Game 212 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2

Game 212
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Sunday, February 25, 1945
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens defeated a rejuvenated Maple Leaf team 5 to 2 here Sunday night, and Maurice Richard set an all time professional scoring record before a hysterical crowd in a roaring, brawling game.

Young Richard’s 45th goal of the season came with only two minutes and 42 seconds of play remaining, after he had spent most of the evening trussed up like a turkey.

It was scored before Joe Malone, the old record holder, who had watched the game from the penalty bench until early in the second period, when the perspiring referee, King Clancy, caused a traffic jam in the sin bin by having five overly enthusiastic athletes incarcerated there at one time.

The goal was a great effort by young Richard, who fought all evening to get away from the tenacious checking of Bob Davidson and Nick Metz. The Canadiens were leading 4-2, but the battling Leafs still were very much in the game. As a stifling mass of players swept behind the Leaf net, Richard plowed out of the ruck with the puck, pivoted at the red line, and let fly his shot, which whipped against Frank McCool’s left skate and rocketed into the net.

It was a wild game that was punctuated in frequent fist fights, involving even such mild characters as Lorne Carr and Fern Gauthier.

It ended in a savage slugging match between Tommy O’Neill and Leo Lamoureux, and they fought again in the penalty box. The final act had a spectator leaning over the rail to hit Reg Hamilton in the face, and while the ushers gave this intruder the bum’s rush, referee Clancy stood on the rail,s creaming imprecations at his effontery in interfering.

Each team now has won four games in this year’s series, with one tied. The final regular schedule game between them will be played in Toronto Saturday night. Come early and wear your heavy checking pads.

Chronologically, it went something like this:

First the first 10 minutes, while the overflow crowd, which clawed and struggled to get into the rink, still were looking for their missing overcoat buttons, the gents on the ice hammered each other at a terrific clip. Davidson and Elmer Lach put the slug on each other at precisely the same instant, and were jugged. Shortly afterword, Bob Fillion hooked Nick Metz, who bopped him over the skull. Fillion was benched, but Metz escaped, probably because Clancy didn’t think that he had hit hard enough to earn a penalty. O’Connor’s goal was a easy effort. He picked up his own rebound and plunked it home deftly.

Bodnar still was on the bench with 90 seconds of a hooking penalty to serve when the second period got underway, and things broke wide open. Hamilton and Blake went off for fighting, Davidson went off for interference, Richard went off for elbowing Art Jackson with a flying body press, and the penalty box was more than jammed. In some mysterious manner, the penalty timer let Bodnar serve at least four minutes, and Davidson only served about 90 seconds. However, only Hamilton and Blake were off in the box when Nick Metz tied it up.

Then came the successive penalties to Pratt and Hamilton, and both Bouchard and Toe Blake broke up the ball game.

Babe Pratt got one back for Toronto in the final period when his shot went through a maze of players and caromed home off Bouchard’s leg. Lach made it 4-2 on a pretty passing play with Blake.

Then came Richard’s goal. Before play was resumed, Malone presented the record breaking puck to him for the benefit of the press cameras and posterity.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 26, 1945

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 08:32 – O’Connor (Eddolls, Gauthier)

MTL PEN – 08:34 – Lach
TOR PEN – 08:34 – Davidson
MTL PEN – 09:47 – Fillion
TOR PEN – 19:22 – Bodnar, hooking

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 00:06 – Blake, major
TOR PEN – 00:06 – Hamilton, major
MTL PEN – 00:28 – Richard
TOR PEN – 01:22 – Davidson
TOR GOAL – 04:50 – Metz (Pratt)
TOR PEN – 05:09 – Pratt
TOR PEN – 06:08 – Hamilton
MTL PP GOAL – 06:54 – Bouchard (O’Connor)
MTL PP GOAL – 07:09 – Blake (Lach, Bouchard)
MTL PEN – 10:11 – Gauthier, major
TOR PEN – 10:11 – Carr, major
MTL PEN – 19:52 – Mosdell

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 03:17 – Eddolls
TOR PP GOAL – 04:24 – Pratt
MTL GOAL – 10:03 – Lach (Blake)
MTL PEN – 12:37 – Lamoureux
MTL PEN – 15:02 – Getliffe
TOR PEN – 15:02 – Davidson
MTL GOAL – 17:18 – Richard (Blake)
MTL PEN – 19:52 – Lamoureux, minor + game misconduct
TOR PEN – 19:52 – O’Neill, minor + game misconduct

MTL – Durnan (W)
TOR – McCool (L)

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

MTL – 33-5-4 (.833)
TOR – 19-20-3 (.488)