Game 298 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Game 298
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, February 14, 1952
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Three Montréal candidates for the Calder Trophy didn’t lose a vote in the Forum tonight as they each fired a scoring shot, as the Canadiens subdued the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in a game that left the Montréalers only one point behind their second place victims.

While 14,447 partisan voices roared in glee, rookies Dick Moore, Dick Gamble and Bernie Geoffrion built up a 3-0 lead by the game’s halfway point, and the Canadiens laid down a defensive barrage that prevented the Leafs from doing much except spoil Gerry McNeil’s bid for his third NHL shutout of the season.

Although their winning margin of two goals was annexed while the Leafs were shorthanded, the home forces clearly deserved the victory. They checked the Leafs savagely and effectively, and by the time Primeau’s boys finally managed to break down this stiff resistance in the third period, McNeil held them up with some fine saves.

Geoffrion, a Valentine’s baby, celebrated his 21st birthday with a fighting, scoring and peppery performance. In addition to getting his 20th goal of the semester, he picked up a seven stitch wound over an eye, and became involved in a fight with Gus Mortson, a lesser brawl with Danny Lewicki and a stick-shaking exhibition with Max Bentley.

Geoffrion also floored linesman Doug Davies while trying to get at Lewicki. A long, looping left missed Danny, and a chopping right descended on the peacemaking Davies’ neck as he tried to separate the pair.

Dick Moore, who has enjoyed singularly fine success against the Leafs, inaugurated the scoring with a casual shot into a vacant Toronto net after 91 seconds of play. If you think that was fast work, figure out that referee Red Storey had found time to dish out two penalties by that time, both to the Leafs.

In view of what transpired with his blessings later, it was slightly ridiculous to see a high sticking bee between Juzda and Lach result in a penalty, with Storey assessing Juzda, and that 28 seconds later Gus Mortson should get a tripping penalty to leave the Leafs two men shy.

With that edge, Elmer Lach led a three man drive and passed to Dick Gamble. Rollins made a good save on Gamble, but the effort pulled him out of his goal, which was wide open for Moore when he picked off the rebound.

Gamble also had a wide open space beckoning for his scoring shot after he had fired wide from close range a few seconds earlier. Geoffrion scored on a drive from the blueline, the puck apparently hitting some stick from a milling mob that was surging in front of Rollins at the time.

Tod Sloan beat McNeil at the 18:03 mark of the second period. He zoomed in off right wing to wind up in front of the goal as Harry Watson’s pass came in from the other side, Sloan just changed the puck’s direction.

NOTES: Fernie Flaman sat this one out with a bruised and swollen left instep, caused by getting the member in the way of a shot by Hy Buller at New York Sunday, and another by Red Kelly at Toronto Wednesday…The Canadiens controlled the puck much better than the Leafs, whose passing was poor and reception spotty…Geoffrion actually shouldn’t have been on the ice when he scored to make it 3-0. He and Mortson were thumbed by Storey for a high sticking bee, after which they started to throw punches. They won majors for the fighting, but Storey overlooked the original two minute sentence…After a high sticking bee with Olmstead in the first period, Kennedy went off shaking his wrist as though in severe pain. He was back out again for his regular turn…Jim Morrison didn’t make an appearance until late in the second period when he spelled off Kennedy briefly…Johnny McCormack plagued the Leafs with a long-checking stick that killed a number of attacks before they started…Geoffrion could have had another goal. He blistered one from the blue line that hit a post before Rollins’ reflexes kicked out a leg.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 15, 1952

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:37 – Juzda, elbowing
TOR PEN – 01:05 – Mortson, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 01:34 – Moore (Gamble, Lach)
TOR PEN – 17:42 – Lewicki, high sticking
MTL PEN – 17:42 – Geoffrion, high sticking

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:51 – Gamble (Moore, Lach)
MTL PEN – 03:15 – Geoffrion, fighting major
TOR PEN – 03:15 – Mortson, fighting major
TOR PEN – 08:01 – Bentley, slashing
MTL PP GOAL – 08:21 – Geoffrion (Moore, Lach)
TOR GOAL – 18:03 – Sloan (Watson, Mortson)
TOR PEN – 18:32 – Juzda, high sticking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 03:36 – Meger, roughing
TOR PEN – 03:36 – Mortson, roughing

MTL – McNeil (W, 26-27)
TOR – Rollins (L, 19-22)

MTL – 8+9+5 = 22
TOR – 6+9+12 = 27

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Bob Fryday, Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay.
TORGoaltenders: Al Rollins. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Bill Juzda, Jim Morrison, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Danny Lewicki, Howie Meeker, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.

MTL – 26-21-7 (.546)
TOR – 24-18-12 (.556)