Game 261 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0

Game 261
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
Thursday, October 27, 1949
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Flem MacKell scored on a puck theft, and Harry Watson shot a 125 footer into an empty cage tonight as the Maple Leafs whitewashed the Montréal Canadiens 2-0.

Both goals came in the last two minutes of play, and rearguard Kenny Reardon was made to look rather the goat. A thrilling climax to a hard fought affair in which the Leafs had a definite edge throughout, the flying MacKell took the puck off Reardon’s stick while he was attempting to clear near the Habitant cage, with Ken Mosdell just starting a major for cutting Bill Juzda about the face with his stick.

The Flame’s 10-foot drive beat Bill Durnan, the hottest netminder in the NHL. With 38 seconds to go and a faceoff in the Toronto end, Durnan was yanked in favour of an extra forward. The Leafs couldn’t clear, and there was another faceoff. On that one, captain Ted Kennedy and Reardon, the bull, joined Mosdell in penitence for roughing.

On the third faceoff, Cal Gardner, who shone throughout, gained the draw, and the puck went to Watson. He skated up to near centre, took aim and let go a drifter that caught the centre of the cage. That was with just 18 seconds of the tilt remaining.

Until the Mosdell penalty, it looked as if it might end in a goalless draw, although the Leafs had been checking the Habs off their feet. That they didn’t score more was due to a combination of Durnan and their usual bad luck around the cage. As it was, they outshot the Canadiens 31-12, with Turk Broda having an easy time most of the way. Indeed, there was just one shot on the Leaf cage throughout the entire first frame, that after 17 minutes.

A tough game, although there were no actual fisticuffs, it was watched by the largest gathering of the season here – 12,304 – and there were even some cheering Leafs on end. And that, in this rabid Habitant hockey town, is plenty rare.

Juzda, the toy tank, continued as the most stitched up Leaf. He gathered five tonight – two from Reardon and three from Mosdell – on their high sticking. Reardon gave it to him in the first couple of minutes and took a major.

Juzda gained partial revenge when he and Jim Thomson caught the big guy between them on a Canadien rush early in the second. Reardon, said to be suffering from a charley horse from the Habs’ last game, went to the dressing room. He came back later, but never was quite as effective, and appeared to be favouring the left leg.

The win, the Leafs’ second of the young season, was much more convincing than that Canadien victory by 3-1 over the Leafs at Toronto last week. The Leafs held command most of the way, and their penalty killing was most effective.

In minutes, the Leafs had eight minors for a total of 16, while the Canadiens’ 18 minutes included two majors.

NOTES: MacKell’s father Jack, a great start of another day, watched his boy notch what proved to be the winner. Earlier, the kid had missed on a dead-on drive…The closest thing to a goal before the actual ones came with eight minutes to go, when Gardner passed to Watson, who with Durnan down, missed the open cage with a short, slow lift…Bill Ezinicki was used only on one shift early in the opening period. Gus Mortson, still favouring strained leg muscles, and Frank Mathers weren’t used at all…Only six goals have been scored against the Habs in six games. The Leafs, in their two games against the Montréalers, notched three of those…Juzda was a very effective guy.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 28, 1949

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:51 – Reay, tripping
TOR PEN – 01:36 – Barilko, tripping
MTL PEN – 02:46 – Reardon, high sticking major
MTL PEN – 04:38 – Harvey, roughing
TOR PEN – 04:38 – Timgren, roughing
TOR PEN – 10:47 – Barilko, tripping
TOR PEN – 16:29 – Boesch, holding

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 10:17 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR PEN – 18:13 – Boesch, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 03:37 – Juzda, hooking
MTL PEN – 04:20 – Harvey, interference
MTL PEN – 17:47 – Mosdell, high sticking major
TOR PP GOAL – 18:12 – MacKell
MTL PEN – 19:36 – Reardon, holding
TOR PEN – 19:36 – Kennedy, holding
TOR PP EN GOAL – 19:42 – Watson

TOR – Broda (W + SO, 12-12)
MTL – Durnan (L, 29-30)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Garth Boesch, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Bill Ezinicki, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, Fleming MacKell, Howie Meeker, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Hal Laycoe, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Joe Carveth, Gilles Dubé, Norm Dussault, Bob Fillion, Léo Gravelle, Elmer Lach, Kenny Mosdell, Gerry Plamondon, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle, Grant Warwick.

TOR – 2-1-2 (.600)
MTL – 3-2-1 (.583)