Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Saturday, February 17, 1940
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
It was “red hot pepper night” at Maple Leaf Gardens Saturday, as the Toronto Leafs collected a 3-1 decision at the expense of the Montréal Canadiens, and thus fortified their third place spot in the National Hockey League.
Reginald “Red” Horner served up the fistic pepper in the first period, and Regis “Pep” Kelly shook himself loose from a discouraging slump with marksmanship pepper in the second period that won the game for the home forces.
Horner’s contribution of fistic pepper came early in the first period, when he squared off against Ray Getliffe in one of the most spirited physical encounters offered in the NHL this winter. The warriors punched away at each other from the Toronto blueline to centre ice. They had only nicely parked themselves in the penalty box, Horner to serve a major and Getliffe a minor, when something transpired to start them at it again. As an encore, they renewed hostilities a second time while teammates and ushers swarmed around the penalty box area. Ten minute misconduct penalties were added by referee Teddy Graham for these tilts.
Rhys Thomson, the rookie Canadiens’ defenceman, local product and formerly with the Young Rangers here, elected to join the party just when the excitement appeared to have eased off. Horner reached over the boards to fire punches at Thomson. It was the signal for another wrestling, pushing, mauling session, out of which Thomson received a ten minute misconduct sentence. The game was delayed ten minutes for the unscheduled battling.
Kelly’s sharp shooting pepper was injected into the game late in the second period. The teams were tied at 1-1. Pep was on the ice for the second time during the evening. In a space of ten seconds, he had popped in two goals, and they won the game for the Leafs. They also hoisted Pep out of the club “doghouse,” and established him as the second high goal-getter of the Leafs for the season. He now has ten goals, being topped only by Drillon.
Red Heron celebrated his return to the Leafs from their Pittsburgh farm by flipping an angle shot back of the unsuspecting Wilf Cude late in the first period. Cude’s view apparently was blocked by Goupille, for he lost track of the puck until it hit the twine behind him. It was a ragged opening period, despite the lively stimulant of the Horner-Getliffe clash.
Getliffe’s sparring partner, Horner, was in the penalty box in the second period when Ray potted a shot back of Broda, on a ganging play in which Sands and Young also figured. Young laid a pass to Getliffe in front of the Toronto nets from the blueline to set up the scoring play. A minute later, after Church and Chamberlain had moved the puck into Montréal territory, Kelly snatched it off Rhys Thomson’s stick behind the goal, and swung in front to score. Ten seconds later Pep repeated, this time on a play with Chamberlain and Heron.
There was no scoring in the third period, thanks to good netminding by Cude and Broda, and faulty marksmanship by both clubs. The Leafs had more power in their attack, but couldn’t finish plays in front of Cude. Drillon missed fine chances at close range on passes from Kampman and Chisholm. Marker fired past an open corner. Metz hit a goalpost. Kelly was in alone just before the final gong, but Doug Young, the outstanding player of the night, reached out to check him. Half a dozen times, Young broke up Leaf attacks when the homesters had only the veteran defenceman barring their path to the Montréal goal.
Walter Buswell, another Montréal defence veteran, injured his ankle early in the first period and was through for the night. Young was in action almost continuously after Buswell’s departure. Poirier and Demers, former Québec amateurs, teamed with Toe Blake. Demers was the more effective of the two, revealing a bullet-like shot that gave Broda plenty of trouble.
Lex Chisholm toiled at both right wing and centre, as Leaf lines were juggled around to plug the gap left by the absence of Dave Schriner.
Despite the cellar position of the Canadiens, the game drew 11,035 patrons.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 19, 1940
TOR GOAL – 16:24 – Heron (Chamberlain, Chisholm)
TOR PENS – Horner, Kampman
MTL PENS – Blake, Drouin, Mantha
TOR GOAL – 00:10 – Kelly (Chamberlain, Heron)
TOR GOAL – 01:05 – Kelly (Chamberlain, Church)
MTL PP GOAL – 16:10 – Getliffe (Sands, Young)
TOR PENS – Horner (minor + major + game misconduct), Kampman
MTL PEN – Getliffe (minor + game misconduct), Thomson (game misconduct)
TOR – Broda (W)
MTL – Cude (L)
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Jack Church, Red Horner (C), Bingo Kampman, Wally Stanowski. Forwards: Murph Chamberlain, Lex Chisholm, Bob Davidson, Gordie Drillon, Hank Goldup, Red Heron, Pep Kelly, Pete Langelle, Gus Marker, Nick Metz.
MTL – Goaltenders: Wilf Cude. Defence: Walter Buswell (C), Red Goupille, Georges Mantha, Rhys Thomson, Doug Young. Forwards: Toe Blake, Tony Demers, Polly Drouin, Ray Getliffe, Rod Lorrain, Armand Mondou, Gordie Poirier, Charlie Sands, Lou Trudel.
TOR – 18-14-5 (.554)
MTL – 9-23-4 (.306)