Game 307 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1

Game 307
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, December 10, 1952
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

“Boom Boom” Geoffrion, who has had trouble locating the net without a seeing eye dog this NHL season, boom boomed a couple of smoking drives here last night, and thus triggered the initial road win for the Montréal Canadiens.

It was a 2-1 margin over the Maple Leafs, and the locals could just as easily have won, because they had slightly the better of the play.

Amid the humid climes of Maple Leaf Gardens, Geoffrion smashed a 1-1 tie on a sizzling slap shot with little more than eight minutes of the game remaining. The Habitants, smelling their first triumph after five losses and four ties in their last nine games, put up an iron curtain of defence from there, despite the fact the Leafs yanked goalie Harry Lumley for an additional attacker over the last 21 seconds.

It was Geoffrion, too, who set up the game’s opening goal amid an action packed, hard hitting first period. Hundreds of the 12,906 gathering thought it was his long shot that counted just before the eight minute mark. Actually, the tally went to a rugged young workhorse, Paul Masnick, who, standing alone in the goalmouth while Toronto’s Fern Flaman sat out a minor penalty, ticket in the puck with the handle of his stick.

The shot was in and out like a bullet, but the red light caught it. Masnick said later it hit the centre bar at the back of the net and came out almost as fast as it went in.

There were just 10 seconds of the period remaining when “Big Chief” George Armstrong got that one back, and a dubious penalty to rearguard Bud MacPherson of the Habs paved the way.

MacPherson, with the Leafs moving in, put his stick under that of Kennedy and lifted hard in stopping the Leaf captain from getting at the puck. The two sticks caught Stewart on the face and he dropped, writhing. Referee Frank Udvari chased MacPherson with a five minute major for high sticking.

To show the hardiness of the breed, Stewart came back after medical treatment. He sported a huge bandage on the right side of his forehead, covering a deep swelling and three stitches, and he also suffered a bruise on the eyeball, as well as a hammering headache. He was lucky, at that, that the stick or sticks didn’t catch his eye directly.

MacPherson joined Paul Meger of the Habs in the penalty pew and, just as Leaf Leo Boivin stepped back in from a tripping minor – although too late to take part in the play – Armstrong’s low 20-footer beat very capable Gerry McNeil on a passout from the fighting Kennedy.

Both goalies came up with some terrific saves. Lumley, staying in his nets almost to perfection, twice robbed “Rocket” Richard when that worthy, who went in short spurts, was in alone. The Leafs had more chances throughout, but they were guilty of losing the puck at the last moment, or bad targetry, several times when it looked as if McNeil had only about a 10 percent chance of saving.

Although the MacPherson penalty was cheap, Udvari was guilty of a couple of dubious calls against the Leafs, too, and he twice overlooked fouls against Harry Watson of the Leafs that could well have been called. Watson, zooming in each time, once was tripped by Richard, after Floyd Curry had dragged him down earlier.

Geoffrion’s winner came on a passout from behind the net by Billy Reay. It came out fast, it went in faster, with Lumley having no chance.

With Max Bentley, Rudy Migay and “Hopalong” Hannigan on the injury list, the Leafs utilized centre Dave Read of the Marlboro juniors. The 180 pound 18 year old wasn’t used much, spelling off Tod Sloan in his nearly five minutes of action. He appeared slightly nervous.

With Lumley out in the last 21 seconds, the Leafs sent six attackers into the Habitant end and forced three faceoffs there. Kennedy and Armstrong both managed shots, and McNeil finished off in sensational fashion with a terrific skate save of Armstrong’s blistering drive in the last couple of seconds.

NOTES: Twice this season, Leaf physician Dr. Norm Delarue has invited eye specialist Dr. Tom Pashby to be his guest at a game. On each occasion, Dr. Pashby has been pressed into service. Last night, it was Ron Stewart who required attention. A few weeks back, Dr. Pashby tended Herb Dickenson of the Rangers, who nearly lost an eye in a pregame warmup when struck by the puck, and who still is in hospital here…Coach Irvin was hot at the officiating: “Conn Smythe has been screaming about it,” he said. “Smythe, of all people. It’s getting as bad to play here as in Detroit.”…Barbara Ann Scott was a guest at the game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 11, 1952

1st Period
TOR PEN – 06:02 – Flaman, elbowing
MTL PP GOAL – 07:43 – Masnick (Geoffrion, Richard)
MTL PEN – 08:30 – Johnson, holding
MTL PEN – 17:10 – Harvey, interference
TOR PEN – 17:49 – Boivin, tripping
MTL PEN – 19:15 – Meger, hooking
MTL PEN – 19:36 – MacPherson, high sticking major
TOR PP GOAL – 19:50 – Armstrong (Kennedy, Smith)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 15:06 – Morrison, tripping

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 11:53 – Geoffrion (Reay, Meger)

MTL – McNeil (W, 28-29)
TOR – Lumley (L, 27-29)

MTL – 10+7+12 = 29
TOR – 13+5+11 = 29

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

MTL – 9-8-8 (.520)
TOR – 11-12-5 (.482)