Game 239 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 239
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Saturday, November 29, 1947
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Sweet William Ezinicki looked more his robust self at Maple Leaf Gardens Saturday night – and the Leafs celebrated with a 3-1 triumph over the Montréal Canadiens.

The muscle-minded winger turned in his best bumping display since the New York Rangers complained of his rugged tactics three weeks ago, and he aided quite some in slowing the Habitants to a trot. Meanwhile, the Leafs scored once in each period of the hard checking tilt on goals by Vic Lynn, Joe Klukay and Howie Meeker. Bob Carse scored the lone Montréal tally in the middle frame.

The game wasn’t typical of some penalty riddens, spirited Leaf-Habitant clashes, couldn’t compare, for instance, with the last clash of the two teams here. But the jammed gathering of 14,574 found plenty to shout about, and the Leafs had quite an edge in the bodychecking division. The result left the teams tied on the season with two wins each.

The only real show of temper came early in the second period, when that Wild Bull of the Habitants, rearguard Kenny Reardon, was chased into the boards by Gus Mortson. As they parted, Reardon swung his stick at Mortson’s head. The stick grazed Mortson’s skull, opening up a wound and bringing Reardon a five minute major. Mortson continued to play, and turned in a good game.

Rocket Richard, who along with Elmer Lach, continued use of small, plastic helmets they donned for the first time against the Leafs in Montréal last Thursday, was a marked man. Twice his stick was broken by the force of impact, once when Ezinicki caught him solidly, and another time when Boesch spun him around like a top at the Leaf defence. Lach discarded his headgear for the third period, which led Leaf defenceman Jim Thomson to remark that “Lach’s taken off his bathing cap.”

With a much improved Ted Kennedy-Howie Meeker-Vic Lynn line leading the way, the Leafs managed the initial tally near the end of the first period, when Reardon elected to dash from his right defence position to the other side of the rink, in an effort to “get a piece” of the puck carrying Meeker.

This left Lynn unguarded beside the goal. Meeker passed back to Bill Barilko at the blueline as Reardon hit him, and Barilko’s shot was deflected into the net by Lynn’s skate. Rookie Jacques Locas of the Habs was serving a minor penalty at the time.

A short backhander by Joe Klukay that trickled into the nets off Bill Durnan’s pads made it 2-0 in the second, before a shot by Bob Carse hit the goalpost and glanced into the Leaf twine.

The puck came out to Klukay after Max Bentley fought Doug Harvey, the rookie rearguard, for it behind the net. On Carse’s goal, the Leaf defence combination of Boesch and Barilko was concentrating entirely on spilling Rushin’ Reardon – and did, but good.

The last tally came just past halfway of the final when Kennedy grabbed the puck at the side of the cage, passed it to Meeker in front, who lifted it into the net. Harvey was busily engaged, taking care of Lynn in a corner at the time.

NOTES: President Conn Smythe revealed after the game that prior to the famed “five for two” deal with Chicago, he had offered Gaye Stewart, then a Leaf left winger, to the Canadiens in a deal that would have brought rearguard Harvey here…The Leafs managed only three shots on goal during the first 15 minutes of Saturday’s game, and ended up with 23 to 24 by Montréal…Toe Blake, the veteran Hab, missed two open nets…Bentley received one of his few annual penalties, this one for hooking Reardon…Thomson was great on defence.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 1, 1947

1st Period
MTL PEN – 15:19 – Locas, cross checking
TOR PP GOAL – 16:38 – Lynn (Barilko, Meeker)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 04:33 – Reardon, high sticking major
TOR PEN – 10:16 – Meeker, interference
TOR GOAL – 13:49 – Klukay (D. Metz, Bentley)
MTL GOAL – 17:41 – Carse (Reardon)

TOR PEN – 19:12 – Bentley, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 02:13 – Harvey, tripping
TOR PEN – 06:04 – Barilko, cross checking
TOR GOAL – 12:33 – Meeker (Kennedy, Lynn)

TOR – Broda (W, 23-24)
MTL – Durnan (L, 20-23)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Garth Boesch, Gus Mortson, Wally Stanowski, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Max Bentley, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Kennedy, Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, Howie Meeker, Don Metz, Nick Metz, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Toe Blake (C), Bob Carse, Léo Gravelle, Elmer Lach, Jacques Locas, Murdo MacKay, Jimmy Peters, John Quilty, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.

TOR – 9-6-2 (.588)
MTL – 7-8-2 (.471)