Game 359 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3

Game 359
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3
Wednesday, November 7, 1956
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Winger Dickie Moore, with the Maple Leafs shorthanded through a penalty each time, shot the three goal hat trick last night in a 4-3 edge by the Montréal Canadiens. Such deadly proof of penalties’ punitive power pulled down the Leafs into the National Hockey League’s fourth slot.

Before the largest gathering of the season – 14,272 – in the hothouse that was the Gardens, Moore broke up the stirring, see-saw struggle on the game’s final goal in the third-last minute. Gerry James was the “goat,” serving an unnecessary interference penalty at the time after knocking down a Habitant who was nowhere near the puck.

Victory for the Flying Frenchmen, who were playing without two regulars, lifted them over the Leafs into a second place tie with the Boston Bruins. It was their fourth consecutive win after a poor start.

Missing Habs were goalie Jacques Plante and winger Bernie Geoffrion. Gerry McNeil, the former Canadiens netmidner now with the Montréal Royals of the Québec League, filled in capably for the bronchitis-suffering Plante. Geoffrion was operated on in Montréal two days ago for a bursitis condition in the left elbow, and will be out a couple of weeks.

Henri Richard, the 152 pound spark since rejoining the Montréalers from a leg injury four games ago, scored the other goal. Sid Smith, Gary Aldcorn and Rudy Migay were the Toronto marksmen.

Moore, dashing towards the first hat trick of the NHL term, opened the goal-getting before the game was five minutes old. It was Henri, “The Pocket Rocket,” who shot out a pass to Jean Béliveau from the corner. Moore trapped Béliveau’s pass in front of the net and scored on a backhander.

Smith came up with one of his old-time efforts in tying the score near the period’s end. James, who spoiled a solid performance with four minor penalties, rushed up centre and passed to Smith on the wing. Smitty cut in and counted on a 20-foot sizzler. It was his second goal of the season – half of his entire 1955-56 output.

Defenceman Tim Horton, who authored a few tingling end-to-end rushes, set up the only goal of the middle period for a 2-1 Toronto lead. He broke away from a Montréal ganging attack and passed back to James inside the Montréal blue line. James in turn passed to Aldcorn, and that rookie counted his fifth goal of the term from fairly close in.

Each team had a player in penitence when “The Pocket Rocket” opened the final period by cutting across the face of the net to tuck the puck behind Ed Chadwick.

James was off for tripping nearly four minutes later when Moore propelled the Habs into a 3-2 lead on a partially screened shot around Horton. Migay evened the score at 3-3 at the eight minute mark when, with McNeil down after a scramble around the net, he lifted the puck over him. Smith and James drew assists.

Chadwick made a sensational save on a backhander by “Rocket” Richard, who broke in alone, before Moore broke it up at 17:25. “Rocket” Richard gave him the opportunity, laying down an across the net pass.

Such heroics by Moore, who seems to have added dash and weight, gave him a total of seven goals in 12 games. He could well be heading for his greatest pro season. Over the full 70 game schedule last term, he managed only 11 goals, although he added 39 assists for a 50 point total. He scored 16 times the season prior to that.

NOTES: The Leafs left immediately after the game for Chicago and an engagement with the Black Hawks tonight…In the Leafs’ only previous meeting with the Habs, in Montréal, a third period drive produced a 3-2 Toronto win…”Rocket” Richard also is bothered with bursitis in his elbow, but it wasn’t apparent. There was suggestion, however, that his legs may have slowed down a mile. Either that or the captain’s crest weighs heavily.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 8, 1956

1st Period

TOR PEN – 02:52 – Duff, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 04:26 – Moore (Béliveau, H. Richard)
MTL PEN – 11:14 – Béliveau, tripping
TOR GOAL – 16:39 – Smith (James, Harris)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 04:09 – James, interference
MTL PEN – 04:23 – M. Richard, tripping
TOR GOAL – 09:39 – Aldcorn (Horton, James)
TOR PEN – 13:28 – James, hooking
MTL PEN – 19:45 – McNeil, delay of game
TOR PEN – 20:00 – Duff, tripping

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:48 – H. Richard (Harvey, Turner)
TOR PEN – 02:48 – James, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 04:10 – Moore (Harvey, Béliveau)
TOR GOAL – 08:00 – Migay (Smith, James)
TOR PEN – 17:11 – James, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 17:25 – Moore (M. Richard, Harvey)

MTL – McNeil (W, 29-32)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 27-31)

MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Jack LeClair, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
Goaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Ron Stewart, Jimmy Thomson (C). Forwards: Gary Aldcorn, George Armstrong, Barry Cullen, Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Gerry James, Rudy Migay, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 6-5-1 (.542)
TOR – 4-3-4 (.545)