Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3
Saturday, January 2, 1943
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Although the spirit was willing, the Montréal Canadiens couldn’t muster enough puck chasing finesse to deal effectively with the speed and passing attacked tossed at them by the Toronto Leafs at the Gardens Saturday night.
The Habitants offered stubborn resistance to the homesters, with Lach, Benoit and Blake supplying the spark. And they added an unexpected display of rugged checking that hadn’t been produced in such quantities by a Montréal team here in several seasons. But the Leafs always had too much hockey class in reserve to be jolted off stride by the charging visitors, and ran out winners by a 6-3 count.
The inability of the Irvin boys to spread a defensive blanket over the forward line combination of Billy Taylor, Lorne Carr and Jack Forsey was the deciding factor in the contest.
The Toronto partners accounted for four of the six goals poked back of Paul Bibeault. Every goal was a three point proposition to the official scorers, with two assists dealt out for each score. Each member of the line harvested four points.
Lorne Carr jumped to the front in the National Hockey League scoring race with two goals and two assists, bringing his season count to 36. His two scores placed him in a tie with Gaye Stewart and Syl Apps for goal-getting honours in major hockey. Each has 18. Apps picked off his eighteenth early in the second period.
Billy Taylor swung into second place in the sniping derby with a goal and three assists. He now has 34 points. Rookie Jack Forsey had the same official tally as Taylor for the Saturday night show. Forsey was elected by coach Hap Day to remain at left wing on the Taylor line in place of Sweeney Schriner. Although back practicing again after his injury layoff, Day decided the big left winger wasn’t ready to return to competition.
The Leafs outplayed the visitors in the first period, frequently driving them deep into their own end zone and defying them to lug the puck into pay dirt. But the 20 minute stretch was a scoring standoff. Forsey opened the four goal partnership offering after Billy Taylor had twice missed on thrusts at Bibeault. Gord Drillon, the ex-Leaf, swept in from left wing to catch a pass from O’Connor and fool Turk Broda with a short-side shot. It was like hitting a keyhole at 40 paces, for the puck just found enough travelling space between the goalpost and Turk’s right leg.
Apps and Taylor delivered second period goals to give the Leafs a substantial margin over the Montréalers. The Canadiens protested a disallowed goal, Drillon from Blake, just before the period ended. Drillon was a couple of strides offside when he caught the pass going into the Toronto end zone, and Broda made little effort to block the shot after hearing the offside whistle. Bouchard was given a 10 minute misconduct penalty for demonstrating too vigorously in the protest meeting with referee Lamport.
The Lach-Benoit-Blake combination, easily the most effective of the raiders, manufactured two third period goals between them. Lach got the first, Blake the second. Between these, the Leafs sandwiched three, with Carr nailing two and McLean one.
One player short of the league limit, coach Irvin shifted hefty Charlie Phillips from defence patrol to centre ice. Irv McGibbon, formerly of Washington, appeared at right wing, with the veteran Ray Getliffe at left. It wasn’t a very sensational trio.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 4, 1943
TOR GOAL – 07:57 – Forsey (Carr, Taylor)
MTL GOAL – 16:06 – Drillon (O’Connor)
TOR PENS – Forsey, McLean
MTL PENS – Lamoureux, Portland
TOR GOAL – 06:40 – Apps (Davidson, Hill)
TOR GOAL – 19:24 – Taylor (Forsey, Carr)
TOR PENS – Copp, Poile
MTL PENS – Bouchard (game misconduct), McGibbon, Portland
MTL PP GOAL – 01:56 – Lach (Benoit, O’Connor)
TOR GOAL – 04:39 – Carr (Taylor, Forsey)
TOR GOAL – 05:03 – McLean (Stewart, Copp)
TOR GOAL – 12:16 – Carr (Taylor, Forsey)
MTL PP GOAL – 16:37 – Blake (Benoit, Lach)
TOR PENS – Copp, Forsey, Hamilton, Pratt
MTL PENS – Blake, Portland
TOR – Broda (W)
MTL – Bibeault (L)
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bobby Copp, Reg Hamilton, Bucko McDonald, Babe Pratt. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Lorne Carr, Bob Davidson, Jack Forsey, Mel Hill, Jack McLean, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Billy Taylor.
MTL – Goaltenders: Paul Bibeault. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Charlie Phillips, Jack Portland. Forwards: Joe Benoit, Toe Blake (C), Gordie Drillon, Ray Getliffe, Dutch Hiller, Elmer Lach, Leo Lamoureux, Irv McGibbon, Buddy O’Connor.