Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2
Tuesday, January 3, 1939
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON
Inspired by Syl Apps, who got out of his sickbed and insisted on playing, the Toronto Maple Leafs almost made a definite comeback along the National Hockey League victory trail in Maple Leaf Gardens last night when playing against Les Canadiens of Montréal.
But, after twice securing a one goal lead, the Torontonians had to be content with a two-all tie and a split in points, as the hard battling Habitants always came from behind to knot the count.
A crowd of 9,138 cash customers turned out to see one of the local season’s few midweek games, and they were provided with a rather odd sort of contest – one that varied often from brilliant play to almost waltz-time shinny. The Leafs showed considerable improvement over some of their recent exhibitions, but the team is not yet clicking in tune as a whole.
Apps, who had previously been announced as being out of the lineup because of his recent illness, sprung a pleasant surprise by telephoning Leaf officials to have his uniform ready for the game. He played splendidly and pluckily, while acting, as usual, as the spearhead of many of the home team’s most potent attacks.
After a goalless and rather spotty first period, Doc Romnes set the fans cheering wildly by scoring his first goal since joining the Leafs. Jackson, who had just made goalie Cude spread eagle to block his short shot, fed a pass to Romnes on the next rush. The former Black Hawk toted the rubber right smartly around the left side of the Habitants’ defence, and then rifled a sharp angle shot high into the twine at 6:19.
That goal touched off the spark for a lot of very lusty body checking that resulted in Bucko McDonald, the Leafs’ new defenceman, being chased by referee Ion in an unpopular bit of thumb heaving.
Bucko was in the penalty box when the Canadiens cashed on a ganging attack. Old Babe Siebert parked himself in front of the Leafs’ cage, and there wasn’t a homester within yards of him as he took Herbie Cain’s pass to beat Broda as he pleased.
The Leafs still were tossing bodies at the Frenchmen when the third session got underway, and everything looked to be rosy when the Montréalers laid back and let the Torontonians carry the play. In less than three minutes, the Leafs got a goal on a lucky break. Gordon Drillon tried to return Apps’ pass by firing the disc across the Canadiens’ goalmouth, and there was a general melee of sticks seeking possession of it. Little Johnny Gagnon had the misfortune to tip the puck past his own goaltender for a goal which was credited to Drillon, who had made the last pass.
Everything went along rather quietly for many minutes after that, and the crowd was wondering if the Frenchies never were going to put on a drive in search of the equalizer. But with only five minutes left to play, Cecil Hart sent out four forwards, and in just over another minute they connected.
Stew Evans, the Canadien defenceman, crashed through the Leafs’ defence pair and pumped a shot that knocked Broda off balance. Pee-Wee Summerhill, who learned his hockey here, was in the right spot near a goalpost to slam Evans’ rebound into the strings.
Both teams stalled through most of the overtime, apparently content with the tie. A sudden Leaf attack had Cude far out of his cage with two minutes to go, but neither Chamberlain nor Metz could get the rubber into the cage. Then the venerable but sprightly Jimmy Ward sped around the Leafs’ defence, but was foiled by Broda just before the final gong rang. Neither team suffered any casualties in a game that was not rough, but which furnished plenty of slashing and charging tactics.
One incident in particular roused the fans’ ire. That came early in the second period, when a tussling match staged by Red Horner and George Brown was climaxed by the Canadien forward swatting the Leaf defenceman over the head with his stick. Horner made not the least attempt to retaliate, but, as generally is the case, his peaceable action availed him nothing. He got the same sort of penalty that was dished out to Brown, a two minute sentence.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 4, 1939
TOR PEN – Horner
MTL PP GOAL – 02:59 – Siebert (Cain)
TOR GOAL – 10:18 – Romnes (Jackson)
TOR PENS – Horner, McDonald
MTL PEN – Brown
TOR GOAL – 02:51 – Drillon (Apps)
MTL GOAL – 16:08 – Summerhill (Evans)
MTL PEN – Evans
TOR – Broda (T)
MTL – Cude (T)
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Jimmy Fowler, Reg Hamilton, Red Horner (C), Bingo Kampman, Bucko McDonald. Forwards: Syl Apps, Murph Chamberlain, Bob Davidson, Gordie Drillon, Red Heron, Busher Jackson, Pep Kelly, Nick Metz, George Parsons, Doc Romnes.
MTL – Goaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell, Stewart Evans, Georges Mantha, Cy Wentworth. Forwards: Toe Blake, George Brown, Herb Cain, Johnny Gagnon, Paul Haynes, Armand Mondou, Babe Siebert (C), Bill Summerhill, Marcel Tremblay, Jimmy Ward.