Game 285 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 285
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, February 15, 1951
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Bill Barilko, in his top all-round display of the season, sank a long shot early in the final period tonight to allow his Maple Leafs to tie the Montréal Canadiens 2-2.

It was an uphill struggle, and the Habitants looked stronger with the addition of a new line made up of an amateur and two minor leaguers. The rookie unit, composed of centre Bob Dawes, who tried to hit every Leaf in sight, and wingers Paul Meger and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion caught the fancy of the Forum sellout crowd of 14,301 with the old college try that has been lacking in Hab-Leaf games of late.

The three had several chances on goalie Al Rollins, with Geoffrion blasting a couple of near misses. Dawes, the ex-Leaf, came up from Cincinnati, Meger from the Buffalo Bisons where he was starring. Geoffrion, a standout with the Montréal Nationals juniors, was signed to a pro contract today after three lend-lease games with the Canadiens.

The draw may have been costly for the Leafs, who started back from a 2-0 deficit on a goal by Tod Sloan near the start of the middle period. Jim Thomson, the most steady Leaf rearguard, went out early in the first period after carrying play into a corner. He was sent to hospital for examination of an injured wrist, and first fears were that there might be a small fracture. This was a strictly unofficial viewpoint, however. The damage appeared to be the hand and wrist.

The Canadiens, starting off as if they were fighting for their jobs in the face of new blood, took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Ken Mosdell counted the first before four minutes, breaking in alone on the right boards to click with a backhander. Fern Flaman of the Leafs was off for holding when Bert Olmstead tipped in a wicked long shot by Geoffrion, just as Rollins attempted to clear it. That was at 8:43.

It was a Leaf power play that broke their goose egg. Olmstead was in the penalty box for slashing when Bentley shot the puck to Ted Kennedy, standing well out in front of the cage. Kennedy’s shot was weak, but the puck went forward to Sloan, who walloped it past a surprised McNeil.

Barilko, strong defensively all the way, earned a share of the comeback when he let go a long shot after the five minute mark of the third. Doug Harvey stopped it, but a Canadien, in trying to clear, let the puck get away from him. Barilko grabbed it again, and his shot hit McNeil on the pads and trickled into the cage.

The game, fairly close checking most of the way, saw the Canadiens outshoot the Leafs 26-19, mostly over the first two periods. There were few nasty tactics, and the only fisticuffs came midway through the third when Fern Flaman, a second goalkeeper for the Leafs, and big Butch Bouchard dropped sticks and started swinging in the Leaf end. Flaman dropped a neat right on Bouchard’s snout before Howie Meeker grabbed Bouchard and pulled him away. As players grabbed each other, Bouchard and Flaman took roughing minors.

Referee Bill Chadwick was a minor casualty in the closing minutes – and again Barilko was in the act. His stick caught Chadwick on the head as Barilko attempted to check Elmer Lach, and Chadwick dropped to the ice while the crowd cheered. He was up in a few seconds, however, nursing a bruise. He wasn’t cut.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 16, 1951

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 03:37 – Mosdell (Harvey)
TOR PEN – 07:17 – Flaman, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 08:43 – Olmstead (Geoffrion, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 09:55 – Curry, slashing
TOR PEN – 14:46 – Barilko, hooking

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 01:00 – Olmstead, slashing
TOR PP GOAL – 02:43 – Sloan (Kennedy, Bentley)

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 00:49 – Flaman, holding
TOR GOAL – 05:50 – Barilko
MTL PEN – 10:49 – Bouchard, holding

MTL – McNeil (T, 17-19)
TOR – Rollins (T, 24-26)

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Bob Dawes, Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Al Rollins. Defence: Bill Barilko, Fern Flaman, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Fleming MacKell, Howie Meeker, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.

MTL – 18-25-12 (.436)
TOR – 29-12-12 (.660)