Game 305 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2

Game 305
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2
Saturday, November 22, 1952
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Maurice Richard, who reacts to Toronto’s crowd voice as a firecracker does to a match, converted a kindly gesture by Red Storey into the two second period goals that gave the Montréal Canadiens a 2-2 tie with the Maple Leafs Saturday night.

“The Rocket” blasted two shots past Harry Lumley within 25 seconds of each other while Ron Stewart sat out a tripping penalty in the middle session, to wipe out first period scores by Gordie Hannigan and George Armstrong.

Stewart’s penalty was one of 24 Storey dished out during the 60 minute performance. Being only one short of the NHL record in that department, the summary may lend the impression that it was a regular heyrube. Perish the thought. There wasn’t a major penalty in the two dozen.

It was unfortunate from Storey’s angle, and much more so from a Maple Leaf viewpoint, that Richard’s goals developed out of a great defensive play by Stewart. “It’s in the book” as the song goes, that Storey was well offside in dishing out a penalty to the Leaf rookie.

The highly debatable issue was born from a Montréal breakaway that sent Paul Meger racing in on an unprotected Harry Lumley. When Meger was approximately 30 feet away from goal, Stewart threw himself headlong, stuck out his stuck, and knocked the puck off Meger’s blade. Meger went off-balance, but didn’t tumble.

Just 29 seconds after being penalized for this spectacularly successful defensive move, Stewart and 14,157 hockey patrons watched a 2-0 Toronto lead melt into a 2-2 tie. Richard backhanded one past Lumley almost directly from the faceoff, which Elmer Lach won from Ted Kennedy. Lumley knocked the other one in with his leg while feeling around for a Richard shot that trickled between his pads in the crease.

On the basis of first period play, the game had all the aspects of winding up a tremendously one-sided Toronto victory. The scrappy qualities with which Gordie Hannigan is endowed put the Leafs in front at the 2:20 mark while each team was short one player.

Hannigan scurried along the left boards with the puck, pursued it behind the Montréal goal, outfought Floyd Curry for possession, moved in front, and instead of passing to an unattended George Armstrong, swooped the puck into a brief opening McNeil made on his short side.

Armstrong made it 2-0 two minutes later when he tipped in a puck that had trickled down McNeil’s pads from a Max Bentley shot. McNeil tried to sit on the puck, but missed his target. Fernie Flaman had set up Bentley for his shot.

It won’t do any good, but the movies later this week will likely show that one of the linesmen cost Tod Sloan a goal later in the same period. Sloan took a pass just over the blueline, went in and pumped home a shot that almost grazed the post on the short side, but it was called back for an offside.

The Leafs skated the Canadiens right out of the rink in that opening session, but once Richard put the Habs back into the ball game, it was a completely different story. From that point on, the Canadiens put up a checking barrage that had the Toronto team stumbling around in utter confusion.

NOTES: The game’s most wicked shot was Bob Solinger’s slap shot from outside the blueline that McNeil deflected over the net…Lumley was terrific in the second when he blocked Gamble’s try on a breakaway, then got in the way of Masnick’s shot from the rebound. In the third, he blocked off a bullet from Geoffrion, and one from Richard.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 24, 1952

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:24 – Lach, tripping + misconduct
TOR PEN – 00:45 – Bentley, hooking
TOR GOAL – 02:21 – Hannigan (Armstrong)
MTL PEN – 04:05 – Johnson, slashing / roughing double minor
TOR PEN – 04:05 – Boivin, slashing / roughing double minor
TOR GOAL – 04:22 – Armstrong (Bentley, Flaman)
TOR PEN – 09:26 – Boivin, boarding
MTL PEN – 13:22 – Bouchard, holding
TOR PEN – 17:02 – Hassard, holding

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:45 – Boivin, tripping
MTL PEN – 05:46 – Olmstead, high sticking
TOR PEN – 05:46 – Armstrong, high sticking
MTL PEN – 06:11 – Masnick, hooking
TOR PEN – 13:21 – Stewart, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 13:25 – Richard (Lach)
MTL PP GOAL – 13:50 – Richard (Olmstead, Harvey)
TOR PEN – 16:52 – Bentley, high sticking
MTL PEN – 16:52 – Gamble, high sticking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:18 – Bentley, high sticking
MTL PEN – 01:18 – Masnick, high sticking
MTL PEN – 05:23 – Bouchard, holding
MTL PEN – 07:08 – Harvey, tripping
TOR PEN – 09:23 – Bolton, holding
TOR PEN – 11:16 – Boivin, tripping
MTL PEN – 16:17 – Masnick, tripping

TOR – Lumley (T)
MTL – McNeil (T)

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Hugh Bolton, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Max Bentley, Gord Hannigan, Bob Hassard, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Bob Solinger, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Paul Masnick, John McCormack, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 9-7-3 (.553)
MTL – 8-5-4 (.588)