Game 295 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 295
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, January 17, 1952
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Dick Irvin, who was badly mauled in a recent battle of words with Frank Boucher, got up off the floor to level another Kitty-Bar-the-Door blast at the Toronto Maple Leafs today. He may have a little trouble making the charge stick after tonight’s 2-2 tie between the Leafs and Canadiens.

Not that the game was an outstanding example of red blooded boys zipping up and down the ice with verve, eclat and elan. Rather, the 14,452 customers who traversed Montréal’s sleety streets to arrive at the Forum, witnessed a rather dull exhibition devoid of the usual hostility shown by these teams.

It was just that the Canadiens will have to be sprayed from the same paint jar as the Leafs, although the Habs did have a slight margin in shots on goal, 21 to 20.

Three of the game’s four goals were propelled into the net by Toronto players, but the first of these was pushed into the wrong net. Ray Timgren, in trying to clear, jabbed the puck from inside the crease, and it moved tantalizingly into the corner.

The Leafs had to come from behind twice for their split of the two points, which left them still three in front of tonight’s rivals. The Habs showed a 1-0 profit after the first 20 minutes, and added their second goal in the final minute of the middle session, after the Leafs had tied it at 1-1. Max Bentley got the final tally at the six minute mark in the third period.

There was nothing of the spectacular attached to any of the goals except Bentley’s, and there was a definite “break” riding with the snipers on all of the tallies.

Bentley was put into the clear on a long pass from Ray Timgren, but only by the grace of a bad hop the puck took over a Canadien’s stick. Bentley made the play sparkle after that, moving in on Gerry McNeil and firing from point-blank range.

Ted Kennedy popped in the first Toronto goal on the power play, only 31 seconds after the second period got under way. Tom Johnson was still serving part of his time for a first period offence. Kennedy moved to the attack, cut Tod Sloan in for an angle shot, then followed up fast himself to bang in Tod’s rebound.

Bert Olmstead was credited with the game’s opening goal. His shot from the side caused Al Rollins to sprawl, and Fern Flaman did likewise, but somehow the puck squirted out from under them and stopped in the crease. Timgren’s hurried move to clear sent it the wrong way.

Billy Reay was the other sniper, on a play that went wrong. “Boom Boom” Geoffrion tried to lay a pass on Paul Meger’s stick, but the puck took a bad hop over the blade. Fortunately for the home side, Reay was waiting at the other side and he whacked the puck past Rollins.

The game was delayed for five minutes in the first period when Al Rollins took five stitches to close a cut over his eye, caused by Rudy Migay’s skates in a scramble around the Toronto net. Both Rollins and McNeil played tremendous hockey at times, as the offence frequently cracked through the tight-checking barrage laid down.

“Rocket” Richard wasn’t too prominent tonight, and there certainly seemed to be something troubling that high scoring chap. He left the ice partially doubled over in the first minute of the third period, came back on for a regular turn, then was sent into the dressing room with six minutes to go.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 18, 1952

1st Period
MTL PEN – 03:02 – Curry, slashing
TOR PEN – 09:26 – Sloan, slashing
MTL GOAL – 18:35 – Olmstead
MTL PEN – 19:48 – Geoffrion, slashing

2nd Period
TOR PP GOAL – 00:31 – Kennedy (Sloan)
MTL GOAL – 19:34 – Reay (Geoffrion, Meger)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 06:00 – Bentley (Lewicki)

MTL – McNeil (T, 18-20)
TOR – Rollins (T, 19-21)

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Al Rollins. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Fern Flaman, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Howie Meeker, Rudy Migay, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.

MTL – 19-16-6 (.537)
TOR – 19-14-9 (.560)