Game 340 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 340
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, February 9, 1955
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The unsung Rudy Migay, whose stick prevents far more goals than it scores, fired the final two last night for a 3-1 margin by the Maple Leafs over the Montréal Canadiens.

The little centre’s glittering display featured a tense, colourful sizzler that provided one of the finest games of the National Hockey League season here.

In dropping the top-running Flying Frenchmen, the Leafs may have lost centre Ted Kennedy for a spell. He entered the hospital after the game for treatment of a swollen ankle, and it won’t be known until later today whether he’ll be fit for duty when the Leafs next play this weekend.

The game was little more than eight minutes old when Canadien Dickie Moore finished off a spectacular, short passing play around the Toronto goal with Bert Olmstead and giant Jean Béliveau. Little more than three minutes later, defenceman Tim Horton tied the score on an unusual 80-footer.

Horton blasted a low shot from well outside the Habitants’ blueline. It bounced in front of the net and zipped past guardian Jacques Plante before he could make a move.

Before a lusty-throated gathering of 13,874, Migay took the play from all the highly esteemed goal-getters present by shooting the eventual winner in the closing seconds of the middle period. The Honest Workman was Mr. Opportunity himself by being on deck in front of Plante to swat in a rebound of Ron Stewart’s shot.

The clincher, in the third last minute of play, was set up through a typical example of staunch Migay’s forechecking. Deep in the Canadien end, he poked the puck away from defenceman Tom Johnson. With only Plante to beat, he raced after the puck and golfed it home from close range for his eighth goal of the term.

Skipper Kennedy was struck on the ankle by a shot early in the opening period. He retired to have the ankle “frozen,” then played – and well – the rest of the game.

Both goalies performed brilliantly, with Leaf Harry Lumley slightly more than terrific at times. He opened the game with a tremendous save on “Boom Boom” Geoffrion from a few feet out, then preserved the win with robbery of “Busher” Curry and Jackie LeClair in the last period before Migay sank the clincher.

Both teams turned on some powerful forechecking with a result that each side, at times, had great difficulty clearing the puck from its own end. That only added to the spectacle.

NOTES: Centre Tod Sloan was another who stood out for the Leafs…The only threat of a fistic outbreak came late in the first period when there was a flurry of high sticks behind the Habitant cage. Nothing came of it…The Leafs now have a record of three wins, a loss and two ties against the Habs here.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 10, 1955

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:12 – Kennedy, hooking
MTL GOAL – 08:07 – Moore (Olmstead, Béliveau)
TOR GOAL – 11:24 – Horton
MTL PEN – 19:46 – Harvey, interference
TOR PEN – 20:00 – Lumley, illegal stick

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:28 – Thomson, tripping
MTL PEN – 08:39 – Béliveau, cross checking
TOR GOAL – 19:12 – Migay (Stewart, Thomson)
MTL PEN – 20:00 – Béliveau, high sticking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 06:13 – Migay, hooking
TOR GOAL – 17:45 – Migay

TOR – Lumley (W, 25-26)
MTL – Plante (L, 29-32)

TOR – 11+9+12 = 32
MTL – 9+6+11 = 26

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

TOR – 22-17-16 (.545)
MTL – 32-14-8 (.667)