Game 271 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3

Game 271
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3
Thursday, February 16, 1950
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The crowd booed when Turk Broda stayed in his net after the final scene tonight for the benefit of a photographer who wanted an action shot. That was a sure sign in this partisan-minded Canadien town that the Turk had done another swell job in holding the Habitants to a 3-3 tie with his Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was the Turk who saved the Leafs from disaster in the last period, when the Leafs blew a 3-1 lead. But for him, the Canadiens might have won with a desperate, last minute drive that culminated in Broda saving a hot one form Rocket Richard a split second before the game’s closing whistle.

The final goal by Rocket Richard came in the last minute, and the tie kept the Leafs two points ahead of the Habitants in second place, and eight points behind the front running Detroit Red Wings, whom they meet in Toronto Saturday.

Bill Ezinicki, Cal Gardner and Howie Meeker were the Leaf goal getters, Gardner and Meeker scoring after Richard had tied it up early in the second, with captain Ted Kennedy of the Leafs in penitence.

Meeker’s goal halfway through the third looked as if it would sew up the game, but the Canadiens came back fast in a hard checking and sometimes hard hitting affair.

Léo Gravelle made it 3-2 on a backhander at the goal mouth at 13:32 of the third, after Broda had saved similar tries by Norm Dussault and Elmer Lach in succession. On the next play, Ezinicki flattened Gravelle with a terrific body check at the Leaf blueline, but the game guy was up and about within a minute and was most dangerous from there in.

The tying goal was started by Ken Reardon, a tough gent, who has ruined Toronto victory hopes before. He rushed down the right side, was stopped partially on a check by Gus Mortson, but managed to reach the corner where he shot a pass to Richard in front of the net. Turk had no chance on the Rocket’s quick shot just 57 seconds before the game ended.

It was the Leafs who opened the scoring just before the midway mark of the first, with Ezinicki the marksman for his sixth goal of the campaign. A backhander from 10 feet out did the trick after Gardner, playing his first game here since he suffered a fractured jaw in a collision with Reardon in early November, carried up from a faceoff in the Toronto end and gave Ezzie the puck for a high shot into the corner.

The Forum gathering of 14,041 whooped it up quite some when, with Kennedy off for holding Richard, the Habitants tied it up after less than three minutes of the second.

Richard was the marksman – and that made it all the better for rejoicing – as he walloped his 28th goal of the season on a slap shot from the side after a rink-wide pass from Billy Reay.

The sides were even when the Leafs took a 2-1 lead on a smooth count by Gardner, who worked especially well with Ezinicki tonight. With Bill Juzda starting the play, Gardner took a pass from Ezinicki inside the Canadien blueline and slid the puck along the ice from the side under a prostrate Bill Durnan, who already had made his move. Gardner outfoxed Butch Bouchard to get in close and score.

NOTES: Broda had 26 shots to handle, to 17 by Durnan. Thirteen of these against the Turk came in the final period…The Leafs’ first shot on Durnan in the final frame came seconds before Meeker’s goal at 10:03, when he picked up a loose puck and shot one from the side that caught the upper corner…Reardon was playing Sid Smith at the time, and didn’t look too good on the play…It was the second Leaf tie on the road this season…The Leafs led in penalties, six to five. Referee Bill Chadwick called things pretty close.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 17, 1950

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:06 – Reardon, tripping
TOR GOAL – 08:18 – Ezinicki (Gardner)
TOR PEN – 12:03 – Thomson, tripping
TOR PEN – 12:42 – Barilko, tripping
MTL PEN – 16:40 – Richard, high sticking
MTL PEN – 18:29 – Fillion, interference

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:35 – Kennedy, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 02:47 – Richard (Reay, Harmon)
TOR PEN – 03:00 – Boesch, holding
MTL PEN – 05:40 – Reardon, spearing
TOR PEN – 09:31 – Ezinicki, holding
TOR PEN – 13:34 – Barilko, spearing
TOR GOAL – 17:53 – Gardner (Ezinicki, Juzda)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 10:03 – Meeker

MTL GOAL – 13:32 – Gravelle (Dussault, Lach)
MTL PEN – 14:22 – Reardon, interference
MTL GOAL – 19:03 – Richard (Reardon)

MTL – Durnan (T, 14-17)
TOR – Broda (T, 23-26)

MTLGoaltenders: Bill Durnan. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Bob Fillion, Léo Gravelle, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.
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, John McCormack, Howie Meeker, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.

MTL – 21-18-14 (.528)
TOR – 24-20-10 (.537)