Game 413 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2

Game 413
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2
Thursday, March 17, 1960
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

It took them 68 games to do it, but the Toronto Maple Leafs finally won a game in the Montréal Forum, a jolting 6-2 defeat of the Montréal Canadiens, here tonight before a disbelieving crowd of 14,695.

The Leafs, checking and skating with a determination they seldom have shown against the Stanley Cup champions, never were behind in this game, although the Canadiens tied the score for a few minutes in the second period. But the Leafs made sure of victory by outscoring the Canadiens 4-1 in the final 20 minutes.

The game had no bearing on the standings, since the Canadiens already had clinched first place and the Leafs second, but it was a disillusioning experience for Montréal goalkeeper Jacques Plante. The six goals that went by him tied him in the Vézina Trophy race with Chicago’s Glenn Hall, and each team has two games to play.

Duke Edmundson was a two goal scorer for the Leafs, his first two goal effort in the National Hockey League. Dick Duff, Carl Brewer, Frank Mahovlich and Red Kelly were the Leafs’ other scorers. Marcel Bonin and Bernie Geoffrion were the scorers for the Canadiens.

Not only was this the Leafs’ first win of the season in Montréal, but it was the Canadiens’ first loss at home in their last 19 games. In their previous 18 games, they won 14 and tied four.

The Canadiens appeared lethargic at times, but they were checked mercilessly by the Leafs, and goalkeeper Johnny Bower, back in action after a two game absence, played a magnificent game.

If there was a turning point in this game, it probably came near the three quarter mark in the second period, when Brewer ripped away for the Leafs to break a 1-1 tie, with an unassisted goal while the Leafs were shorthanded.

Duff opened the scoring in the final minute of play in the first period, taking a pass from Billy Harris and darting in close to outshift Plante.

Bonin finished off a three way passing play in the second period to tie the score, scooping the puck in the open side of the net, and it looked as if the Canadiens were on their way back.

But Brewer, a few seconds after Plante had foiled Ron Stewart on a breakaway, took care of that situation. He intercepted a Montréal pass in the centre ice zone, and raced in to outshift Doug Harvey before snapping a shot past Plante. It was a rough night for Harvey all the way. He was on for three more Toronto goals in the third period, and he was flat on his back for two of them.

Edmundson scored his first goal early in the third, sweeping in Johnny Wilson’s rebound. He scored his second about six minutes later by breaking in from right wing and lashing a backhander past Plante.

Geoffrion knocked the puck off Bonin’s stick into the open side of the Toronto net for Montréal’s second goal, but the Leafs came back with two more.

Mahovlich scored on a backhander from a tangle in front of the Montréal net, and with 30 seconds left in the game, Kelly went end to end on a pretty solo and flung a backhander past Plante.

NOTES: Allan Stanley, who missed several games with leg miseries, returned to the Leafs and played his usual, steady game…Another fine defensive game was turned in by Joe Crozier, the defenceman the Leafs called from Rochester as a replacement for the injured Bobby Baun. No gazelle on skates, Crozier had a faculty for stopping shots, and he threw his weight around with authority…Gerry Ehman was also back with the Leafs, but he played only briefly…Larry Regan played on right wing for most of the game, on a line with Kelly and Mahovlich…The Boston Bruins, who meet the Canadiens here Saturday, were spectators at this game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 18, 1960

1st Period

MTL PEN – 09:59 – Moore, tripping
TOR PEN – 14:27 – Crozier, delay of game
TOR GOAL – 19:13 – Duff (Harris, Horton)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 11:33 – Bonin (Béliveau, Johnson)
TOR PEN – 12:04 – Brewer, interference
MTL PEN – 12:04 – H. Richard, slashing
TOR PEN – 12:54 – Mahovlich, high sticking
MTL PEN – 12:54 – Harvey, high sticking
TOR PEN – 14:04 – Pulford, tripping
TOR SH GOAL – 15:35 – Brewer

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:51 – Edmundson (Wilson, Crozier)
TOR GOAL – 07:27 – Edmundson (Horton, Stanley)
MTL GOAL – 09:55 – Geoffrion (Bonin, Béliveau)
TOR PEN – 12:32 – Brewer, holding
MTL PEN – 14:14 – Moore, tripping
TOR GOAL – 16:16 – Mahovlich (Olmstead, Kelly)
TOR GOAL – 19:40 – Kelly (Mahovlich)

TOR – Bower (W, 36-38)
MTL – Plante (L, 31-37)

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Carl Brewer, Joe Crozier, Red Kelly, Tim Horton, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Garry Edmundson, Gerry Ehman, Billy Harris, Gerry James, Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart, Johnny Wilson.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Ab McDonald, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).

TOR – 33-26-9 (.551)
MTL – 39-17-12 (.662)