Game 450 – Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1

Game 450
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, January 23, 1963
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs, on the basis of a bountiful and most impressive opening period, crushed the Montréal Canadiens 5-1 in the Gardens last night.

The Leafs were led by a new line centred by castoff Bronco Horvath, and victory moved them one point back of the second place Habitants in the National Hockey League.

The Toronto team, which had managed only eight points of a possible 20 in its last 10 games, started this one as if it intended to chase the Canadiens out of the rink. The Leafs raced to a 4-0 lead in the first period on a combination of staunch forechecking and backchecking, plus speed and finesse.

The result was that the Canadiens were bewildered at times and seldom have looked so inept in their clashes with the Leafs over the years.

From there, each team scored a goal in the middle period, and there was no scoring in the third period when the Leafs appeared to ease up. The Toronto team outshot the Habs 44-34, including a 17-9 margin in the opening period.

The unit of Horvath, Bob Pulford and crowd favourite Ed Shack accounted for six points. Pulford scored two goals and had an assist. The 32-year-old Horvath, who played his first game Sunday as a Leaf after being claimed on waivers from the New York Rangers, earned three assists. Other Leaf marksmen were Red Kelly, 49 seconds after the start of the game, and defencemen Kent Douglas and Allan Stanley.

For the Canadiens, who lost only their second game in their last 17, Dickie Moore beat the masked Don Simmons. Moore, all but dropped by the Habs earlier this season, has maintained a point-a-game clip over the last 17 games, during which his team won eight, tied seven and lost two.

Simmons, who performed splendidly in the sometimes tempestuous going, had to be the goalkeeper. It was revealed before game time that Johnny Bower had suffered a bruised leg in practice Tuesday. However, Bower accompanied the Leafs to Boston for tonight’s game against the Bruins.

Hundreds among the crowd of 14,200 weren’t seated before Kelly scored in the first minute, after bewildering the Montréal defence. Rearguard J.C. Tremblay lost his balance as Kelly bore down. He fooled defenceman Lou Fontinato completely with a fine shift and beat Jacques Plante on a backhander. He had taken a pass from Frank Mahovlich for his second goal in the last 17 games.

Douglas started and finished the play for the second goal. He carried in from the side and banged the puck home from close range in a scramble for what proved the winner.

Halfway through the period, with Stanley steaming into the Canadien zone, Horvath fed him a pass from the corner and the big fellow beat Plante cleanly.

Horvath set up the fourth goal, too, four minutes later. Working industriously in the Montréal end, he checked the puck off the stick of Bill Hicke. Pulford picked it up and whipped in a backhander.

The Leafs went ahead 5-0 early in the final period and again Horvath was the means behind the goal. He fed a pass to Pulford, who rounded Jean-Guy Talbot with a tricky shift and scored on a backhander.

Moore spoiled what could have been the Leafs’ first shutout of the season when he dashed in from the side at 11:42 to beat Simmons from close range.

Minutes later, Kelly, in alone, shot and hit the post. The red light went on and goal judge Grant Easson, in shaking his head vigorously to denote he had erred, went as red as the light. Plante didn’t help his embarrassment by racing to the glass and arguing. He also put some ice shavings on his goal stick, then pressed the stick against the glass through which the judge must peer.

NOTES: The Canadiens, who have been highly successful despite injures, continued minus four players last night and were two short of the limit of 17. Missing were Bernie Geoffrion, Don Marshall, Phil Goyette and Claude Larose…The Leafs were without winger Ron Stewart, who has sprained wrists suffered last Saturday…Pulford had scored one goal over the 13 games prior to last night…On the season against Montréal, the Leafs have won four, lost three and tied two.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 24, 1963

1st Period

TOR GOAL – 00:49 – Kelly (Mahovlich, Brewer)
MTL PEN – 02:38 – Fontinato, hooking
TOR PEN – 02:38 – Horvath, slashing
TOR GOAL – 08:12 – Douglas (Keon)
TOR GOAL – 10:26 – Stanley (Horvath, Pulford)
TOR GOAL – 14:38 – Pulford (Horvath)
TOR PEN – 17:53 – Horvath, hooking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:01 – Pulford (Horvath, Brewer)
TOR PEN – 04:08 – Shack, holding
MTL PEN – 04:58 – Moore, holding
TOR PEN – 09:22 – Armstrong, hooking
MTL GOAL – 11:42 – Moore (Richard)
MTL PEN – 18:00 – J. Tremblay, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 08:57 – Richard, slashing
TOR PEN – 08:57 – Stanley, slashing
TOR PEN – 10:26 – Brewer, slashing
MTL PEN – 16:22 – Fontinato, hooking

TOR – Simmons (W, 33-34)
MTL – Plante (L, 39-44)

TOR – 17+14+13 = 44
MTL – 9+11+14 = 34

TORGoaltenders: Don Simmons. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Bronco Horvath, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack.
MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Jean Gauthier, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Bill Hicke, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 22-16-7 (.567)
MTL – 19-11-14 (.591)