Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 4
Thursday, January 15, 1948
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, QC
The once mighty Montréal Canadiens, dwelling in the shadow of playoff elimination, staged an impressive comeback here tonight to decisively tag the Toronto Maple Leafs with an 8-4 defeat.
Outplaying the visitors all the way and gradually outclassing them after a rugged first period, the Habitants scored almost at will. Victory put the Canadiens within one point of the fourth place Boston Bruins, and cost the Leafs an opportunity to regain the NHL lead from the idle Detroit Red Wings.
The game marked the return to hockey of Kenny Mosdell, out all season with a broken arm, and the return to form of the stout-hearted Murph Chamberlain, playing his second game since suffering a leg injury in November.
But it was the inspirational work of an all French Canadian line, playing together as a unit for the first time, that gave Dick Irvin’s lads the necessary spark. The Leafs were leading 3-2 late in the second period when a penalty to Bill Ezinicki, his fourth of the night, paved the way for two quick goals. Both were the result of the work of Tod Campeau, Jacques Locas and Norman Dussault.
They brought resounding cheers down from the rafters as they tied the game with Campeau’s goal, and then paved the way for defenceman Glen Harmon to put the home team in front. They were never headed again.
The Leafs appeared to fold after that fourth Canadien goal, and were never in the fight, being outscored 4-1 in the final period on goals by Maurice Richard, Elmer Lach, Harmon and Roger Leger. Harry Watson ended the Toronto scoring.
The game opened on a wild theme, with the first period taking more than 40 minutes. Referee King Clancy had a busy time issuing eight penalties, two majors and a misconduct. The 10 minute sentence and automatic $25 fine was assessed to Ken Reardon, who attacked linesman Joe Springer of Chicago, knocking him to the ice.
The hard bumping of Bouchard and Ezinicki, with wild Kenny Reardon and Gus Mortson putting on an extra show, started the big fight of the period. Bouchard almost tore Ezinicki’s sweater off in an effort to get at the left winger. He hit “Wild Bill” several times with the Toronto lad retaliating in good measure.
It was Bouchard who opened the scoring in the hectic first period, tallying at 2:25. Then Sid Smith evened the score, completing a beautiful play by Howie Meeker, who took a pass from Max Bentley deep in the Toronto zone, scooted up his wing, around the net and shoved the rubber disc to an uncovered Smith.
A minute later, Meeker got his first goal in weeks, banging home Ted Kennedy’s pass from short range. Jimmy Thomson fed the puck to Kennedy, but was ignored by the scorer.
The Canadiens took exactly 20 seconds to tie the game 2-2, with Mosdell getting his first goal of the year on a pass from Joe Carveth. Max Bentley put the Leafs ahead at 9:51 with a hard angle shot after some pretty stick handling by Joe Klukay. That was just about all for the Leafs.
There was more bumping here tonight than in recent contests between the two teams. Reardon was more like his charging self, and several times had to be restrained by Murph Chamberlain, as he went dashing after Clancy to complain against penalties.
In suffering just about their worst defeat of the season, the Leafs looked very weak defensively. Several of the Canadiens’ goals were scored with the Leafs shorthanded, but the defenders backed in on Turk Broda, giving him little chance to work.
As the game developed, Broda looked jittery and “fanned” on one or two shots that he could easily have saved. Irvin came up with a revamped lineup, and his men were full value for their impressive win.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 16, 1948
TOR PEN – 00:35 – Meeker, high sticking
MTL PP GOAL – 02:25 – Bouchard (Reardon, Lach)
MTL PEN – 05:24 – Campeau, roughing
TOR PEN – 05:24 – Ezinicki, roughing
MTL PEN – 05:24 – Leger, roughing
TOR PP GOAL – 05:27 – Smith (Meeker, Thomson)
TOR PP GOAL – 06:32 – Meeker (Kennedy, Bentley)
MTL SH GOAL – 06:52 – Mosdell (Carveth)
TOR GOAL – 09:51 – Bentley (Klukay)
MTL PEN – 12:21 – Bouchard, high sticking
TOR PEN – 12:21 – Ezinicki, high sticking
TOR PEN – 13:34 – Boesch, interference
MTL PEN – 14:21 – Bouchard, fighting major
TOR PEN – 14:21 – Ezinicki, fighting major
MTL PEN – 14:21 – Reardon, misconduct
MTL PEN – 05:41 – Campeau, hooking
MTL PEN – 11:12 – Richard, holding
TOR PEN – 16:58 – Ezinicki, boarding
MTL PP GOAL – 17:50 – Campeau (Dussault, Locas)
MTL PP GOAL – 18:12 – Harmon (Dussault, Campeau)
MTL GOAL – 01:41 – Lach (Bouchard, Richard)
MTL PEN – 02:16 – Reardon, holding
MTL PEN – 09:00 – Richard, holding
MTL SH GOAL – 09:44 – Leger
TOR GOAL – 11:19 – Watson (Ezinicki, Thomson)
TOR PEN – 13:53 – Thomson, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 15:05 – Harmon (Reardon, Locas)
MTL GOAL – 18:00 – Richard (Lach)
MTL – Durnan (W)
TOR – Broda (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: Bill Durnan (C). Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Tod Campeau, Joe Carveth, Murph Chamberlain, Norm Dussault, Elmer Lach, Jacques Locas, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.
TOR – Goaltenders: 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, Nick Metz, Sid Smith, Harry Watson.