading Canadiens by 3 to 1 in overtime Saturday night.

Some 14,500 fans – who packed practically every nook and corner of Maple Leaf Gardens – saw the locals display a little too much finishing power for the hurtling Habitants, and skate away with a hard earned decision.

It was nip and tuck battling most of the way, with the rivals bearing down fairly closely on their checks, but play was punctuated with numerous combined speed bursts, which required some exceptional saving on the part of the respective goalers.

Not until the second half of the third frame did the Leafs manage to penetrate the brilliant barrier offered by “Kid” Cude, but the Frenchmen retaliated in surprisingly quick order to force an overtime session.

A penalty to Bill MacKenzie, the husky defenceman, in the early seconds of overtime provided the loophole for the Leafs to dart through to victory. Charlie Conacher seemed headed for a sure goal – his second of the night – when he was spilled by MacKenzie while charging in on Cude.

A penalty shot was called, but Conacher’s bullet-like drive rebounded high into the air off Cude’s pads. MacKenzie, however, was still in the cooler when Harvey Jackson drove in the deciding counter after a power attack on Cude in which Syl Apps, Jimmy Fowler and Conacher figured.

Fowler made victory certain with two and a half minutes to play when he raced down alone and, upon reaching the Canadiens’ defence, unleashed a hard drive. The puck, sailing high and true, lodged in the upper corner of the cage, much to the amazement of the scintillating Mr. Cude.

In the earlier stages of the contest, Toronto were not overly impressive, although it was strictly sensational play on Cude’s part that kept them off the scoring sheet. As the game grew older, however, the Leafs finally got geared up, and they were flying by the time overtime was reached.

Sharing the spotlight with Cude was our own “Turk” Broda – whose playing bordered on the sensational at times. Sprawling, jumping and diving, the young goaler robbed the Canadiens on several menacing attacks by Johnny Gagnon, Joffre Desilets, Georges Mantha, “Babe” Siebert and others.

That Charlie Conacher still is the idol of Toronto and Ontario fandom was indicated by the mighty cheer and applause that greeted his goal at 13:33 of the third period.

“Big Chuck” – with Bill Thoms and Boll, were pressing heatedly in the Frenchmen’s territory when the puck shot out to Conacher at the blue line. Winding up, he released one of his old-time “bombers” which was clear through a maze of players and into the net before Cude saw it.

Some loose defensive play was responsible for the Canadiens’ equalizing thrust, less than four minutes later. Mantha carried the puck down the boards and three Leafs rushed over to check him. Paul Haynes, with another mate, was left uncovered in front of the net, and the centre man had little difficulty picking up the relay and drilling past Broda from close quarters.

We thought Conacher merited an assist on Toronto’s second goal but, in view of the ruling whereby only two are allowed on a tally, perhaps Apps and Fowler were more deserving. Certainly Apps did most of the work on this play, and it was Fowler’s pass that made the counter possible.

Cude rose to remarkable heights in the first half of the third period to prevent sure looking goals by Apps, Drillon, Bobby Davidson, Boll and Nick Metz. On a breakaway, Desilets coasted right in on Broda, but the Toronto goaler pulled off a phenomenal stop.

The paid attendance was 14,389, a little short of the season’s record. A crowd of 14,545 paid to see the Boston Bruins play the Leafs here last December 26.

Several presentations were made just before the start of the second period. Syl Apps was the centre of festivities. Along with Hap Day and Toe Blake, he received a handsome travelling bag from Hamilton admirers, while well-wishers from his hometown – Paris, Ont. – gave Syl a beautiful set of golf clubs.

Admirers from the Hensall, Exeter district, gave “Babe” Siebert also a fine travelling bag, while Stratford boosters made a presentation for the injured Howie Morenz, with Joffre Desilets and manager Cecil Hart of the Canadiens doing the receiving.

Reggie Hamilton was one of the three stars selected – and deservedly so. The young defenceman has been playing consistent, effective hockey. He has a rough and ready manner about him – but his playing in many games has left little to be desired.

Nick Metz looks very good at times. Thoms and Boll both turned in ace high efforts, and Fowler was another to earn brackets. Mantha was a most conspicuous performer for the visitors. Johnny Gagnon was always in the thick of the fray, while Siebert and Desilets were most prominent among the others.

The officials called it close when they disallowed a goal by Apps in the second period. The centreman had netted on Horner’s rebound, but the play was called back for an earlier offside. There was no reason for kick on the refereeing of Campbell or Dye, however.

Victory was the fifth for Toronto in seven games with the Canadiens this year. They play the Frenchmen once more before the schedule closes, said game being one week from next Thursday in Montréal.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 8, 1937

1st Period
MTL PEN – 07:52 – Lépine

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 09:41 – Davidson
MTL PEN – 09:41 – MacKenzie

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 13:32 – Conacher (Thoms, Fowler)

MTL GOAL – 17:04 – Haynes (Mantha)

MTL PEN – 00:08 – MacKenzie
TOR PEN SHOT – 00:08 – Conacher missed
TOR GOAL – 02:05 – Jackson (Conacher, Apps)
TOR GOAL – 07:46 – Fowler
TOR PEN – 08:09 – Jackson

TOR – Broda (W)
MTL – Cude (L)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Hap Day (C), Jimmy Fowler, Reg Hamilton, Red Horner. Forwards: Syl Apps, Buzz Boll, Charlie Conacher, Bob Davidson, Gordie Drillon, Frank Finnigan, Busher Jackson, Bill Kendall, Nick Metz, Bill Thoms.
MTLGoaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell, Bill MacKenzie, Georges Mantha. Forwards: Toe Blake, George Brown, Joffre Desilets, Johnny Gagnon, Paul Haynes, Aurèle Joliat, Pit Lépine, Rod Lorrain, Jack McGill, Bill Miller, Babe Siebert (C).

TOR – 19-20-3 (.488)
MTL – 23-15-5 (.593)