Game 288 – Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 0

Game 288
Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 0
Wednesday, October 31, 1951
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The great “Rocket” Richard deliberately swung his stick at a couple of rail seat spectators last night amid a hard fought 1-0 Maple Leaf triumph over the Montréal Canadiens.

A rookie defenceman, Hugh Bolton, confined his aggressive action to hockey and scored the only goal on a late first period long shot that gave the Leafs their second home win of the NHL season, and lifted them into undisputed possession of third place.

“The Rocket,” who several times nearly spoiled goalie Al Rollins’ first shutout in eight games, first blew his top midway through the game when he slammed his stick on the dasher, inches from the head of spectator Wilf Malcolm. After the final bell he again took up the argument at the same spot near the Leafs bench, this time with the Leafs’ medical man, Dr. Jim Murray, who sits one seat removed from Malcolm.

“All I said to him, as he skated off for a line change during a stoppage in play, was ‘ha, ha – the great Richard’,” said Malcolm, a long-time Leaf fan. “He swung his stick and it struck the top of the boards and missed my head by inches. He was speaking some French but he also said in English that he would stuff the stick down my throat.”

Before leaving the ice, Richard raised his stick high in a warning gesture while surrounded by officials and teammates. After the final bell, Richard became involved in a tussle of words with Dr. Murray. He raised his stick, then leaned forward and brought it down. It stopped inches short of Dr. Murray’s fedora covered head. With the doctor standing up and refusing to give way, officials finally prevailed upon him to leave, whereupon Richard skated off to the ice amid booing – and some hand clapping.

With “The Rocket” as the fiery figure in attempting to score the 300th goal of his NHL career, the game generally was a standout affair of tough hitting, hard checking hockey, with both goalies pulling off some tremendous saves. It was the second place Habitants’ first appearance of the season, and the thriller produced was reminiscent of the Stanley Cup finals between the two teams last spring.

Bolton, out there mostly because of an arm cut suffered by Gus Mortson early in the first period, produced the game winning goal at 13:46. He snared a Leaf passout near the Habitants’ blue line and his drive, partially screened, struck the padded leg of McNeil and deflected into the cage. Mortson took five stitches to close a cut in his right arm after it was stepped on by Doug Harvey, the Montréal rearguard, during a struggle along the boards in the Canadien end.

Quite effective in an unpolished way, Bolton, besides scoring for the first time this season, also drew three of the seven minor penalties against the Leafs. The Habs rang up 15 minutes in the penalty box, including a five minute major to rookie rearguard Ross Lowe for opening a gash on Bill Juzda’s head with his stick in the middle period.

NOTES: “The Rocket,” who wandered all over, had seven good chances to score but was foiled by some great work by Rollins. The same Rollins saved victory for the Leafs late in the third when he made a diving save on a terrific shot by Ken Mosdell, who was in alone…McNeil robbed Flem MacKell a couple of times. He did the same to Ted Kennedy and Sid Smith…The teams left immediately after the game for a return engagement in Montréal tonight…Some of the New York Rangers, including manager Frank Boucher and coach Neil Colville, sat in on the late stages during a stopover here on their way to Chicago for a game tonight…Kennedy took five stitches over his eye from a high stick halfway through the first period…Floyd Curry, who scored three goals in that 6-1 Canadien win over the Rangers before the royal couple in Montréal Monday, missed this one. He suffered a groin injury during his Monday heroics.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 1, 1951

1st Period
TOR PEN – 03:17 – Thomson, tripping
MTL PEN – 05:04 – Johnson, holding
MTL PEN – 06:46 – Reay, holding
TOR GOAL – 13:46 – Bolton (Smith, Kennedy)
TOR PEN – 14:55 – Gardner, interference
MTL PEN – 19:19 – Geoffrion, boarding

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 06:30 – Bolton, boarding
MTL PEN – 13:15 – Lowe, slashing major
MTL PEN – 18:07 – Bouchard, slashing
TOR PEN – 18:07 – Bolton, holding

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 03:19 – Juzda, boarding
TOR PEN – 10:40 – Bolton, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:01 – Lach, boarding
TOR PEN – 19:30 – Gardner, tripping

TOR – Rollins (W + SO, 19-19)
MTL – McNeil (L, 28-29)

TOR – 9+13+7 = 29
MTL – 5+10+4 = 19

TORGoaltenders: Al Rollins. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Fern Flaman, Bill Juzda, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Fleming MacKell, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Ross Lowe, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 3-3-2 (.500)
MTL – 4-5-1 (.450)