Game 362 – Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2

Game 362
Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, December 13, 1956
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens, at full strength for the first time this National Hockey League season, overpowered the Toronto Maple Leafs with four third period goals for a 6-2 win here tonight.

The Leafs, still hampered by injuries, played as well as they could for two periods; they matched the Canadiens in everything but class, but they had nothing left for the final 20 minutes.

Another fantastic goaltending performance by Ed Chadwick wasn’t enough to stop the hopped-up Canadiens. Chadwick did everything a human could do, he sometimes kicked out two and three shots in a row, but the Canadiens’ power couldn’t be contained in the final period.

Big Jean Béliveau, the league’s leading point getter, fattened his average with three goals. But the cheers of the 13,876 fans were loudest for Maurice Richard, playing his first game since a recent operation. He scored in the third period, the 468th goal of his career, and his eighth of the season. Jackie LeClair and, you guessed it, Dickie Moore, scored the other Montréal goals.

The Cullen brothers, Brian and Barry, took care of the Toronto scoring. Brian gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Barry’s goal in the second sent the teams into the last period tied at 2-2.

Moore’s goal, on a power play early in the third period, broke the 2-2 tie and as it developed, it was the winning marker. This was Moore’s 15th goal of the season, and eight of them have been against the Leafs. And Moore has scored six of these on Montréal power plays, eloquent evidence that the Leafs can’t afford penalties when playing the Canadiens.

The Canadiens had a big margin in shots on goal, 44 to 20, and the majority of their shots were fired from in close. Chadwick was frequently hampered by his own players. On Maurice Richard’s goal, he was pinned by Bob Pulford and Marc Réaume, and Richard’s shot hit Chadwick on the forehead before rolling into the net.

It was a rough, tough, nasty game. Boarding and high sticking were the order throughout. The Canadiens scored three of their goals while the Leafs were shorthanded, and Brian Cullen’s goal came on a Leaf power play.

Brian picked his way around three Montréal players before firing a 20 foot screened shot past Jacques Plante. Béliveau tied it in the second, tipping in Maurice Richard’s shot while Tod Sloan was off. LeClair made it 2-1 when his 60-foot shot bounced crazily and eluded Chadwick. Barry Cullen tied it for the Leafs, banging in his own rebound after taking a pass from brother Brian.

Moore, who was holding office hours in front of the Leaf net, stuck out his stick early in the third to deflect Maurice Richard’s shot into the net, and that was the last gasp for the Leafs.

Béliveau added his second with Réaume wrapped around him. The Canadien ace stood on one leg and somehow flipped the puck between Chadwick and the post. Then Maurice banked in his goal off Chadwick’s forehead, and Béliveau came back with his third, hammering in Claude Provost’s pass from outside the Leaf crease.

The Cullen brothers tried manfully for the Leafs. Ron Stewart, a right winger in this game, was another standout, and defenceman Jimmy Morrison gave it his best try. But even their efforts paled by comparison with the Richards, Béliveau and Doug Harvey.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 14, 1956

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:43 – Olmstead, tripping
MTL PEN – 06:28 – Olmstead, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 07:49 – Br. Cullen (Ba. Cullen)
TOR PEN – 11:21 – Sloan, high sticking
TOR PEN – 14:54 – Duff, holding

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 02:37 – Sloan, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 03:36 – Béliveau (M. Richard, Harvey)
MTL GOAL – 09:04 – LeClair
TOR GOAL – 11:51 – Ba. Cullen (Br. Cullen, Morrison)

TOR PEN – 16:25 – Réaume, interference
MTL PEN – 16:50 – Harvey, interference + misconduct
TOR PEN – 17:15 – Thomson, roughing
MTL PEN – 17:15 – Talbot, roughing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 02:42 – Hurst, charging
MTL PP GOAL – 03:58 – Moore (M. Richard, Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 12:01 – Béliveau (Olmstead, Talbot)
TOR PEN – 12:01 – Hurst, roughing
MTL PEN – 12:01 – Talbot, roughing
MTL PEN – 13:12 – Olmstead, slashing
TOR PEN – 13:12 – MacNeil, slashing
TOR PEN – 13:55 – Thomson, tripping
MTL GOAL – 16:06 – M. Richard (Moore, H. Richard)
MTL GOAL – 19:14 – Béliveau (Provost, Olmstead)

MTL – Plante (W, 18-20)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 37-43)

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Tim Horton, Al MacNeil, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume, Jimmy Thomson (C). Forwards: Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Ron Hurst, Mike Nykoluk, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 15-10-3 (.589)
TOR – 7-13-7 (.389)