Game 243 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3

Game 243
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3
Wednesday, January 28, 1948
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Spotting the Montréal Canadiens two goals going into the third period, the Toronto Maple Leafs sprang to life in time to salvage a 3-3 tie at the Gardens last night.

But a tie was not good enough, the Torontos losing ground as the Detroit Red Wings increased their league lead with a win over Boston.

“Looks like we’re a one period team,” coach Hap Day commented after the game, which amply sums up the situation from a Toronto standpoint.

The Leafs looked very sloppy during the first 40 minutes, missing scoring opportunities with wild shooting, and stickhandling in mediocre fashion. The hard working Turk Broda also caught the “disease” from his teammates momentarily, fanning weakly on a straightaway shot which put the Canadiens in front 2-1 in the second period.

It was a close checking game throughout, with much of the play around the centre ice zone. Referee King Clancy ruled with an iron thumb, preventing any outbreak of the usual Leaf-Canadien roughhouse displays with 16 penalties, nine to the visiting “firemen.”

Clancy’s desire to keep the game in hand tended to slow down the action, and many of the so-called penalties to each team were on very flimsy pretexts.

Jimmy Thomson, rapidly earning the sobriquet “Mr. Assist,” was the standout performer of the night. He was in on every Toronto scoring play to bring his assist total to 29, and showed remarkable speed in getting back to Broda’s assistance on numerous Montréal breakaways.

On the scoring end of Thomson’s three important passes were Harry Watson and Howie Meeker. Watson scored twice, with Meeker ending the night’s scoring with a pretty backhand shot in the third period. Syl Apps picked up assists on both of Watson’s tallies, with Gus Mortson credited for helping to set up the final goal.

The Canadiens, showing definite signs of ending a scoring famine, were paced by the Punch Line with Bob Fillion, recently recalled from Buffalo, replacing the injured Toe Blake on left wing. Fillion opened the scoring in the first period with assistance from Elmer Lach and Kenny Reardon, while Lach, the Canadiens’ top performer, aside from netminder Bill Durnan that is, got the third visiting goal.

In between, Roger Leger and Butch Bouchard, combined for a gift goal. The Canadiens were a man short when the two defencemen upset a Toronto power play and broke away. The Leafs got back to break up their first scoring attempt, but Leger picked up a loose puck about 10 feet from Broda, and had the puck in the net before the Toronto netminder made his move. It appeared as though Turk expected one of his teammates to clear.

Most of the scoring was done while the penalty box was occupied. Montréal went in front early in the second period with Ted Kennedy serving the first of two infractions. Watson tied it up with Reardon sitting out his third penalty of the night, and got his second with Bouchard in penance.

NOTES: Syl Apps came out of the game with a cut on his right thigh. Nick Metz also picked up another bruise…Maurice Richard was a big disappointment. The great right winger was far off his usual spectacular game. He broke away on several occasions, but muffed scoring opportunities with lack of finish. On his play of last season, he would probably have tallied two if not three times…Kenny Reardon is a great showman. He hooked Gus Mortson’s stick in the second period, and then skated away with the cudgel still under his arm. Clancy thumbed him for holding, and then the big boy protested, maintaining the stick was stuck in his sweater! He was penalized earlier for holding when he grabbed Meeker around the waist by both hands…Meeker, regaining the form that won him the Calder Trophy last season, gave the fans a lift when he stepped into big Butch Bouchard. The latter gent went flying into the boards on more than one occasion when his attempts to nail Bill Ezinicki failed…Fillion’s goal, which opened the scoring, was actually a double carom shot. Reardon blazed the puck from inside the blueline, and it struck first Fillion, then Garth Boesch’s stick, giving Broda no chance at all…Frank Selke, the Canadiens’ manager, said his team was lucky to get out with a tie. He returned from a trip to Cincinnati yesterday, and reported much activity on the new rink being constructed there. Contracts call for completion of steel structural work by July…The Leafs will not practice today.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 29, 1948

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:39 – Bouchard, interference
TOR PEN – 03:04 – Ezinicki, interference
MTL PEN – 04:08 – Reardon, elbowing
TOR PEN – 04:15 – Klukay, holding
MTL PEN – 11:00 – Reardon, holding
TOR PEN – 15:14 – Lynn, slashing

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 00:36 – Kennedy, high sticking
MTL PP GOAL – 02:33 – Fillion (Reardon, Lach)
TOR PEN – 03:34 – Kennedy, high sticking
MTL PEN – 04:09 – Reardon, interference
TOR GOAL – 04:57 – Watson (Apps, Thomson)
MTL PEN – 06:38 – Bouchard, holding
MTL PEN – 10:01 – Mosdell, holding
MTL SH GOAL – 11:36 – Leger (Bouchard)
MTL PEN – 15:53 – Reay, high sticking
TOR PEN – 15:53 – Klukay, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 16:48 – Lach (Richard)
MTL PEN – 19:22 – Bouchard, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PP GOAL – 00:59 – Watson (Apps, Thomson)
TOR PEN – 06:32 – Barilko, hooking
TOR GOAL – 12:50 – Meeker (Mortson, Thomson)
MTL PEN – 19:46 – Richard, cross checking

TOR – Broda (T)
MTL – Durnan (T)

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, Nick Metz, Sid Smith, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan (C). Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Hal Laycoe, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Joe Carveth, Murph Chamberlain, Floyd Curry, Bob Fillion, Elmer Lach, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.

TOR – 19-9-12 (.625)
MTL – 13-18-9 (.438)