Game 306 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 306
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Thursday, December 4, 1952
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Harry Lumley came through with one of his sparkling road games tonight, and Harry Watson solidified two forwards into a potent attacking unit, as the Toronto Maple Leafs ended a seven game winless streak by edging the Montréal Canadiens 2-1.

A crowd of 14,198 moaned as the Leafs outplayed the Habs by a decisive margin most of the way, and they were starting to leave the Forum when “Rocket” Richard cheated Lumley out of a well deserved shutout three and a half minutes from the finish.

It wasn’t a Richard specialty in that he let the shot go from just inside the blue line, dead in front of the goal, but it had his trademark in the fact that he was being hounded by Tod Sloan and didn’t appear to have a chance of getting a shot away. But he did. Even Lumley would have appreciated it so straight and blisteringly fast did it travel. But Harry never saw it until the puck twanged off the cords and bounced out in front again.

The Leafs should have picked up a couple of goals in the first period but didn’t. They had a similar edge in the second, and finally managed to take what they earned, via Rudy Migay and Ron Stewart. It was touch and go in the final session, but Lumley and “Teeder” Kennedy’s great defensive playing preserved the Toronto team’s first victory in eight starts.

It was rugged hockey all the way, with the Canadiens particularly unworried that both sides have suffered strongly from physical damage this season. One boy who met them a little better than halfway was Harry Watson, who seemed delighted to find himself in action again.

Watson handed out three jolting checks his first trip to the ice, and convinced Joe Primeau that there would be need to call on Parker (Marlboro Junior) MacDonald. In the second period, Watson dished out a couple more thumps and helped build up the opening goal of the game.

Hurtling Harry moved on attack with Rudy Migay, but Rudy’s pass slid off Watson’s stick. Both defencemen had converged on the Toronto pair, and the puck went loose just as Tod Sloan was racing in to aid his linemates.

Sloan picked it up in stride, and with plenty of time, he fired into McNeil’s pads. Gerry couldn’t control the puck and as he sat down, Migay dashed in to slap the puck home.

Stewart’s goal was another three-way affair on which he and Smith and Kennedy collaborated so closely that it seemed as if Smith had scored.

Stewart got the play in motion by digging it out of the corner and passing back to Kennedy. Teeder slapped a high, hard one and McNeil just got his hands up in front of his face. The puck bounced in the air, landed in the crease and Smith and Stewart both jabbed at it. Referee Storey said Stewart won.

There must have been half a dozen occasions during the game when the zooming Habs left Toronto defencemen in their tracks to rip in on Lumley. Harry stood his ground nobly and forced every effort to wind up snuggling safely in his pads.

With Elmer Lach missing from the lineup with a broken thumb, Paul Masnick was inserted between Richard and Bert Olmstead. The rookie did a pretty efficient chore most of the time, right up until he faced Lumley. Twice he was dead in front, but Lumley beat him both times.

Tom Johnson was a colourful figure on defence for the Canadiens, while Butch Bouchard was in rough form, making a dead set on Kennedy more than a couple of times, and almost becoming involved in riots with Watson and Sloan.

The Leafs had two good forward lines in operation, thanks to Watson’s return. Migay was a potent defensive force on that line, too. Stewart, in addition to getting his goal, or maybe it was the reason for it, was in a more boisterous mood than usual, and he wore it well.

NOTES: Parker MacDonald dressed, but didn’t get off the bench…Gerry McNeil was pretty terrific in goal for the Canadiens, although his juggling of hard shots resulted in both goals…Morrison, Flaman, Boivin and Thomson were steady on defence, were blocking many shots…The Canadiens are now in a seven game winless streak in which they’ve earned four ties…A minute’s silence was observed before the game started to honour the late James Norris Sr., owner of the Detroit Red Wings.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 5, 1952

1st Period
TOR PEN – 08:22 – Morrison, tripping
TOR PEN – 10:20 – Flaman, boarding
MTL PEN – 18:30 – MacPherson, holding

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 07:50 – Migay (Sloan, Watson)
TOR GOAL – 11:16 – Stewart (Kennedy, Smith)
MTL PEN – 12:19 – Harvey, hooking
MTL PEN – 15:57 – Masnick, charging
TOR PEN – 18:22 – Migay, tripping

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 06:32 – Migay, interference
TOR PEN – 06:32 – Sloan, fighting major
MTL PEN – 06:32 – Olmstead, fighting major
MTL GOAL – 16:37 – Richard (Johnson, Olmstead)
TOR PEN – 17:57 – Kennedy, roughing
MTL PEN – 17:57 – Olmstead, roughing
MTL PEN – 19:40 – Richard, slashing

TOR – Lumley (W, 19-20)
MTL – McNeil (L, 32-34)

TOR – 12+13+9 = 34
MTL – 5+6+9 = 20

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Hassard, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Bob Solinger, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Reg Abbott, Floyd Curry, Dick Gamble, Bernie Geoffrion, Paul Masnick, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 10-11-4 (.480)
MTL – 8-7-7 (.523)