Game 447 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 447
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, December 5, 1962
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs broke a three way tie for second place by producing a 2-1 win over the Montréal Canadiens in a National Hockey League game in Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

The Leafs, who had been tied with the Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings, eased ahead into second, two points behind the leading Chicago Black Hawks, who defeated the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens dropped to fourth place while the Wings, as a result of their tie in New York, assumed temporary control of third place.

The win extended the Leafs’ latest undefeated streak to four games, three wins and a tie. The Canadiens, prior to last night, had gone seven consecutive games without a loss.

Bernie Geoffrion, the Canadiens’ high scoring right winger, scored their only goal on a power play in the third period, and it tied the score at 1-1. The tie lasted for little more than a minute, before Ron Stewart scored the winner for the Leafs. Frank Mahovlich, with his 14th goal of the season, was the Leafs’ other scorer in the second period.

Geoffrion was injured in scoring his goal, and spent the remainder of the game in the Gardens hospital, where X-rays revealed a cracked bone in his right wrist. It was an aggravation of an injury he had suffered in an earlier game.

Geoffrion, who flipped the puck past Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower from a few inches outside the Toronto goal crease, couldn’t restrain his forward motion. He jumped, trying to avoid Bower, and soared over the Leaf goalie. Geoffrion’s right wrist and Bower’s chin made an emphatic contact. Bower was dazed for several seconds, but he recovered to play in his usual efficient manner.

A crowd of 14,254 saw a fast, tight checking game with excellent goaltending at both ends of the rink. Bower handled 31 shots and Jacques Plante, in the Montréal net, faced 32.

The Leafs had the better scoring opportunities, but the masked Plante, often gliding from post to post with incredible swiftness, foiled them with superlative stops. He was at his defiant best in the second period, when the Leafs’ shooting was much more accurate than usual. He made three of his best stops in rapid succession on Bob Pulford, Allan Stanley and Tim Horton.

Bower also had several hot shots to dispose of, but he was more effective in stopping the Canadiens from close in, on their shoot and run sorties. The Canadiens squandered some of their better opportunities by over-passing.

Mahovlich, on a scoring streak in recent games, gave the Leafs the lead early in the second period. Bobby Nevin skated into the Montréal zone with the puck and squirmed around Montréal defenceman Tom Johnson. Johnson, however, reached out and pulled Nevin to the ice. Referee Frank Udvari immediately signalled a delayed penalty, but it was cancelled when Mahovlich recovered the puck and fired it past Plante. It was his fifth goal in the Leafs’ last four games.

Dick Duff of the Leafs was off for tripping Henri Richard when Geoffrion tied the score. He picked up a pass from Jean Béliveau and barged almost on top of Bower before he shot the puck in the net and then fell to the ice, clasping his injured right wrist.

The Leafs went ahead again little more than a minute later. Defenceman Carl Brewer took a pass from Pulford near the left point in the Canadiens zone, took evasive action to elude Bill Hicke, J.C. Tremblay and Lou Fontinato, and slid a lateral pass to the right side of the Montréal goal. Stewart romped in and drove the puck in the open side before Plante could slide across.

The Canadiens tried to replace Plante with a sixth attacker throughout the final minute, but the Leafs kept the pressure on and Jumping Jacques had to stay in his net.

NOTES: Brewer and Kent Douglas were an effective defence combination for the Leafs…Mahovlich, Nevin, Duff and Pulford were principal offensive threats for the Toronto team…Claude Provost, the Canadiens’ right winger, played an effective defensive game and revealed a baffling two-way shift on a few rushes…Bruce Kidd, back from Australia where he won a gold medal for Canada in the six-mile race in the British Empire Games, was introduced to the crowd between the first and second periods…The Hershey Bears, of the American Hockey League, who are spending a couple of days in town en route to Cleveland, will practice in the Gardens this morning…King Clancy, the Leafs’ assistant manager, flew to Regina last night. He will address a banquet there tonight.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 6, 1962

1st Period

MTL PEN – 14:05 – Talbot, holding
TOR PEN – 15:38 – Mahovlich, high sticking

2nd Period
TOR EA GOAL – 01:02 – Mahovlich (Nevin)
MTL PEN – 08:06 – Hicke, slashing
TOR PEN – 13:31 – Baun, holding

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 07:07 – Duff, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 07:22 – Geoffrion (Marshall, Béliveau)
TOR GOAL – 08:34 – Stewart (Brewer, Pulford)

TOR – Bower (W, 30-31)
MTL – Plante (L, 30-32)

TOR – 6+14+12 = 32
MTL – 8+13+10 = 31

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, 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), Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 13-9-2 (.583)
MTL – 10-7-6 (.565)