Game 228 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 228
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, January 15, 1947
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The two teams considered most likely to clash in the final round of the postseason Stanley Cup playoff series will be hard put to provide more exciting action than their 60 minute preview of things to come at Maple Leaf Gardens last night, which ended in rousing fashion with the loop leading Toronto Maple Leafs edging the defending world champion Montréal Canadiens 2-1.

The sellout crowd of 14,550 fans was kept on edge for the entire game, as the players lit into each other with little thought for bruised bodies, and broken sticks littered the sidelines like the shore of a storm-swept beach.

The gruelling contest, which ended with Montréal netminder Bill Durnan benched in favour of a sixth forward and the redshirted men from Québec applying the pressure in a desperate manner in search of the equalizer that never came, evened the season’s score between these two red hot hockey squads. Both have won two and tied one of their five meetings.

The teams rushed from the Gardens after the game to catch the night train for Montréal, where their feud will be renewed this evening.

The individual star of the game was the dipsy-doodling Wally Stanowski, who came through with his best two way performance of the season. The lean and lanky rearguard was sensational, as he and the Golddust Twins, Gus Mortson and Jimmy Thomson, did double duty back of the Toronto blueline.

Stanowski seldom gave a better performance even in the days of his selection to the All Star team. He set up innumerable offensive plays, and defensively was a standout, using his body to better advantage than he usually does. Not many rushing enemy forwards managed to escape his snake hips or long dangling hockey stick, which consistently poked the puck out of danger.

There were other stars on both teams, as first Toronto and then Montréal tried to knock the opposition right out of the game. Referee George Hayes, the rookie NHL referee, was faced with one of the toughest assignments of his officiating career and acquitted himself creditably, although no one will ever accuse him of being a “homer.”

Ingersoll’s contribution to NHL officialdom was the victim of an unfortunate accident in the final period, when he was struck over the eye by a flying stick in the heat of battle. Five stitches were necessary to close the gash which split open his left eyebrow. He returned to finish his job after being patched up in the Gardens’ hospital. Hayes was struck by Maurice “The Rocket” Richard’s stick, which accidentally flew out of the Montréal player’s hands. A fraction of an inch lower, and the referee might have lost an eye.

The hottest action was confined to the first two periods, and then the injury riddled Toronto squad began to tire noticeably. Montréal forced the play time and again, but it was Toronto’s night. The Goddess of Luck was riding with the white shirted young Leafs. They had the breaks, and made the most of them.

Another main factor in the Toronto win was the steady playing of netminder Walter “Turk” Broda. The happy-go-lucky guardian of the twine had his work cut out for him, as Montréal outshot the winners 34 to 26. Twenty nine of the Canadiens’ drives at the Toronto net were made in the last two periods.

Syl Apps played brilliantly and came up with the first score of the night. He took the puck away from Leo Lamoureux at the Montréal blue line early in the first period and skated in alone to blast a hard shot past Durnan from 10 feet out. The crowd went delirious with joy, and were still screaming when Apps, Bill Ezinicki and Nick Metz almost scored again.

Eleven minutes later Toronto made it 2-0. Gaye Stewart, showing almost 100 percent improvement over his Saturday game, went flying in at a mile-a-minute clip to pull Durnan out of position and score.

The play started in the Toronto zone with Jimmy Thomson shoving the puck up to playmaker Bud Poile. The brainy centreman from Fort William shot a long forward pass to Stewart, and the left winger cut in sharply around the Montréal defence. It was a goal scoring play all the way.

The Montréal score came at 7:30 of the third period, climaxing a ferocious ganging attack in the Toronto zone. Billy Reay, Murph Chamberlain, Jimmy Peters and Kenny Reardon made life miserable for Broda and his mates for minutes on end. Finally out of a scramble, Chamberlain pushed the puck into the net. Peters got the assist.

NOTES: The Leafs gave one of their best back checking displays of the season. Although kept off the score sheet, the Toronto kid line of Ted “Teeder” Kennedy, Joe Klukay and Howie Meeker played well. Meeker had the tough assignment of checking Maurice Richard. Klukay and Gus Bodnar came up with a top performance of penalty time killing…The most frustrated man on the ice was Toe Blake, who was in on Broda unmolested at least three times. Twice the Toronto goalie outwitted him, but on the first occasion the veteran Montréal player had the open net in front of him, but could not control the puck…The most bruised man was undoubtedly Richard. He was hit hard time and again by the Toronto defence, but came back for more. He was stopped by the hustling young Jimmy Thomson three times in as many minutes. Stanowski sent Chamberlain flying with a block the former Leaf will long remember…Butch Bouchard, a leading candidate for the All Star team, played a stellar defensive game for Montréal, as did hardworking Kenny Reardon…The wily Dick Irvin used only two lines in the last period, benching Léo Gravelle, Kenny Mosdell and Buddy O’Connor. Montréal looked the fresher squad at the end, and will be favourites to take tonight’s game…The fans hit a new low in sportsmanship when they loudly booed the announcement referee George Hayes had been hurt. And the mild clapping when he returned stitched up only partly atoned for the misdemeanour…Col. Fred G. Kemp, DSO of Grimsby, a veteran of the First World War, was the Gardens’ paraplegic guest.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 16, 1947; image property of Puckstruck

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 02:47 – Apps
TOR PEN – 04:27 – Mortson
MTL PEN – 11:26 – Reardon
TOR PP GOAL – 13:20 – Stewart (Poile, Thomson)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 05:39 – Thomson
MTL PEN – 06:43 – Harmon
TOR PEN – 08:38 – Thomson
TOR PEN – 14:04 – N. Metz
MTL PEN – 15:38 – Richard

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 07:29 – Chamberlain (Peters)

TOR – Broda (W, 33-34)
MTL – Durnan (L, 24-26)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Gus Mortson, Wally Stanowski, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Gus Bodnar, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Kennedy, Joe Klukay, Howie Meeker, Don Metz, Nick Metz, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: George Allen, Toe Blake (C), Murph Chamberlain, Léo Gravelle, Elmer Lach, Leo Lamoureux, Kenny Mosdell, Buddy O’Connor, Jimmy Peters, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 23-8-4 (.714)
MTL – 19-11-3 (.621)