Game 435 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Game 435
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, January 11, 1962
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Jacques Plante’s superlative netminding carried the Montréal Canadiens back into first place in the National Hoceky League here tonight, as a result of a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Leafs had taken over first place 24 hours earlier in Toronto, by one point with a 7-5 win over the Boston Bruins. For two periods here tonight, the Leafs played with an exuberance that suggested they intended to remain there, but the masked Plante frustrated them repeatedly, sometimes kicking or blocking two and three shots in rapid succession. The Leafs outshot the Canadiens 41-29, and they had a 30-18 edge for the first two periods.

Plante finally showed a few tinges of normalcy in the third period and the Leafs, who were trailing 4-0, scored their two goals in little more than a minute. They kept up their energetic play for the remainder of the game, but Plante closed the door again, and the careful Canadiens iced the puck several times to relieve pressure.

Dickie Moore, Bobby Rousseau, Henri Richard and Don Marshall scored for the Canadiens. Dave Keon, as usual, and Bert Olmstead scored for the Leafs.

The Canadiens were helped by two official decisions. Their first goal, scored by Moore late in the first period, came while Toronto defenceman Carl Brewer was in the penalty box for a questionable hooking infraction.

With the Canadiens leading 1-0 early in the second period, George Armstrong scored a tying goal, but it was cancelled by referee Ed Powers, who insisted that Armstrong was in the goal crease. Armstrong did not appear to be in the goal crease when Keon’s passout from the corner hit the blade of his stick and ricocheted into the net. He had been there seconds before, but Montréal defenceman Jean-Guy Talbot had convoyed him to one side before Keon’s pass.

As for Brewer’s penalty for hooking Richard, Powers ruled with that incredible omniscience that suddenly descends on officials in moments when least expected. It was the first penalty of the game, and prior to this heinous offence, Powers had overlooked all law breakers with a bland disinterest.

Richard and Brewer grappled in the Leaf zone and Richard shoved Brewer to one knee. Then Brewer pulled down the Montréal player; Brewer was immediately declared guilty.

While Brewer was off, Moore, starting to show signs of his former vitality, slapped in a hard shot from about 30 feet out. Leaf goalkeeper Johnny Bower didn’t see the puck.

Rousseau, skating faster and shooting harder than most of the Canadiens in this game, made it 2-0 soon after Armstrong’s goal was discounted in the second period. Knocked down by Leafs defenceman Bobby Baun, he still beat Bower with a drive to the far side of the net from about 25 feet.

Richard made it 3-0 early in the third period with a backhand flip over a falling Bower, and Marshall followed with his goal, also a backhander. The puck hit Bower’s right leg and deflected behind him.

Twenty seconds later, Keon flew in from right wing and launched a backhander past Plante, and many in the crowd of 14,959 raised a loud cheer. They could afford to, with the Canadiens leading 4-1.

Brewer zigged and zagged from end to end to set up the Leafs’ second goal. He knifed between the defence of J.C. Tremblay and Lou Fontinato, and deposited a pass on Olmstead’s stick. Olmstead took another stride or two and drove a shot in the far side of the net.

NOTES: Dick Duff was back on the Leafs injured list for this game. His left ankle, which he hurt in Toronto a night earlier, swelled up overnight…Bobby Pulford of the Leafs had a breakaway in the first period, but he tried to out-shift Plante and failed…Frank Mahovlich, also in the first period, missed the net on another setup from Bobby Nevin…Tim Horton, Keon and Armstrong were standouts for the Leafs. Rousseau, apart from Plante, was the Canadiens’ outstanding player.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 12, 1962

1st Period

TOR PEN – 15:11 – Brewer, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 16:13 – Moore (Provost, Talbot)
TOR PEN – 18:13 – Pulford, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:45 – Moore, interference

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 00:52 – Rousseau, interference
MTL GOAL – 03:26 – Rousseau (Marshall)
MTL PEN – 12:10 – Moore, roughing
TOR PEN – 12:10 – Baun, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:50 – Béliveau, holding

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:35 – Richard (Moore, Johnson)
TOR PEN – 07:24 – Baun, kneeing
MTL GOAL – 12:38 – Marshall (Johnson, Backstrom)
TOR GOAL – 12:58 – Keon (Armstrong)
TOR GOAL – 14:06 – Olmstead (Brewer)

MTL – Plante (W, 39-41)
TOR – Bower (L, 25-29)

MTL – 10+8+11 = 29
TOR – 14+16+11 = 41

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Tom Johnson, Al MacNeil, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Bernie Geoffrion, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Al Arbour, Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 21-9-10 (.650)
TOR – 23-11-5 (.654)