Game 454 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3

Game 454
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3
Thursday, March 14, 1963
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs relinquished a two goal lead, but later recovered to salvage a 3-3 tie with the Montréal Canadiens in a fast skating National Hockey League game here last night.

The Leafs also relinquished first place to the Chicago Black Hawks, who won in Boston 2-0 to slip ahead by one point. The Leafs and the Hawks meet in Maple Leaf Gardens tomorrow night.

The Leafs, much superior in the early part of the game, were fortunate to escape with a tie as the fleet Canadiens repeatedly buzzed the Toronto goal throughout the final 20 minutes. Ron Stewart, the Leaf right winger, had to execute a daring belly flopper and stab the puck off Gilles Tremblay’s stick in the closing seconds as Tremblay prepared to shoot from about 15 feet. Tremblay doesn’t miss many from that range.

Earlier, Don Simmons, who played in the Leafs’ goal, made smart saves on Ralph Backstrom and Jean Béliveau. Bobby Nevin might have won it for the Leafs a few minutes earlier when he had the puck a few feet in front of Montréal goalie Jacques Plante, but Nevin’s shot was wide of the net.

A crowd of 15,325, the largest of the season in the Forum, saw an aggressively played game that alternated between close checking and high speed skating. The Canadiens, missing four regulars as a result of injuries, relied on their great speed in the latter part of the game to pull them through and it worked.

Kent Douglas, Johnny MacMillan and Dave Keon were the Toronto scorers. Henri Richard, Béliveau and Backstrom were identified as scoring for Montréal. Douglas and MacMillan scored before the game was eight minutes old, but the Canadiens tied it and went ahead early in the third. The lead laster for only 34 seconds before Keon, the Leafs’ floating centre, tied the score.

Béliveau’s goal, which tied the score at 2-2 early in the second period, was actually steered into the Toronto net by Leaf captain George Armstrong, from about 15 feet out. This is the second time this season that a Toronto player has scored on his own goalie. Red Kelly did it in New York earlier.

Béliveau should have been delighted by that charitable act, but he appeared nettled in the third period when Eddie Shack jostled him. Béliveau swung a gigantic roundhouse right that sent waves of stale smoke rippling through the Forum but, fortunately it missed Shack. Later Shack, at the penalty box gate, jabbed Béliveau in the midsection, and had his roughing sentence increased by a misconduct.

Douglas and MacMillan scored their goals early in the game when the Montréal defence, which later improved, was reeling around in confusion. Plante personally stopped three breakaways in the first period.

Dogulas scored on a power play, a shot from the right point. The puck deflected off rookie defenceman Terry Harper’s stick and hopped past Plante.

MacMillan, who had missed on an earlier breakaway, scored his first goal of the season by rapping in Bobby Nevin’s rebound.

Richard started the Canadiens’ comeback late in the period, when he took a pass from Dickie Moore in the Leafs zone and drove the puck into the Leafs net off Simmons’ pads. Béliveau’s unexpected counter, at 6:47 of the second period, was scored while Leaf Tim Horton was in the penalty box.

Backstrom, agile and aggressive throughout the game, gave the Canadiens the lead for the first time, shortly after the third period started. He stopped a pass from Don Marshall, wheeled and lashed the puck into the opposite side of the net. Keon, an indefatigable skater for the Leafs, tied it again. Dick Duff threw him a pass at the Montréal blueline, Keon cut in sharply from left wing and as he skated in front of the Montréal net, he backhanded the puck past Plante. Montréal defenceman Jean Gauthier was sitting on the ice when this occurred.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 15, 1963

1st Period

MTL PEN – 00:45 – Backstrom, hooking
TOR PP GOAL – 02:00 – Douglas (Mahovlich, Armstrong)
TOR PEN – 02:29 – Pulford, slashing
MTL PEN – 04:23 – Gauthier, hooking
TOR GOAL – 07:35 – MacMillan (Nevin, Pulford)
TOR PEN – 15:55 – Stanley, tripping
MTL GOAL – 18:33 – Richard (Moore, Laperrière)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 01:32 – Béliveau, slashing
TOR PEN – 05:25 – Horton, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 06:47 – Béliveau
MTL PEN – 13:10 – Backstrom, cross checking
TOR PEN – 14:47 – Mahovlich, high sticking
MTL PEN – 16:00 – Gauthier, holding

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:13 – Backstrom (Marshall)
TOR GOAL – 00:47 – Keon (Duff, Brewer)
TOR PEN – 07:16 – Duff, tripping
TOR PEN – 09:56 – Shack, interference + misconduct
MTL PEN – 09:56 – Béliveau, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:40 – Talbot, holding

MTL – Plante (T, 20-23)
TOR – Simmons (T, 22-25)

MTL – 6+8+11 = 25
TOR – 8+8+7 = 23

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Jean Gauthier, Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Bill McCreary Sr., Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Don Simmons. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, John MacMillan, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 27-18-20 (.569)
TOR – 33-21-11 (.592)