Game 350 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0

Game 350
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
Wednesday, December 28, 1955
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Outdazzling the majestic opposition, the uninhibited Maple Leafs threw the Montréal Canadiens for a 2-0 loss in a National Hockey League sizzler here last night.

The victory marked the season’s second shutout for a splendid Harry Lumley in the nets, and lifted the Leafs into a fourth place tie with the idle Chicago Black Hawks.

With respect in one eye and defiance in the other, the Leafs dominated the Flying Frenchmen because they outchecked and outfought them. Maple Leaf Gardens’ largest gathering of the season – 14,247 – sat in on second period goals by freshman Ron Hurst and “The Big Chief,” George Armstrong.

Altogether, the fast game provided one of the finer displays of hockey as it should be played. There was enough ruggedness, too, to suggest another humdinger when the teams collide again in Montréal tonight.

Setting up what was only the seventh defeat for the Habitants this term, Hurst scored in the sixth minute of a torrid middle period. Leafian pressure paid off after Jimmy Thomson directed a pass back to Eric Nesterenko in the Montréal end.

Nesterenko couldn’t control the puck. It dribbled to Hurst, who fired a 20-footer. The shot struck rookie goalie Bob Perreault and bounced off him into the cage.

The clincher by Armstrong, who has been a mighty powerful Leaf factor of late, came in the closing minutes of the period. It drew deep and deserved applause.

The 200 pound right winger grabbed a pass from Tod Sloan at the Hab blueline. Army stickhandled past his check, Bert Olmstead, then rounded defenceman Dollard Saint-Laurent before banging in the puck from the doorstep.

The two goals were a good indication of the period play. The Leafs outshot the Canadiens, 14-5, over the 20 minutes, and Armstrong had about five of those.

There wasn’t a doubt that the Canadiens missed their all star defenceman, Doug Harvey, sidelined with a hand injury. On the other hand, the entire Leaf rearguard played well, even without Hugh Bolton. Big Yug was an onlooker and didn’t make the Montréal trip. He suffered a forehead fracture last Saturday here, when struck by Allan Stanley’s stick.

Perreault, in his sixth game as substitute for nose injured Jacques Plante, gave a capable performance. He was fired at 31 times, to 28 shots on Lumley.

NOTES: “Rocket” Richard, seeking the 500th goal of a tremendous NHL career, managed a couple of good shots, but generally was checked closely. He rushed to his prostrate brother, Henri, when “The Pocket Rocket” was felled and winded by a stiff check from Jimmy Morrison late in the opening period…Lumley’s only other shutout this term was so long ago he couldn’t recall it. It happened here on October 29, on a similar 2-0 win over Chicago…It was only the second time this season that the Habs, who threaten to run away and hide on the rest of the league, have been whitewashed…Lumley was surrounded by congratulating mates on end…The referee and linesmen made their debut in the new league dress. They wore sweaters with vertical black and white stripes, a la football officials. Previously the sweaters were orange…The Leafs had five minor penalties, to four by Montréal…Leaf Sid Smith, who has scored only one measly goal this season, was flying. He looked as if he was about ready to smash the jinx.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 29, 1955

1st Period
TOR PEN – 06:34 – Hurst, interference
TOR PEN – 13:04 – Smith, boarding
MTL PEN – 17:14 – Bouchard, hooking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:25 – Hurst (Nesterenko, Thomson)
TOR PEN – 07:34 – Sloan, tripping
MTL PEN – 12:57 – Geoffrion, tripping
TOR GOAL – 16:20 – Armstrong (Sloan)
MTL PEN – 18:58 – Provost, holding
TOR PEN – 19:48 – Sloan, holding

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 06:34 – Horton, high sticking
MTL PEN – 13:29 – Béliveau, tripping

TOR – Lumley (W + SO, 28-28)
MTL – Perreault (L, 29-31)

TOR – 8+14+9 = 31
MTL – 15+5+8 = 28

TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Earl Balfour, Dick Duff, Gord Hannigan, Billy Harris, Ron Hurst, Gerry James, Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith (C), Ron Stewart.
Goaltenders: Bob Perreault. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard.

TOR – 12-18-6 (.417)
MTL – 22-7-7 (.708)