Game 328 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 0

Game 328
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 0
Thursday, March 11, 1954
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Harry Lumley set a Maple Leaf record for goalkeepers tonight, and Jimmy Thomson scored his first goal in three seasons, as Toronto handed the Montréal Canadiens a 3-0 setback in front of 14,516 Forum customers.

Lumley’s 13th shutout, one more than Lorne Chabot chalked up in the 1928-29 season, was one of the most difficult to put into the record. Lum was a trifle better than sensational during the first two periods, when he had to handle 30 shots.

Tempering the joy of victory in the Maple Leaf camp was the third period loss of Ted Kennedy, who had scored the winning goal on a golf shot early in the second period. Kennedy suffered a groin injury late in the second, and didn’t appear at all for the final session.

Thomson’s goal applied the coup de grâce to Les Habs. Having broken up a Canadien attack at centre, the veteran defenceman skated slowly toward the blueline and from a few feet outside, lobbed an easy shot at Jacques Plante.

The puck bounced once and took a wicked change of direction. It barely hit Plante’s pads on its way into the unprotected side of the net.

It was Thomson’s first goal in 208 league games, and his 10th in regular competition since he came up to the Leafs as a regular in 1946-47. Thomson secured the puck and handed it over to trainer Bill Smith for safekeeping.

Tod Sloan wrapped it up for good in the final half minute, when George Armstrong carried down centre and passed over to Sloan on right wing. Tod’s angle shot whipped across Plante and into the far corner for the prettiest goal of them all.

Lumley was the game’s standout, however, and but for his brilliance, the Canadiens could easily have had a 3-1 lead going into the last 20 minutes.

He was at his glittering best in the second, when Dickie Moore burst right in on him. Lum saved that one and pounced on another Moore try a few seconds later. Ken Mosdell, Lorne Davis and Tom Johnson fired in machine-gun order a minute later, and Lumley bounced them off like Superman.

Probably his closest call came on a blistering shot by Jean Béliveau. The Toronto goalie just got his skate to the puck, which deflected off it onto the goal post and into the corner of the rink.

In the first period, Bert Olmstead was beaten when he had the puck alone on the Toronto crease, and Lumley saved from his shot off a rebound of Richard’s backhander.

The Canadiens, checked into the ice, had only four shots in the third period, but the two were nearly goals. Twice Richard pirouetted into position right in front, only to inexplicably lose control of the puck each time.

The Leafs gave this game an all-out try from Lumley out. Kennedy was going great guns until injured, and the rest of the upfront brigade stuck grimly with checks all night to post a second successive shutout over the Habs on Forum ice.

Signs that spring is in the air arrived at 13:46 of the final period, when Tim Horton bodied Richard out of a play, carried him into the boards, as “The Rocket”‘s flailing stick almost decapitated a spectator. The crowd, incensed because referee Red Storey wouldn’t hand out a penalty, showered foot rubbers onto the ice in a demonstration.

At one stage, there were 57 rubbers counted strewn around the ice, and a few more came down later. They had all been cleared off, and play was about to start, when one last footpiece came hurtling down and hit Storey on the back.

On completion of the game, a few more rubbers were thrown on the ice. Obviously their owners had parted with the mates in the earlier demonstration.

NOTES: Lumley drew his third penalty of the season in the first period when he resented Harvey’s intrusion in the crease and grabbed the Montréaler’s stick. Red Storey took the easy way out and gave Harvey an interference penalty, too…Big Doug MacPherson was surprised by Tim Horton near the end of the second. After the 6’2 Canadien jammed the 5’9 Horton against the boards, they grappled. Horton suddenly heaved, and MacPherson went flat on his pants…Harry Watson’s bid for that elusive 200th goal almost succeeded in the first period. He raced in on his wrong wing and cut loose with a backhander that Plante deflected with a lunging leg.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 12, 1954

1st Period
MTL PEN – 05:28 – MacPherson, tripping
TOR PEN – 05:57 – Migay, slashing
TOR PEN – 11:32 – Armstrong, charging
MTL PEN – 13:25 – Harvey, interference
TOR PEN – 13:25 – Lumley, holding

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:47 – Kennedy (Stewart, Morrison)
TOR PEN – 05:14 – Thomson, tripping
MTL PEN – 05:16 – Olmstead, interference
TOR PEN – 07:32 – Boivin, interference

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 14:19 – Thomson
TOR GOAL – 19:30 – Sloan (Armstrong)

TOR – Lumley (W + SO, 34-34)
MTL – Plante (L, 17-20)

TOR – 6+6+8 = 20
MTL – 12+18+4 = 34

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Leo Boivin, Fern Flaman, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Bailey, Earl Balfour, Ted Kennedy (C), Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Lorne Davis, Bernie Geoffrion, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Paul Masnick, Paul Meger, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 31-20-14 (.585)
MTL – 31-23-11 (.562)