Game 250 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3

Game 250
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3
Wednesday, November 24, 1948
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Can you tie that? Five split decisions in eight games, and nary a win. In picking up their third single point in as many games, the Toronto Maple Leafs last night shared a 3-3 verdict with the Montréal Canadiens, this time blowing an early two goal lead and failing to stay in front after leading 3-2 at the end of the second period.

What started out as a high speed test of major league hockey, with clever passing and clean cut goals, developed into a ragged game of shinny that slowed down as time progressed.

For the Canadiens, it was a satisfactory effort. They were content to share the spoils as the tie game them a .500 record on their five game road trip which ended last night. Both teams go at it again in the Montréal Forum tonight.

Three goals, two by the Leafs, were picture efforts – the rest were flukes. The Canadiens deserved at least a tie, and perhaps on the night’s play, the Leafs were fortunate they did not rake up their fourth loss since they last won a game of hockey. That was 26 days ago, when they edged the Detroit Red Wings here 2-1.

The 13,987 fans enjoyed an exciting first five minutes of hockey, during which time the Leafs capitalized on a minor penalty to Montréal rookie Eddie Dorohoy, with two quick goals by the alert Harry Watson. The screaming patrons leaned forward in their seats, prepared to sweat out another exciting interprovincial battle with no holds barred. The first period did not disappoint them, but before the game ended, they had again taken to whistling at the officials for what they thought was too much stoppage of play.

The contest lacked the solid bashing that generally features games between the two teams. Referee King Clancy did not give the combatants much chance to work off excess energy, stopping play at each sign of trouble. He issued eight enforced rests of two minutes’ duration, with the Leafs getting the king size thumb on five occasions.

Clancy had a tough night of it. In the first period he appeared to be demonstrating an Ottawa Roughrider block as he lost his balance and took Harry Watson out of the play. “The King” cut his hand as he landed underneath the Toronto winger.

Later he had the wind knocked out of him when he was forced up against the boards by Ted Kennedy and Kenny Reardon. The two players hit the little official a terrific wallop and Clancy had just enough wind left to blow his whistle before he doubled over. He was able to continue without any appreciable delay.

Montréal coach Dick Irvin was so satisfied with the result that he predicted the Canadiens would finish in first position. “Yes, I think we will win it this year,” said Dick as he left the Gardens. “We’re steadily improving and by the time we get Butch Bouchard back, we should be in good shape.” The team captain will be out for another month with a knee injury.

Irvin said he could not understand why the Leafs were not winning more games. “Looks like they are having the same troubles we had last season,” he suggested. Earlier, he teased goalie Turk Broda by suggesting the Leafs wouldn’t win 10 games this season.

Across the corridor in the Toronto dressing room, the players dressed in silence. “Less said the better,” declared managing director Conn Smythe. “Pretty tough when we cannot hold a two goal lead.”

Harry Watson opened the scoring at 5:17 of the first period, calmly guiding the sliding puck into the net after a clever rush and pass by Bill Ezinicki. The latter took the rubber from Max Bentley.

Thirty five seconds later, Watson scored again in practically the same manner, but from further out. Defenceman Frank Mathers, pivot man on the Leafs power play, laid a beautiful pass on Watson’s stick. Again, it was Bentley who started the play.

Ezinicki was sitting out an elbowing penalty of couple of minutes later when Joe Carveth’s long shot was deflected into the net off Bill Barilko’s backside. Billy Reay, who was standing near Barilko, was credited with the goal.

The Canadiens tied the game 2-2 at the start of the middle session with a clever display of passing by Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard, who were started on their way by Doug Harvey. Lach did the scoring. Near the end of that period Gus Mortson, whose father was a spectator, was credited with a goal that netminder Bill Durnan actually steered into his own net. At first the scorer gave Kennedy an assist, but this was erased from the record before the game ended.

The Canadiens tied the score for the second and last time midway through the final period. Hal Laycoe, up from Buffalo to replace Bouchard, flipped a long shot through a crowd of players. Broda never saw the puck until it was in the net.

Watson, Ezinicki, Kennedy, Howie Meeker, Harry Taylor, Jimmy Thomson and Broda were the best of the Leafs. Doug Harvey played a good defensive game, while the Canadiens’ line of Billy Reay, Norm Dussault and Carveth threatened each shift they worked. Dussault and Carveth were blocked by Broda on breakaways. Rookie Eddie Dorohoy showed plenty of promise.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 25, 1948

1st Period
MTL PEN – 03:53 – Dorohoy, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 05:17 – Watson (Ezinicki, Bentley)
TOR PP GOAL – 05:53 – Watson (Mathers, Bentley)
TOR PEN – 06:17 – Ezinicki, elbowing
MTL PP GOAL – 07:58 – Reay (Carveth)
MTL PEN – 10:46 – Mosdell, high sticking
TOR PEN – 10:46 – Barilko, high sticking
TOR PEN – 15:07 – Barilko, charging

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:05 – Lach (Richard, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 02:07 – Riopelle, slashing
TOR PEN – 05:37 – Boesch, holding
TOR GOAL – 18:27 – Mortson

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:37 – Juzda, cross checking
MTL GOAL – 06:15 – Laycoe (Reardon, Lach)

TOR – Broda (T)
MTL – Durnan (T)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Garth Boesch, Bill Juzda, Frank Mathers, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Bill Ezinicki, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, Howie Meeker, Harry Taylor, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Hal Laycoe, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Joe Carveth, Murph Chamberlain, Eddie Dorohoy, Norm Dussault, Bob Fillion, Elmer Lach, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle, George Robertson.

TOR – 3-6-5 (.393)
MTL – 6-4-4 (.571)