Game 233 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 233
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Sunday, February 23, 1947
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

A goal by big Ken Reardon with exactly seven seconds to go gave the Montréal Canadiens a 2-2 draw with their bitter rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, here tonight, and sent a seasonal record crowd of 12,764 highly partisan fans into paroxysms of joy.

It was a heartbreaking ending for the Leafs, who, ahead 2-1, appeared on the way to their first triumph over the National League leading Habitants on Forum ice this season. The teams now have tied four, while the Leafs have lost four and won two against the defending champions.

The tying tally came when Reardon rounded the net through sheer fight, with players sprawled all about, and pushed the puck past Broda. Burly Roger Leger was given an assist. Big Ken sprawled on the ice, was surrounded by back-slapping teammates, and the game was held up five minutes while the ice was cleared of programs and other debris.

The goal came, too, with captain Syl Apps sitting in the penalty box with a 10 minute misconduct penalty for coming on the ice from the bench when a fracas threatened in the Canadien end.

Syl, who had only a minor penalty against him up to tonight, rushed into the fray after Leger and “Wild Bill” Ezinicki, who was stepping into everybody with rate abandon, crashed in the corner with sticks held high. Instantly, they were surrounded by pushing mates. Since the penalty came in the last 10 minutes of the game, Apps took an automatic $25 fine.

It was a hard smashing, but mostly clean battle all the way, and the Leafs appeared on the road to victory after “The Whirling Dervish,” Wally Stanowski, gave them a 2-1 lead midway through the final frame. Just before Reardon’s tying goal, and with Durnan playing at centre ice, Watson lobbed the puck out of the Toronto zone, but missed the open net by a foot.

The Leafs, booed when they took the ice, gave the crowd something to groan about by scoring first, with Howie Meeker fooling icicle Bill Durnan neatly after 13 minutes. There was a tremendous roar when Rocket Richard evened the count midway through the second.

The dashing Habitants, who with 23 shots on goal had two more than the Leafs, enjoyed a terrific edge in territorial play in the opening period. Meeker’s goal was the first of the only two real opening session chances the Leafs had.

Joe Klukay set up the play, and it was Howie’s first goal of the season on Forum ice. Indeed, it was one of the few shots he has had against Durnan all winter.

The brilliant tally came after Klukay broke away in the Leaf area, shot a long, rink wide pass to the speeding Howie, which eluded the lone Habitant rearguard, Émile Bouchard. Howie picked it up on the fly, went right in on Durnan and backhanded a shot into the high centre of the net as he whizzed by. The time was 13:36.

The young lamplighter, Richard, made it on a close-in drive after taking a pass from Leger just as he hit the Toronto defence.

Only seconds prior to that, Barilko caught Richard with a fierce bodycheck that sent him spinning like a top. It was while he was twirling, his stick caught Leaf Wally Stanowski on the crown of the head, and the blood ran down Wally’s neck. There was no penalty. The incident appeared entirely accidental. Stanowski returned to action after a hemstitching job.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 24, 1947

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 13:36 – Meeker (Klukay)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 09:48 – Richard (Leger)
TOR PEN – 11:13 – Stewart
MTL PEN – 19:40 – Leger

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 00:33 – Chamberlain
TOR GOAL – 11:36 – Stan
MTL GOAL – 19:53 – Reardon (Leger)

MTL – Durnan (T, 19-21)
TOR – Broda (T, 21-23)

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

MTL – 28-13-9 (.650)
TOR – 26-15-8 (.612)