Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, February 26, 1953
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, QC
Toronto’s two game attempt to gain valuable ground in the National Hockey League fight for playoff positions ended in a dead loss here tonight.
The Leafs dropped their second decision in as many nights to the Montréal Canadiens, losing this one 4-1. The Habs won 2-1 in Toronto Wednesday.
What started out to be a hard fought, closely contested game became somewhat one-sided after Leaf goalie Harry Lumley was injured during the second period. Fourteen stitches were needed to close a deep cut over his right eye when he was hit by a screened shot fired by Billy Reay.
The game was delayed 23 minutes while Lumley was patched up by Dr. Jim Murray. He came back to play exceedingly well under trying conditions, but his teammates couldn’t hold off the sustained drive of the powerful Montréal team.
The score was deadlocked 1-1 at the time of the accident with the Leafs gaining momentum, but the injury knocked the pep out of their attack, and although they tried to the end, the decision was never in doubt as Canadien sharpshooters found the range.
Floyd Curry, Bert Olmstead, Kenny Mosdell and “Boom Boom” Geoffrion scored for the winners, with Tod Sloan preventing Gerry McNeil from getting his ninth shutout of the season.
The Canadiens scored first, Curry beating Lumley late in the opening period with a hard angle shot from the left side. Dick Gamble moved the puck out of the Montréal zone, passed to Dickie Moore, who skated up centre and fed Curry a pass inside the Toronto zone. Curry cut in sharply before making his play.
Sloan stickhandled cleverly to tie the score early in the second. He took a pass from Harry Watson after a rink length rush, started by Ron Stewart, got in behind the Montréal defence. He deked McNeil into making the first move, netting the puck with a short backhand shot.
The Canadiens went ahead again shortly after Lumley returned from the first aid room. Mosdell deflected Butch Bouchard’s shot from the point over the sprawling Toronto goalie’s body. Olmstead set up the play.
A bit of a heyrube developed early in the third when the goal judge flashed the red light as Reay’s hard shot hit a post and caromed away. Storey conferred with his linemsen and ruled no goal.
Armstrong was sitting out his third penalty of the night when the Canadiens made it 3-1. Olmstead, camped close to the Toronto crease, deflected “Rocket” Richard’s drive on a power play with Elmer Lach.
Lumley, who broke up three breakthrough Montréal rushes in the first period played gamely after his injury, making several diving saves, but the Canadiens kept pressing and made it 4-1 with less than five minutes remaining.
This time, Geoffrion skated in front of Lum to bat Reay’s pass into the net on a three man rush with Paul Meger. The Canadiens played what was tantamount to a five man defence the final couple of minutes.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 27, 1953
TOR PEN – 01:06 – Smith, interference
MTL PEN – 02:08 – Olmstead, boarding
TOR PEN – 08:36 – Flaman, boarding
TOR PEN – 10:29 – Thomson, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:29 – Olmstead, roughing
MTL PEN – 11:45 – Gamble, hooking
TOR PEN – 13:51 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL PP GOAL – 14:13 – Curry (Moore, Gamble)
TOR PEN – 15:32 – Armstrong, interference
TOR PEN – 19:00 – Armstrong, interference
TOR GOAL – 06:32 – Sloan (Watson, Stewart)
MTL GOAL – 14:53 – Mosdell (Bouchard, Olmstead)
TOR PEN – 02:42 – Armstrong, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 04:24 – Olmstead (Richard, Lach)
MTL PEN – 06:10 – Gamble, tripping
MTL GOAL – 15:10 – Geoffrion (Meger, Reay)
MTL – McNeil (W)
TOR – Lumley (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: 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, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard.
TOR – Goaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Gord Hannigan, Bob Hassard, Phil Maloney, Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.