Game 445 – Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2

Game 445
Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 2
Wednesday, November 14, 1962
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs squandered a two goal lead, but regained it with a strong skating performance in the third period to defeat the Montréal Canadiens 4-2 in a National Hockey League game here last night.

The win enabled the Leafs to break a third place tie with the Canadiens. Each team has played the same number of games.

A crowd of 14,249 saw a crisp, tight checking game, which wasn’t decided until 19:19 of the third period when sinuous centre Billy Harris executed one of his spectacular rushes to score the decisive goal for the Leafs.

Bobby Pulford had restored the Leafs’ lead early in the period. Dave Keon scored the first goal in the first period, and George Armstrong made it 2-0 in the second period, before Bernie Geoffrion and Henri Richard came back to tie the score for the Canadiens. Keon and Armstrong scored on power plays, giving the Leafs a total of five in that department in their last two games.

Johnny Bower returned to Toronto’s goal after a three game absence that was suggested by the Toronto management. When Don Simmons developed the flu shortly before game time, Bower had to resume his original role.

He played an outstanding game, apart from one embarrassing incident in the second period, when he misjudged Richard’s long shot and the puck skipped off his left pad into the Toronto net to tie the score at 2-2.

It could have been a demoralizing experience for some players, but Bower recovered his poise and made numerous fine stops in the third period.

Jacques Plante, Montréal’s masked goalie, played with his usual dexterity. He had to be exceptionally swift on several occasions, because his defence had a habit of getting caught out of position. Plante and Bower each faced 30 shots.

Keon, who swooped with his usual floating power throughout the game, scored late in the first period when Jean-Guy Talbot was off for holding. Keon swerved out of the right corner in the Montréal zone, turned quickly and fired the puck past Plante on the short side.

Montréal defenceman Tom Johnson was off for hooking when Armstrong scored. He cut across in front of the Montréal defence of Lou Fontinato and J.C. Tremblay and lashed a screened backhander past Plante.

The Canadiens recovered for two goals in little more than two minutes later in the period to tie the score. Geoffrion whipped in a short backhander and Richard, from outside the Toronto blue line, launched a shot that Bower misjudged. He went into a crouch, trying to stop the shot with his left glove. But the puck hopped to the left, deflected off his pads and into the net.

Pulford restored the Leafs’ lead 21 seconds after the third period started. He jammed in his own rebound from a struggling group in front of the Montréal net.

Harris whirled around Montréal defenceman Jean Gauthier with 41 seconds left in the game, cruised in on Plante and deftly faked him into making the first move before flipping the puck past him.

NOTES: The Leafs had to go with four defencemen. Bobby Baun is also ailing with the flu…Ed Shack was in uniform, but he watched the entire game from the Leafs bench…Bobby Rousseau was the only Canadien regular missing. He is recovering from an injury…Keon and Armstrong did a commendable penalty killing chore for the Leafs, in addition to regular duties. Pulford was also conspicuous in this role.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 15, 1962

1st Period

MTL PEN – 13:21 – G. Tremblay, tripping
MTL PEN – 17:36 – Talbot, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 18:33 – Keon (Douglas, Duff)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 01:08 – Horton, interference
MTL PEN – 06:02 – Johnson, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 07:17 – Armstrong (Keon, Douglas)
TOR PEN – 12:07 – Stanley, holding
MTL PEN – 13:27 – Gauthier, tripping
MTL GOAL – 15:52 – Geoffrion (G. Tremblay, Béliveau)
MTL GOAL – 18:11 – Richard (Moore)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:21 – Pulford (Stewart, Harris)
TOR PEN – 04:17 – Stewart, holding
TOR GOAL – 19:19 – Harris (Stewart, Horton)

TOR – Bower (W, 28-30)
MTL – Plante (L, 26-30)

TOR – 9+9+12 = 30
MTL – 8+14+8 = 30

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Jean Gauthier, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 8-6-1 (.567)
MTL – 6-6-3 (.500)