Game 190 – Maple Leafs 8, Canadiens 4

Game 190
Maple Leafs 8, Canadiens 4
Saturday, January 16, 1943
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Just doesn’t seem to be any way of laughing off the fellow who referred to Dick Irvin’s Montréal Canadiens after Saturday night’s game at Maple Leaf Gardens as the club “with the frozen assets.”

The National Hockey League’s hottest team of the moment, according to repeated communiques out of Montréal – beaten only once in its last eight starts – looked like something smuggled in from the Ravina Gardens Mercantile fraternity for 50 minutes Saturday p.m., and escaped with the short end of an 8-4 count, only because of an unexpected scoring burst late in the third period.

The Leafs put the chill on “hockey’s hot shots” by establishing a 2-0 lead in the first period. They almost lapped the visitors in the second, outscoring them five goals to one. It was 8-1 for the homesters after nine minutes’ play in the third.

By that stage in the contest, the Leafs were so tired of it all that they went into convoy formation inside the Toronto defence zone and unwittingly served as a smoke screen, behind which the Montréalers slipped three quick goals back of Turk Broda.

Through the first and second periods and 11 minutes of the third, the Canadiens were sorry defenders of their recently acquired “hot team” mantle. Earlier in the day, coach Dick Irvin had pointed out that his Montréalers seemed to “freeze up” every time they stepped on Gardens ice. But wishfully thinking, he expressed the hope that the boys would play the hockey they were capable of that evening.

But despite the three goal splurge in the third period, the Canadiens operated most of the night as men dispossessed.

The front line of Benoit, Blake and Lach was the only real challenge tossed out at the Leafs. Defensively, the visitors had little to offer. Rookie Glen Harmon potted a long shot backhander for the first Montréal score late in the second period, but otherwise the Irvinites were thoroughly handcuffed.

The clearest notes in the one-sided 50 minute stretch before the late Montréal rally were sounded by professional hockey’s greatest scoring formation, Billy Taylor, Dave Schriner and Lorne Carr.

Carr plucked four points out of the scoring harvest, two goals and two assists to tighten his grip on the NHL sniping leadership. He became the first big league puckster to crack the 20 goal mark this winter. His count to Sunday was 21 goals, 20 assists.

Schriner, who revels in competition against the Canadiens, clicked off a goal and two assists. Taylor contributed two assists. All three were flirting with goalie Bibeault so often, that harassed individual must have taken them for his own teammates.

Bobby Copp, coming up with still another of his fine all-round defence performances, and puck carrying nifties, was graduated from the maiden division of goal hunters. Bobby bagged the first goal of the game on a play served up to him on left wing by Taylor and Carr. Bud Poile tossed in two goals, Hill and Pratt one apiece. Syl Apps had to be satisfied with a single assist.

Gaye Stewart, apparently swept away by his amazing ability to make a pair of skates operate like wings of mercury, was going so fast most of the evening he didn’t find time to take the puck with him. When he did trap the biscuit, he was still flying so fast he couldn’t coordinate legs and head. If they ever open the ends of the rink, the Port Arthur flier will be finishing his plays at the Thornhill Golf Club or on the lake front.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 18, 1943

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 04:09 – Copp (Taylor, Carr)

TOR GOAL – 07:28 – Poile (Stewart, Pratt)
TOR PENS – Copp, Taylor
MTL PEN – Portland

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 04:23 – Schriner (Carr)
TOR PP GOAL – 06:59 – Hill (Pratt, Apps)
TOR GOAL – 09:09 – Carr (Taylor, Schriner)
TOR GOAL – 09:37 – Carr (Schriner)
MTL PP GOAL – 13:14 – Harmon
TOR GOAL – 17:31 – Pratt (Forsey, Stewart)
TOR PEN – Hamilton
MTL PEN – Harmon

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 09:10 – Poile (Hamilton, Stewart)
MTL GOAL – 11:38 – Benoit (Lach, Blake)
MTL GOAL – 12:15 – Lach
MTL GOAL – 13:45 – Getliffe (Mahaffy, Sands)
MTL PEN – Lamoureux

TOR – Broda (W)
MTL – Bibeault (L)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bobby Copp, Reg Hamilton, Bucko McDonald, Babe Pratt. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Lorne Carr, Bob Davidson, Jack Forsey, Mel Hill, Bud Poile, Sweeney Schriner, Gaye Stewart, Billy Taylor.
MTLGoaltenders: Paul Bibeault. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Jack Portland. Forwards: Joe Benoit, Toe Blake (C), Gordie Drillon, Ray Getliffe, Dutch Hiller, Elmer Lach, Leo Lamoureux, John Mahaffy, Buddy O’Connor, Charlie Sands.

TOR – 14-10-4 (.571)
MTL – 9-14-5 (.411)