Playoff Game 17 – Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0

Playoff Game 17
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 0
Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2
Thursday, April 10, 1947
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The unpredictable Toronto Maple Leafs chose the hottest night of the young spring season to unleash a torrid comeback attack and blast the Montréal Canadiens 4-0, before a record breaking crowd of 12,915 sweltering fans here tonight.

The hard earned victory, a complete reversal of the Tuesday form that saw the Leafs staggering around the ice like ulcerated old men, climaxed a wild session of rugged playoff hockey.

The exciting action reached a peak late in the second period, when the mild mannered Maurice Richard was banished indefinitely for an allegedly deliberate attempt to injure Toronto’s Bill Ezinicki. Richard slashed Ezinicki’s face with his stick, cutting the Toronto player’s head wide open. Eight stitches were necessary to close the gash.

Earlier in the game, the same Montréal player slashed Vic Lynn, and the rookie left winger was carried from the ice unconscious with blood streaming from a cut over his left eye. Six stitches were necessary to close that gash. Both Toronto casualties got back in the game after receiving first aid.

Referee Bill Chadwick, who capably handled a tough assignment, banished Richard with a 20 minute match misconduct penalty. NHL president Clarence Campbell later announced that Richard would not be allowed to play again until he appeared before the league head to defend his action. The match misconduct penalty also carries a $100 fine.

The rough action on the ice was transferred to the stands, with numerous brawls threatening on all sides. The fans vented their spleen by throwing everything in sight, including pop bottles, onto the playing surface. They did not cool out with the end of the game, and angry mobs gathered at the exits waiting to spot members of the Toronto team. However, the victorious squad left the building without any untoward incidents.

The Leafs played inspired hockey from the opening faceoff. The decision was gained before the game was two minutes old. The aggressive Kid Trio of Ted Kennedy, Vic Lynn and Howie Meeker combined with their defence mates to run in two goals within 25 seconds, while the rough and ready Butch Bouchard sat out a minor penalty.

Kennedy scored first at 1:11, and then Lynn broke away to finish off a spectacular play on the next faceoff. Gaye Stewart made it 3-0 for Toronto early in the second period, with Harry Watson getting the final goal just past the halfway mark of the final period.

The impressive victory was sweet revenge for the 6-0 shellacking handed out by the Canadiens in the opening game here Tuesday night. The decision squared the series at a game apiece, with the action shifting to Toronto for the third and fourth renewal of a bitterly contested hockey world series on Saturday night.

It was a hot, stuffy night, with the fans shedding their coats and hats, and loosening ties in scenes more familiar to a baseball stadium. The heat got to the players, as they came up with an epic performance that had the spectators on the edge of their seats for practically the 60 minutes.

The Canadiens in defeat looked more impressive than on the occasion of their lopsided victory. Play was fairly even, with Toronto goalie Turk Broda handling 24 shots to 22 for Bill Durnan. The big difference was that Broda handled every chance in a cool, competent manner, while his opposite number was beaten on four occasions.

The Canadiens never gave up trying, and came close to ruining Broda’s shutout in the dying minutes of the game. The Red Shirts played more than a third of the game with five or less players on the ice.

Undoubtedly, players on each team were inspired to rugged action by the almost fanatical insistence of the Montréal coach that blood would be spilled, as his team fought to win the Stanley Cup for the injured Elmer Lach. The Montréal coach was right. Blood was spilled, plenty of it. But it was not the Canadiens’ blood, and part of the gore was the direct result of a deliberate attack.

To return to the banishment of Richard, which occurred at 17:13 of the second period. The Rocket collided with Ezinicki, and the two started pushing each other. Referee Chadwick thumbed both to the penalty bench, and stepped between the combatants to cool them out. Then the erratic Richard, a great player, but exceedingly wild tempered, reached over the official and cut Ezinicki across the face.

Toronto players rushed at Richard as blood spurted down Ezinicki’s face, but Montréal teammates pushed Richard into the penalty box out of trouble. The offending player stood with his stick raised ready for any attempt to rush him.

The other bloodletting incident occurred earlier in the same period. The Leafs were attacking and Lynn was rushing up for a pass with Richard beside him. Suddenly the Toronto player fell to the ice in a pool of blood. He attempted to stagger to his feet, but fell unconscious and had to be carried to the dressing room. Richard was banished for five minutes for that bit of action.

On the whole, it was a very rough contest, with 17 penalties handed out, 10 of them to Toronto players.

It would be hard to pick out the Toronto stars. All played top line hockey. The forwards came up with some brilliant two way action, while Turk Broda, the individual hero of the contest, received airtight protection from four rookie defencemen. The veteran Wally Stanowski was used only sparingly, getting into the game in the last few minutes.

Harry Watson was the most improved Toronto player, making a great comeback after a mediocre performance in the first game. His linemates, Syl Apps and the bandaged Ezinicki, were great. As for the Kid Line, Lynn was not slowed up very much by the bash he received, while Howie Meeker came through with some of his now famous rushes.

With Nick Metz out for the series – he was injured in the Tuesday game – coach Happy Day dressed big Bud Poile. He centred the third line with Gaye Stewart and Don Metz on the wings. The last mentioned player did some solid checking, and Stewart showed flashes of his old former self.

The defencemen were all good, with Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson, Garth Boesch and Bill Barilko working hard all the time. The game Boesch played mighty fine hockey for a player plagued with a groin injury.

The Canadiens had some stars, too. Murph Chamberlain was a threat all the time, while Billy Reay, George Allen and Buddy O’Connor worked hard. Bouchard, despite his costly penalty, topped the red-shirted rearguards, while Roger Leger performed well.

The Leafs left for Toronto immediately after the game. The Canadiens will follow on the Friday afternoon train. Tonight’s Toronto victory assured Montréal fans of at least one more game in the Forum this season, the fifth game next Thursday.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, April 11, 1947

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:06 – Bouchard
TOR PP GOAL – 01:12 – Kennedy (Lynn, Barilko)
TOR PP GOAL – 01:36 – Lynn (Kennedy)
TOR PEN – 04:41 – Mortson
TOR PEN – 09:56 – Barilko

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 00:58 – Barilko
MTL PEN – 06:20 – Richard, major
TOR PP GOAL – 06:37 – Stewart (Metz, Barilko)
MTL PEN – 08:50 – Bouchard
TOR PEN – 08:50 – Ezinicki
MTL PEN – 09:06 – Leger
TOR PEN – 10:09 – Meeker
TOR PEN – 17:13 – Ezinicki
MTL PEN – 17:13 – Richard, 20 min. match penalty
TOR PEN – 17:56 – Metz

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 09:50 – Ezinicki
MTL PEN – 10:58 – Allen
TOR PP GOAL – 11:55 – Watson (Mortson)
MTL PEN – 13:25 – Allen
TOR PEN – 13:25 – Boesch
TOR PEN – 14:38 – Mortson

TOR – Broda (W + SO, 24-24)
MTL – Durnan (L, 18-22)

TORGoaltenders: Gordie Bell, Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Garth Boesch, Gus Mortson, Wally Stanowski, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Bill Ezinicki, Ted Kennedy, Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, Howie Meeker, Don Metz, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan, Floyd Perras. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Frank Eddolls, Glen Harmon, Roger Leger. Forwards: George Allen, Toe Blake (C), Murph Chamberlain, Bob Fillion, Leo Lamoureux, Hub Macey, Murdo MacKay, Buddy O’Connor, Jimmy Peters, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.