Game 272 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1

Game 272
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, March 9, 1950
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Maple Leafs, plagued by penalties, battled the Montréal Canadiens to a 1-1 tie tonight, with the fierce playing Habitants gaining the draw with only two minutes and three seconds of the game remaining.

With the Canadiens having the better of the play throughout, the Leafs had taken a 1-0 lead near the midway mark of the second frame on a shot by Bill Ezinicki, that was only the second Leaf drive of the period on rookie Gerry McNeil in the Canadien nets. The Leafs, outshot 22-15, didn’t give the small sized goaltender much opportunity to shine, because most of their drives on goal were of the easy variety.

It was at 17:57 of the third when Billy Reay potted the puck that deprived hard working Turk Broda of his ninth shutout, and kept the Habs close to the third place Rangers in the drive to the wire. With the Canadiens pressing furiously, Reay, standing to one side of the net behind a maze of players, sank a long, sideways pass from Norm Dussault. The Habs nearly won in the last couple of seconds when, still overpowering the Leafs, they set up Rip Riopelle for a drive that hit the post.

The Canadiens, helped by a run of Leaf penalties, did everything but score in the first couple of periods. It was the Leafs, however, who smashed the goose egg on their first real try on McNeil, up from the Cincinnati Mohawks to replace the injured Bill Durnan.

Ezinicki scored, with Cal Gardner setting up the play nearing the midway mark of the second frame. Gardner, who appeared on the ice only rarely at the same time as his arch-foe, Ken Reardon, carried down on a breakaway and stopped short and the two man defence. As Harry Watson caught up to him, he passed over. Watson immediately sent the puck back to Ezzie, who came dashing in, in the clear, and the right winger with the busted beezer pushed a short shot past McNeil.

Referee George Gravel called back a goal by Howie Meeker, which came on a pass from Ted Kennedy, early in the third. Gravel ruled that Meeker had grabbed the puck with his hand and dropped it before making his shot, although that wasn’t apparent from the lofty and ultra-packed press box where persons were jammed in without discretion.

Although the tilt was rough in spots, with plenty of hard bumping, the only sign of real fisticuff trouble came in the penalty box.

That was when a section of the Forum gathering of 14,003 attempted to rush to the scene when Bill Juzda and Butch Bouchard, sent off for roughing, shoved each other in the penalty pew. Rocket Richard, already serving a sentence, pushed linesman Herb Gallagher when he attempted to intervene, but escaped official action. Since there were only seconds of the first period remaining, Juzda and Bouchard were ordered into their respective dressing rooms to cool off.

NOTES: It wasn’t until early in the second that Gardner and Reardon, under the watchful eye of president Clarence Campbell, came together. It was only a semi-collision, and with both teams short one player at the time, they stuck strictly to business in playing the puck near the Canadien goal. The only time they looked at each other was when they lined up facing each other for the national anthem that follows the playing of “O Canada” in the Forum…Ezinicki stopped one of the many Canadien threats in the final frame when he caught Elmer Lach with a terrific body check. For the same thing on Calum MacKay in the first period, Ezzie was given a minor for high sticking, although he crashed into MacKay and sent him flying with his stick trailing…Overall, the Canadiens outhit the Leafs, and aided by the advantage in penalties, outplayed them too. The Leafs had eight penalties to three by the Canadiens, all in the first two periods…It was the final league game between the two teams here this season, with the Leafs having won four, lost five and tied four on the season.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 10, 1950

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:43 – Klukay, holding
TOR PEN – 04:52 – Ezinicki, high sticking
MTL PEN – 08:14 – Reardon, boarding
TOR PEN – 11:01 – Ezinicki, holding
TOR PEN – 14:38 – Mortson, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:31 – Richard, hooking
MTL PEN – 19:35 – Bouchard, roughing
TOR PEN – 19:35 – Juzda, roughing

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 08:46 – Ezinicki (Watson, Gardner)

TOR PEN – 10:23 – Timgren, holding
TOR PEN – 12:24 – Thomson, hooking
TOR PEN – 14:18 – Mortson, tripping

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 17:57 – Reay (Dussault, Harmon)

MTL – McNeil (T, 14-15)
TOR – Broda (T, 21-22)

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Léo Gravelle, Bert Hirschfeld, 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 – 23-21-17 (.516)
TOR – 28-23-11 (.540)