Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Saturday, January 27, 1940
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Syl Apps fired the Toronto Leafs with a greatly improved offensive spark as they fought their way to a well earned 3-1 victory over the Montréal Canadiens at Maple Leaf Gardens Saturday night.
Gord Drillon, Dave Schriner and Gus Marker popped the goals back of netminder Paul Bourque, while Ray Getliffe accounted for the lone score on behalf of a scrappy Montréal squad that didn’t look as if it rated the NHL basement berth behind the Americans and Red Wings.
Out of competition with a broken collarbone since December 25, Apps signalled his return to the Leaf lineup in spectacular manner early in the first period. The crowd of 10,030 gave him a rousing reception when he stepped on the ice with Drillon and Davidson. It was a regular stage setting, for Apps took charge of the puck near his own goal, started up the rink in space-eating strides. He outskated opposing forwards, stepped neatly around defenceman Goupille, and finished the play with a pass to his old partner, Drillon, in front of the Montréal nets. Bourque blocked the shot to end as sparkling a reentry into major professional as any puckchaser has ever provided when celebrating his return from the casualty ranks.
Referee Charley (Rabbit) McVeigh was made the central figure in a hard checking game that was punctuated by frequent flareups between players and arbiter: a fist fight between two young bantams, Billy Taylor and Bill Summerhill; one disallowed goal against each team; damaging board checks to Louis Trudel and Gus Marker on which there were no penalties; and a ten minute misconduct penalty to Polly Drouin for jostling referee McVeigh, and taking a vicious slash at the bugle-blower with his stick. Each team was taxed with four minor penalties and one major, in addition to Drouin’s ten minute holiday.
Manager Jules Dugal handled the fiery Canadiens from the bench in the absence of coach Pit Lépine. The latter was confined to a local hotel because of illness.
Handyman Gus Marker was inside the Montréal defence early in the first period on a play that looked good enough to start the scoring, but he elected to make a pass to Langelle, and the opportunity was lost. Summerhill flipped a pass in front of the Toronto nets from right wing to start a play that caused Montréal tempers to boil over. The puck caromed off Toe Blake, who was parked in front of Broda, and into the cage. Referee McVeigh refused to allow the score, and immediately became the storm centre as angry Canadiens milled around him.
Doug Young was in the penalty box for slamming Langelle into the boards when a five man ganging thrust of the Leafs produced the first legal tally. Apps, Drillon, Chisholm, Chamberlain and Kampman were the attackers. Apps lugged the puck into the Montréal zone. He passed to Chisholm, and Lex relayed the puck over to Drillon on right wing. Drillon’s high shot caught the crossbar and dropped into the nets behind Bourque. Seconds later, Drillon scored again, but the goal was not allowed because Chisholm was in the crease. He was in front of the Montréal goal when Goupille jammed him right up against Bourque while other Leafs were setting up the play for Drillon.
Ray Getliffe was sent racing in on Broda after Doran and Sands had helped clear the Toronto defenders. Broda moved out of his nets to meet Getliffe, and the latter cleverly swung the puck around Turk and into the goal to leave the clubs tied 1 to 1 at the end of the opening period. Taylor and Summerhill staged their fight in front of the Canadiens bench just before the period ended. They landed on the ice with Taylor on top and flailing away with both fists.
Bourque kicked out successive shot from Stanowski and Apps in the early exchanges of the second period. Then came Sweeney Schriner’s goal that paved the way for victory. Chamberlain carried the puck in from centre, couldn’t spot a flanker to pass to, and took a shot at Bourque. Schriner cut across from left wing to sink the rebound.
Marty Barry missed a chance to knot the score again when he got in the clear from left wing. He fired over the top of the nets. Mondou broke away from a Toronto gang attack while Lorrain was in the cooler, and had only Broda to handle. That was too much. Mondou’s shot landed in Turk’s feet. It was a vigorous protest by Drouin over Lorrain’s penalty for tripping Davidson that brought Drouin a ten minute misconduct sentence. He grabbed and pushed referee McVeigh, and then slashed at him with his stick.
Gus Marker, who had been badly shaken up in the second period when Doug Young rammed him against the boards, was okay for the play that gave the Leafs their third goal. It came midway through the third period. Langelle engineered a pass in the Montréal end zone that trapped defencemen Goupille and Doran. Marker was unchecked in front of the nets as he took Pete’s pass, and Bourque had no chance.
The Canadiens presented a disjointed power atack during the third period while Hamilton and later Stanowski were in the penalty box, and the Toronto goal was never in danger. Bourque beat off late scoring drives from the Leafs with the aid of Lady Luck. He stopped a Chamberlain to Schriner play neatly. Drillon hit a goal post on a pass from Taylor, who subbed for Apps in the third period. Red Heron did a solo breakaway, dodged Buswell, and then saw his angle shot skid behind Bourque, but keep right on going past the cage.
Stanowski injured his knee during a Montréal power play in the third, but was able to return to action after a short rest.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 29, 1940
MTL GOAL – 02:32 – Getliffe (Sands, Doran)
TOR PP GOAL – 11:32 – Drillon (Apps, Chisholm)
TOR GOAL – 08:27 – Schriner (Chamberlain)
TOR GOAL – 10:49 – Marker (Langelle)
TOR – Taylor (major), Davidson, Hamilton, Schriner, Stanowski
MTL – Drouin (game misconduct), Summerhill (minor + major), Young (2), Blake, Lorrain
TOR – Broda (W)
MTL – Bourque (L)
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Reg Hamilton, Bingo Kampman, Bucko McDonald, Wally Stanowski. Forwards: Syl Apps, Murph Chamberlain, Lex Chisholm, Bob Davidson, Gordie Drillon, Red Heron, Pete Langelle, Gus Marker, Sweeney Schriner, Billy Taylor.
MTL – Goaltenders: Claude Bourque. Defence: Walter Buswell (C), John Doran, Red Goupille, Cy Wentworth, Doug Young. Forwards: Marty Barry, Toe Blake, Polly Drouin, Ray Getliffe, Rod Lorrain, Armand Mondou, Charlie Sands, Bill Summerhill, Lou Trudel.
TOR – 17-12-4 (.576)
MTL – 8-18-3 (.328)