Game 209 – Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2

Game 209
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2
Thursday, January 4, 1945
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

An inspired dozen blue shirted Toronto Leafs chewed to ribbons the manuscript prepared by Maurice Richard’s press agents, and left the Rocket floundering along the side boards at Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

Outplaying the Stanley Cup holding Montréal Canadiens in all three periods, outscoring them in two and blanketing not only the highly publicized Richard, but also Hector “Toe” Blake, the league’s leading scorer, the Leafs rammed a 4-2 charge down the throats of the visitors.

It was the sixth meeting of the two Canadian clubs of the National Hockey League, the fourth Toronto victory and the third straight for the boys in blue over the champions on local ice.

One of the biggest midweek league games in several seasons, 12,385 watched the Leafs conquer the Habitants by overshadowing them both defensively and offensively.

Not only did the Leafs so thoroughly smother hockey’s outstanding forward line of the current season, Lach, Blake and Richard, that coach Dick Irvin finally turned the attacking load over to Getliffe, Chamberlain and Mosdell – but the brazen homesters collected three of their four goals while Mr. Rocket and his two mates were on the ice.

Mel Hill was Toronto’s traffic director in this latest shellacking of a club that jolted the Leafs out of the Stanley Cup playdowns last spring with an 11-0 blast. He set up a long forward pass play for Bob Davidson in the first period for the only goal of a 20 minute stretch in which the locals were much the best.

In the early stages of the second period, Hill added two goals on his own hook. The first was a testy thing, which saw Mel steal the puck away from Glen Harmon at the side of the Montréal nets and then dump it beyond Bill Durnan’s reach. The second one was off a goalmouth pass from Wally Stanowski.

Goals by Getliffe and Lorne Carr completed the four goal second period. Getliffe got his by slapping home a loose puck after Frank McCool had worn himself into exhaustion blocking a Montréal ganging attack.

Getliffe collaborated with Murph Chamberlain for the only goal of the third period, in which the locals continued to dominate the play.

In this period Dick Irvin, satisfied his big line had run out of steam, used Getliffe, Chamberlain and Mosdell 12 out of the 20 minutes.

Two big blasts rocked the Canadiens back on their heels in the first period, and they never recovered. First was Davidson’s goal after two different Toronto forward lines had tied Messrs. Richard and Blake into pretzels. Lach was the only elusive member of the line.

Second, and probably even more dramatic, was Babe Pratt’s bodycheck that lifted Maurice “The Rocket” Richard off his blades, and dumped him into a heap at the Montréal blueline just after Davidson’s score. It was Pratt’s Jolt of the Year. Davidson and Nick Metz took care of Montréal’s 24 goal sniper after that.

Once in the second period, Richard got one of his fast breakaways off a long pass from Lach, got inside the Toronto defence, and then backhanded the puck over McCool’s head. The Rocket didn’t touch the puck half a dozen times the rest of the night.

Day used only two forward lines against Irvin’s three strings. Art Jackson had a roving commission as Toronto’s extra forward. O’Neill and Backor never left the bench.

Chamberlain, flattened against the boards by Pratt in the third period, protested to referee Chadwick. It wasn’t much of an argument, and Murph elected to vent his spleen on Mel Hill a few minutes later. He smashed his stick while apparently trying to carve his trademark on Mel’s ears. The boys wrestled and punched in the only flareup of a wide open contest.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 5, 1945

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 08:51 – Davidson (Hill)

MTL PEN – 17:04 – Chamberlain

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 01:54 – Hill (Davidson, Kennedy)
TOR GOAL – 07:08 – Hill (Stanowski)
MTL GOAL – 15:02 – Getliffe
TOR GOAL – 16:17 – Carr (Bodnar, Metz)

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 11:41 – Getliffe (Chamberlain, Eddolls)
TOR PEN – 16:11 – Hill
MTL PEN – 16:11 – Chamberlain, double minor

TOR – McCool (W)
MTL – Durnan (L)

TORGoaltenders: Frank McCool. Defence: Pete Backor, Reg Hamilton, Moe Morris, Babe Pratt, Wally Stanowski. Forwards: Gus Bodnar, Lorne Carr, Bob Davidson (C), Mel Hill, Art Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Nick Metz, Tom O’Neill.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Frank Eddolls, Glen Harmon. Forwards: Toe Blake (C), Murph Chamberlain, Fern Gauthier, Ray Getliffe, Dutch Hiller, Elmer Lach, Leo Lamoureux, Kenny Mosdell, Buddy O’Connor, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 13-8-2 (.609)
MTL – 17-5-2 (.750)