Game 275 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 275
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Thursday, November 2, 1950
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Overcoming an early lead, the Toronto Maple Leafs continued their domination of the NHL with a 2-1 victory over the Montréal Canadiens here tonight.

It was the Leafs’ second win over the Habs in as many nights, and increased their league leadership to five points. The Leafs have yet to be defeated on the road, and have not lost a game since their league opener with Chicago 10 games ago.

Kenny Mosdell shot the Habitants into a 1-0 first period lead in tonight’s struggle, but the doughty Leafs closed stoutly after a goalless middle frame to rap home two goals and skate off with a well earned victory. Tod Sloan snapped in the equalizer with the final period one third gone, and Cal Gardner fired the game winner with less than four minutes remaining.

But for the tremendous netminding work of rookie goalie Gerry McNeil, the score would have been much higher as the Leafs outshot the Canadiens, 35 to 20. Time and again, the Montréal netminder brought the 14,652 fans to their feet, screaming delightedly as he kicked out point blank shots.

He was particularly impressive in the second period, robbing Max Bentley on three good chances. McNeil also held off practically every other Leaf at one time or another. On one occasion, he refused to yield during a two minute goalmouth ganging attack by Ted Kennedy, Sid Smith, Sloan, Bill Barilko and Bill Juzda.

The Canadiens iced a much stronger team tonight, with Elmer Lach and Hal Laycoe back, and Paul Meger up from Buffalo for this game only. However, the Habitants could not withstand the tremendous Toronto pressure, which refused to let up. They, in turn, were dangerous on quite a few occasions, but could not match the Leafs.

As in Toronto on Wednesday night, it was the untiring work and leadership of Captain Kennedy that meant success.

The Canadiens moved into a one goal lead before the game was three minutes old, Mosdell scoring after unfortunate clearing by Barilko. The big Toronto defenceman had just stopped Floyd Curry on a dangerous rush and he took a wild sweep at the puck. It headed toward Mosdell and Broda was out of position when the former drove it home.

The teams maintained a fast pace with hard checking and many a rink length rush. In the second period, the Leafs did everything but score, and it did not seem possible so many shots could go astray or be blocked by a weird combination of expert goaling and an overabundance of blocking bodies and legs.

Such a pace had to tell, and a third period penalty to Canadien Doug Harvey paved the way. Kennedy tenaciously worked the puck near the Montréal goal and passed to Sloan, who backhanded into the net.

With three and a half minutes left, Gardner put the Leafs in front on his second try to bang home Fleming MacKell’s rebound. The Canadiens took McNeil out in the final minute and came close several times as the puck rolled dangerously near a gaping net.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 3, 1950

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:19 – Lach, hooking
MTL GOAL – 02:55 – Mosdell (Curry)
TOR PEN – 08:29 – Sloan, high sticking
MTL PEN – 10:00 – Harvey, high sticking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 04:57 – Sloan, high sticking + misconduct

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 06:30 – Sloan (Kennedy)
TOR PEN – 14:02 – MacKell, cross checking
MTL PEN – 15:20 – Harvey, slashing
TOR PP GOAL – 16:35 – Gardner (MacKell)

TOR – Broda (W, 19-20)
MTL – McNeil (L, 33-35)

TORGoaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Fleming MacKell, John McCormack, Howie Meeker, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Hal Laycoe, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Léo Gravelle, Vern Kaiser, Frank King, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Paul Masnick, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 7-1-2 (.800)
MTL – 4-4-3 (.500)