Game 373 – Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2

Game 373
Canadiens 6, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, October 30, 1957
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The real life episode of a boyish dream came true on the shiny ice of Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

At practically the last moment, 19 year old Len Broderick was called upon to guard the nets of the mighty Montréal Canadiens. Tendered potent protection by his newfound playmates, the kid performed splendidly in a 6-2 walloping of the oft-bewildered Maple Leafs.

The National Hockey League’s standby goalie here, the Marlboro junior was injected into his first big time test because Jacques Plante of the Habitants came down with a violent asthma attack, accompanied by nausea. This was less than an hour before the scheduled start.

Broderick was told of his on-the-spot chore 25 minutes before game time. He didn’t believe it at first. It seemed like a dream. Then, nervously, he donned the big pads.

The Canadiens weren’t long in providing him with a cushion of goals. It was 5-0 before Barry Cullen, on a goalmouth pass from Bobby Pulford, spoiled the potential shutout midway through the final period. A backhander by Pulford proved to be the game’s final goal with little less than two minutes remaining.

The Toronto-born Broderick had no chance on either. Altogether, he had 22 shots with which to contend, compared to 38 on Ed Chadwick at the other, and much more beleaguered, end.

The glamorous frères Richard accounted for three of the top-running Canadiens’ goals, two by Henri and one by the older and more illustrious “Rocket.” Jean Béliveau, Donnie Marshall and one of the fastest of the zippy Habitants, Claude Provost, shot one each.

The Leafs had their moments – but they were few. They just weren’t any match for the Flying Frenchmen, who played rings around them at times. And, when the Leafs tried to press, their mistakes were glaring. They were so untidy, too, as to often get in each other’s way, and, off this one, should try for some seasoned talent.

As if to make matters worse, they have to face the Habs again tonight, in Montréal, when Charlie Hodge probably will be in the Montréal net. He’s the fellow who took over at the start of the season when Plante was laid low by a sinus situation.

The Canadiens moved to a 2-0 lead in the opening period. Marshall finished off a power play at 12:44 to end Chadwick’s home shutout streak at 144 minutes and 16 seconds. In the final minute, Henri Richard cut between two defenders for his eighth goal of the season – four of them against the Leafs.

The capacity crowd of 14,091 – as if wishing to join in tribute to “Rocket” Richard for his 500th goal in Montréal recently – responded vigorously when the “Rocket” blasted his 502nd. That was at the start of the middle period on a blazing 30-footer. Béliveau banged in his own rebound off the post for a 4-0 lead six minutes later.

Henri Richard’s second goal was an oddity that came along in the third minute of the last period. He was checked by Al MacNeil and both fell. They slid into Chadwick, carrying the puck and the goalie into the net. Provost ended Montréal’s goal-getting in the 15th minute when he evaded MacNeil’s bodycheck attempt and scooted in to score from the side.

But as to that kid, Broderick, who had the best goals against average in the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A series as a Marlie last season: “Boy, was I nervous,” he said after the game. “I stayed that way until the final minute or so. They told me I was going to play just as I entered the Gardens. I thought they were kidding. Then Toe Blake (Canadiens’ coach) said ‘This is no joke, son. We need you.’. What a feeling! But I feel great now.”

NOTES: In addition to his asthmatic condition, Plante has all the symptoms of that dratted flu…Broderick, a 175 pound six footer, also led the OHA junior set in shutouts last season with eight. His leading goals against average was 2.46. His best saves last night were on shots by Ted Sloan, Frank Mahovlich and Barry Cullen, and all this by a Leaf farmhand…Fisticuffs threatened a few times, but never materialized.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 31, 1957

1st Period

TOR PEN – 11:54 – Réaume, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 12:44 – Marshall (Béliveau, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 15:26 – Saint-Laurent, tripping
MTL GOAL – 19:21 – H. Richard (Talbot)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:10 – M. Richard (H. Richard)
MTL GOAL – 08:30 – Béliveau (Olmstead, Geoffrion)

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:20 – H. Richard (M. Richard, Moore)
MTL PEN – 07:43 – Béliveau, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 09:39 – Ba. Cullen (Pulford, Stewart)
TOR PEN – 10:09 – Ba. Cullen, hooking
MTL GOAL – 14:04 – Provost (Talbot)
TOR PEN – 15:10 – Stewart, tripping
MTL PEN – 17:34 – Provost, hooking
MTL PEN – 17:43 – Turner, roughing
TOR PEN – 17:43 – Armstrong, roughing + misconduct
TOR PP GOAL – 18:07 – Pulford (Ba. Cullen, Mahovlich)

MTL – Broderick (W, 20-22)
TOR – Chadwick (L, 32-38)

MTL – 12+13+13 = 38
TOR – 7+6+9 = 22

MTLGoaltenders: Len Broderick. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dollard Saint-Laurent, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Al MacNeil, Jim Morrison, Marc Réaume. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Rudy Migay, Bob Pulford, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 6-1-2 (.778)
TOR – 2-6-0 (.250)