Game 316 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Game 316
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, October 29, 1953
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Montréal’s Elmer Lach stick-swung himself out of the game with a match penalty tonight, but the Canadiens still had enough power to whip the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1.

The Habs, now undefeated in all six home starts, showed their greatest power in the opening and closing periods. The Leafs managed one shot on goalie Gerry McNeil over the last 20 minutes to 14 on Harry Lumley.

Over a sometimes torrid affair that wasn’t nearly as rough as 18 penalties, 10 to the Leafs, would suggest, underrated defenceman Tom Johnson popped two close-in goals for the Habs, and Ken Mosdell the other. Eric Nesterenko shot the Leafs’ only goal during a second period in which they held a slight margin in the play to tie the score temporarily at 1-1.

Referee Bill Chadwick, apparently with eyes in the back of his head, ruled with the sort of iron hand that if continued, may tend to stop many of the illegalities that slow up big league hockey. All but Lach’s penalty and a major for high sticking to George Armstrong, which came at the same time, were minors.

Lach’s attempt to injure, by striking at Armstrong with his stick, brought not only immediate ejection but an automatic $100 fine. In addition, the case will be reviewed by NHL President Clarence Campbell, who sat in on tonight’s game. He can impose further punishment if he deems it necessary.

Lach swung his stick at Armstrong after they had indulged in a bit of high sticking in the Leaf end, shortly after the start of the second period. Armstrong got his stick up in time to catch the force of the blow, the impact breaking Lach’s stick.

Lach then attempted to ram Armstrong with the butt end, but the Leaf spun him around, then shook off his gloves for fistic battle before they were separated.

Lach claimed Armstrong’s high stick had cut him on the head. At first, the Toronto player received a five minute major for fighting. Later this was changed to a high sticking major, plus a fine of $25. The fine is automatic on a high sticking major that caused injury to the face or head.

Nesterenko’s goal, before 14,340 in the Forum, ended a goalless famine of 143 minutes, 21 seconds for the Leafs. The last goal was three games ago in Toronto by Tod Sloan.

Leo Boivin set up the score by carrying down and passing over to Fern Flaman, who rushed in from the blue line. Flaman passed across to the uncovered Nester, who sank a six footer nearing the nine minute mark of the middle period.

Mosdell opened hte game’s scoring in less than 12 minutes, on a dazzling short pass pattern inside the Leaf end zone. A terrific surge of Montréal pressure paid off when he poked the puck in the short side.

Johnson’s first goal – and the winner as it turned out – came after “Rocket” Richard circled the cage and attempted to shove the puck past Lumley. Lum saved, and Johnson rapped in the rebound. That was three minutes after the final period opened, and with the Leafs shorthanded through a penalty to Ron Stewart.

Johnson wound up the scoring when he pushed the puck in from a scramble, with Lum on his knees.

The Canadiens also had two goals disallowed. One came in the opening period when Richard knocked in a shot with his stick illegally above his shoulder. It was the same Johnson whose shot late in the third would have made it 4-1, but for the fact that Richard was in the goal crease.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 30, 1953

1st Period
TOR PEN – 01:11 – Sloan, hooking
MTL PEN – 03:23 – Geoffrion, charging
MTL PEN – 06:09 – MacKay, holding
TOR PEN – 08:42 – Flaman, hooking
MTL GOAL – 11:26 – Mosdell (Davis, Bouchard)
TOR PEN – 11:56 – Flaman, tripping
MTL PEN – 16:05 – Masnick, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 05:28 – Armstrong, high sticking major
MTL PEN – 05:28 – Lach, attempt to injure misconduct
TOR PEN – 06:03 – Horton, boarding
TOR GOAL – 08:35 – Nesterenko (Flaman, Boivin)
TOR PEN – 11:06 – Armstrong, high sticking
MTL PEN – 11:06 – Olmstead, high sticking
MTL PEN – 14:23 – MacPherson, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 00:05 – Sloan, tripping
TOR PEN – 01:49 – Stewart, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 03:00 – Johnson (Richard)
MTL PEN – 05:12 – Olmstead, holding
TOR PEN – 06:15 – Bailey, hooking
MTL GOAL – 12:19 – Johnson (Richard, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 17:47 – MacKay, hooking
TOR PEN – 18:40 – Kennedy, high sticking

MTL – McNeil (W, 16-17)
TOR – Lumley (L, 22-25)

MTL – 7+4+14 = 25
TOR – 8+8+1 = 17

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson, Eddie Mazur, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Lorne Davis, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Paul Masnick, Paul Meger, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard.
TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Bailey, Bob Hassard, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Bob Solinger, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.

MTL – 8-2-0 (.800)
TOR – 3-4-2 (.444)