Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2
Saturday, March 6, 1943
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON
While the Detroit Red Wings were dusting off the Chicago Black Hawks Saturday night at the Detroit Olympia and increasing the playoff worries of Major Frederick McLaughlin’s hopefuls, the Toronto Leafs and Montréal Canadiens put on their “Snow Special” at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Toronto and district hockey devotees paid glowing tribute to the National League’s two Canadian entries in this year’s ice derby by buffering a near blizzard and traffic jamming snowdrifts to watch them battle to a 2-2 tie. More than 12,000 saw the game.
The deadlock gave the Leafs temporary possession of third place, one point ahead of the Black Hawks, and placed the scrappy Canadiens one point behind the Chicago team.
The Canadiens, routed four times in a row in previous visits to Toronto this winter, came up with their best showing on Gardens ice. The Leafs showed improved form over the lamented Rangers shutout jolt.
The 2-2 count was a fair division of the night’s dividends, although either club could have grabbed off the decision in the third period.
“Goal-postitis” reared its ugly head in the third frame when the clubs were knotted at 2-2. Billy Taylor hit a goalpost back of Paul Bibeault and the goal judge flagged his red light, but there was no official count. Then Gord Drillon, swinging in fast from right wing, fired a shot that beat Turk Broda, but the puck wicked off an iron upright.
Joe Benoit produced the only goal of the first period on a play that stirred up considerable controversy. Ernie Laforce, a rookie defenceman from the Montréal Royals, started the play. In the goalmouth scramble that ensued, the puck dropped on the goal line. Goal judge Wiry Hagan did not give the customary red light signal, but referee King Clancy ruled that the puck had crossed the line and awarded a goal, despite the vigorous protests of Turk Broda.
Bob Davidson put the Leafs in the running early in the second period off a play with Jackie Hamilton and Mel Hill. Then Billy Taylor caught a pass from Lorne Carr that put him clear of a Montréal ganging attack, and completed the long trip up the ice to fool Bibeault neatly.
Ching Dheere dug up the goal that tied the score 2-2 off a play started by Meronek in the same period.
Defenceman Ernie Laforce, a lease-lender from the Québec senior amateur ranks, injured leg muscles in the second period and had to retire.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 8, 1943
MTL GOAL – 08:43 – Benoit
TOR PEN – McLean
MTL PEN – Harmon
TOR GOAL – 06:07 – Davidson (Hill, J. Hamilton)
TOR PP GOAL – 08:43 – Taylor (Carr)
TOR PEN – Jones
MTL PENS – Drillon, Portland
MTL GOAL – 08:02 – Dheere (Meronek)
TOR – Broda (T)
MTL – Bibeault (T)
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Reg Hamilton, Buck Jones, Bucko McDonald, Babe Pratt. Forwards: Lorne Carr, Bob Davidson, Jackie Hamilton, Mel Hill, Jack McLean, Bud Poile, Sweeney Schriner, Gaye Stewart, Billy Taylor.
MTL – Goaltenders: Paul Bibeault. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Ernie Laforce, Jack Portland. Forwards: Joe Benoit, Toe Blake (C), Marcel Dheere, Gordie Drillon, Ray Getliffe, Dutch Hiller, Elmer Lach, Bill Meronek, Buddy O’Connor.