Game 332 – Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 2

Game 332
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 2
Wednesday, November 17, 1954
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The difference was in the nets last night when the win-blown Maple Leafs walloped the Montréal Canadiens 5-2, and swirled to within one point of the National Hockey League leading losers.

Buffered by the amazing sharpness of goalie Harry Lumley, the Leafs prevailed over a torrid hour of speed skating at the Gardens to jump their unbeaten streak to nine games. Altogether, it was much closer than the bare score would suggest and, as one example of the Montréal offensive, the Leafs were outshot 32-23.

Before a standing room crowd of 13,853 that glimpsed few dull spots, the Leafs ran up a 2-0 lead in the opening period on goals by defenceman Tim Horton and Tod Sloan. Another standout blueliner, Hugh Bolton, plus rookie Parker MacDonald and Ron Stewart shot the others.

Defenceman Dollard Saint-Laurent closed the gap to 3-1 on a long shot late in the middle period. Ken Mosdell closed out the goal-getting on a somewhat tainted deflection of Eddie Litzenberger’s drive with little less than six minutes of the game remaining.

Lumley was a super-dooper slicker who was colder than the frozen water on which he cavorted. He perpetrated grand larceny time and time again on varied Habitants. At the other end, a somewhat bewildered Claude Evans, up from the Montréal Royals of the Québec League as a fill-in for the injured Jacques Plante, was miles away from being a Lumley.

Lumley now has been nicked for the subpar total of only three goals in the last four games. His glittering presence has been a major reason why the Leafs, over the last two weeks and a bit, have surged from within three points of the cellar to one point off the pace. They could take over the top rung by extending their consecutive victories to eight in Montréal tonight.

The very speed of the Flying Frenchmen carried them in on goal often last night. But if it wasn’t Lumley, it was erratic shooting or the busy blocking of such defensive standouts as Bolton and Horton that stood them off. Actually, they had a territorial edge over the first two periods, although the Leafs took over from there.

Rookie Evans, in his third big league match, showed an aversion to slap shots as early as the first goal. Horton blasted the long sizzler before the game was four minutes old. A 20-footer by Sloan that found a small opening between the goalie and the post came 13 minutes later.

Bolton’s second goal of the season – a slap shot early in the middle period – proved the winner. Young MacDonald’s second NHL goal opened the last period after Tod Sloan, who carried in, lost the puck in front of the net. MacDonald got to it first. Little more than a minute later, Stewart wound up Toronto goal-getting when he took a pass from Rudy Migay in front of the cage.

NOTES: Lumley was especially tremendous over a couple of minutes of the second period. With the score 3-0, he saved a backhander from “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, the circuit’s top point-getter, who has 15 goals. He robbed Geoffrion at point blank range seconds later, then outfoxed Dickie Moore with a great save on a sizzler from directly in front of the cage…”Rocket” Richard, who just may be slowing up at long last, found the Toronto defence was a wall…Ted Kennedy, in another great all-round display, assisted on two of the Toronto goals. That brought his point mark as a Leaf to 499 over an illustrious career. Kennedy was spelled off by Bob Bailey, who has been bench-sitting as of late, over the final period…The five goals were the most against the crippled Habitants in any game this season…Joe Klukay, the veteran winger who rejoined his old team in a deal with the Boston Bruins last week, was a solid citizen in his initial home appearance.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 18, 1954

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 08:43 – Horton (Smith, Kennedy)
TOR GOAL – 16:27 – Sloan (Armstrong)
MTL PEN – 19:25 – LeClair, tripping

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 02:03 – Klukay, interference
TOR PEN – 03:35 – Horton, holding
TOR GOAL – 07:13 – Bolton (Nesterenko, Kennedy)
MTL PEN – 11:16 – Olmstead, hooking
MTL GOAL – 16:04 – Saint-Laurent (Béliveau)
TOR PEN – 18:57 – Thomson, tripping

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 02:11 – MacKay, misconduct
TOR GOAL – 02:29 – MacDonald (Sloan)
TOR PEN – 06:08 – Armstrong, holding
TOR GOAL – 08:40 – Stewart (Migay, Klukay)
MTL GOAL – 14:08 – Mosdell (Litzenberger, Mazur)

MTL PEN – 16:38 – Olmstead, roughing
TOR PEN – 16:38 – Morrison, roughing
TOR PEN – 18:31 – Stewart, tripping

TOR – Lumley (W, 30-32)
MTL – Evans (L, 18-23)

TOR – 7+6+10 = 23
MTL – 10+14+8 = 32

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Larry Cahan, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Bob Bailey, Gord Hannigan, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Parker MacDonald, Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Claude Evans. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Eddie Mazur, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Ed Litzenberger, Calum MacKay, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 9-3-4 (.688)
MTL – 11-5-1 (.676)