Game 353 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Game 353
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, January 19, 1956
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Jean Béliveau, breaking out of a scoring drought, shot the Montréal Canadiens into a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on a two goal splurge tonight.

The win, the second in as many nights over the fourth place Leafs, lifted the Canadiens into a 10 point margin atop the National Hockey League.

Tod Sloan, by far the best of the mostly drab Leafs, notched Toronto’s only goal on one of his typical picture plays that wound up scoring late in the last period. It was his 26th of the season, one more than Béliveau.

The Leafs, humbled in a shooting sense in that they managed only 11 shots on goal to 32 by Montréal, were knocked off their game by the same fierce forechecking that won for the Canadiens in Toronto last night. Veteran observers couldn’t recall a Toronto team being held to so few shots.

Béliveau’s goals were the first of the new year. He last scored on New Year’s Eve. “Boom Boom” Geoffrion was the other goal-getter for the Flying Frenchmen.

Sloan, with five minutes remaining, slipped between the defence, drew out goalie Jacques Plante, and tucked the puck behind him.

Béliveau had opened the goal-getting in an ultra dull middle period – he bulled through the Toronto defence and scored on a backhander.

The score remained 1-0 until the 12th minute of the last period. Then before 13,798 screaming fans, the Habitants counted twice within 17 seconds.

Geoffrion made it 2-0 on a 25-footer from out in front of the cage. Goalie Harry Lumley, who came up with some sensational saves, had no chance. Then Béliveau let go a shot from an almost impossible angle – to the side of the net and behind it. The puck struck Lumley on the pads and, while he looked for it, it trickled across the open net and in.

It wasn’t a fierce game. The biggest sign of an outbreak came in the last minute, when George Armstrong and Montréal’s Ken Mosdell tangled with high sticks. Then Armstrong threatened Mosdell with a stick, but dropped it when Mosdell threw a glove into his face. They were separated without damage.

NOTES: Henri Richard, “The Pocket Rocket,” appeared to have re-injured his ankle midway through the last period. He returned to action only last night after being sidelined for 18 days…Sloan, Armstrong and Dickie Duff formed the best Leafs line…The Leafs managed only three shots over each of the last two periods.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 20, 1956

1st Period
TOR PEN – 02:52 – James, high sticking
TOR PEN – 06:45 – Burega, tripping
MTL PEN – 16:20 – Talbot, holding
TOR PEN – 18:43 – Balfour, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 12:45 – James, tripping
MTL GOAL – 16:57 – Béliveau (Olmstead)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 00:40 – Moore, hooking
TOR PEN – 06:51 – Thomson, kneeing
MTL GOAL – 11:16 – Geoffrion (Mosdell, Moore)
MTL GOAL – 11:33 – Béliveau (Olmstead, Geoffrion)
TOR GOAL – 14:58 – Sloan (Horton)
TOR PEN – 19:03 – Armstrong, high sticking
MTL PEN – 19:03 – Mosdell, high sticking

MTL – Plante (W, 10-11)
TOR – Lumley (L, 29-32)

MTL – 12+7+13 = 32
TOR – 5+3+3 = 11

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard.
Goaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Bill Burega, Tim Horton, 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.

MTL – 27-11-7 (.678)
TOR – 15-22-7 (.420)