Game 457 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3

Game 457
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3
Wednesday, October 30, 1963
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montréal Canadiens 6-3 last night in a penalty hampered National Hockey League game, that was further delayed by an injury to Montréal goalie Gump Worsley.

Victory, their second against the Canadiens in two games this season, gave the Leafs sole possession of second place, four points behind the Chicago Black Hawks.

Worsley pulled a hamstring muscle in his left leg early in the second period of the game at Maple Leaf Gardens, and may be sidelined for a month. He was replaced by Canadiens standby goalie Jean-Guy Morissette, 26, who made his professional debut. Last season he was a member of the Allan Cup Eastern finalists, Moncton Hawks.

The Leafs were leading 2-0 on goals by Eddie Litzenberger, his first two of the season, when Worsley was injured at 3:38 of the second period. He was out of his net clearing a rebound when Tim Horton gained possession of the puck and slid a shot under him. Not knowing that J.C. Tremblay was in position to field it, the Canadiens goalie lunged backward.

It was immediately apparent he was hurt. He had difficulty getting back to his net and leaned on a post for support for almost a minute before the game was stopped.

Worsley’s injury and a prolonged brawl between the Canadiens’ Terry Harper and the Leafs’ Bob Pulford, which continued in the penalty box, extended the second period to an hour and 20 minutes.

This was not one of the outstanding attractions of the young season. Play was chippy throughout. Half a dozen players carried their sticks at the high part most of the time, and the calibre of hockey was not consistent.

Although nine goals were scored, two of the more prominent performances were contributed by defencemen, Horton and J.C. Tremblay. Aside from Tremblay, Henri Richard was Montréal’s most noticeable member. He scored a goal and earned an assists. Gilles and J.C. Tremblay shot the Habs’ other goals past Johnny Bower, who made 28 saves.

The Leaf goalie was particularly adept in the opening period. With the score 0-0, he made key saves off Dave Balon and “Boom Boom” Geoffrion. Then after Litzenberger’s two goals, scored within a minute and 26 seconds, he preserved the margin at the expense of Bob Rousseau, Richard and Jean Béliveau.

Dave Keon, Gerry Ehman, Ed Shack and Bob Pulford scored the Leafs’ other goals – Keon, Ehman and Shack while the Canadiens were shorthanded, Pulford on a breakaway with Horton serving a penalty, allegedly for interference.

Pulford and Frank Mahovlich each earned two assists. This was an especially frustrating evening for “The Big M.” He was in alone on Morissette three times, but Morissette made the save each time. One of these plays led to Ehman’s goal.

Morissette, from Causapscal, P.Q., a village near the New Brunswick border, didn’t do too badly under the circumstances. He had the misfortune to be beaten on the first shot he faced as a pro, by Keon, 16 seconds after he replaced Worsley. Altogether he stopped 14 of 18 shots.

Referee Art Skov managed to penalize the teams 37 minutes on 11 minors, one major and one misconduct each. Pulford took 19 minutes, 17 of it in his brawl with Harper.

It was the second piece of swordsmanship for the Leaf centre. In the first period, after being tripped by John Ferguson, he jousted with the Canadiens truculent rookie.

The bout with Harper opened behind the Leafs goal with Harper pawing at Pulford. It didn’t erupt until the two were skating to their benches. Here they began spearing, eventually dropped sticks and started punching. Seconds after sitting down in the penalty box, and within 10 feet of NHL President Clarence Campbell, they started again, earning $25 fines for their misconduct penalties.

Al Arbour, called up from Rochester of the American League along with Ehman, played steadily as Horton’s partner on defence. He made the play for Litzenberger’s second goal and slid out to block a Béliveau attempt late in the first period. On it, Béliveau had an open corner selected.

As a result of Arbour’s effort, Kent Douglas appeared infrequently. Douglas, who is handicapped by injuries, was used on some power plays. The Leafs were without Bob Nevin, sidelined by a bone bruise on his foot. Dick Duff, with a sprained wrist, was on the bench but did not play.

NOTES: The Canadiens will employ Charlie Hodge from the Québec Aces of the American League until Worsley recovers. Hodge is 30, and has played 59 games in the NHL for a fine 2.49 average…Worsley made some great stops, especially on Keon’s breakaway early in the game, and again off Keon just before the Leafs got their first goal.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 31, 1963

1st Period

TOR PEN – 01:54 – Shack, elbowing
MTL PEN – 03:15 – Ferguson, high sticking / tripping double minor
TOR PEN – 03:15 – Pulford, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 07:52 – Litzenberger (Horton)
TOR GOAL – 09:18 – Litzenberger (Arbour, Pulford)

MTL PEN – 11:55 – Harper, holding
TOR PEN – 14:40 – Shack, boarding

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 02:12 – Harper, high sticking + fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 02:12 – Pulford, high sticking + fighting major + misconduct
MTL PEN – 02:26 – Balon, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 03:54 – Keon (Kelly, Mahovlich)
TOR PEN – 06:35 – Baun, high sticking
MTL PEN – 08:16 – Ferguson, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:16 – Horton, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 13:00 – J. Tremblay (Béliveau, Ferguson)
MTL PEN – 13:35 – Béliveau, hooking
TOR PEN – 15:31 – Stewart, interference
MTL PEN – 16:45 – Béliveau, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 18:42 – Ehman (Baun, Mahovlich)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 01:34 – Geoffrion, tripping
MTL GOAL – 04:31 – G. Tremblay (Laperrière, Richard)
TOR PEN – 05:10 – Horton, holding
MTL PEN – 06:04 – Béliveau, hooking
TOR GOAL – 07:08 – Shack (Pulford)
MTL PEN – 10:20 – Geoffrion, slashing
TOR PEN – 10:20 – Shack, spearing
MTL GOAL – 12:31 – Richard (Hicke)
TOR PEN – 13:34 – Horton, interference
TOR SH GOAL – 14:53 – Pulford (Stanley)
TOR PEN – 18:45 – Shack, charging

TOR – Bower (W, 28-31)
MTL – Worsley (11-13), Morissette (L, 13-17)

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Al Arbour, Bobby Baun, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Gerry Ehman, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Ed Litzenberger, John MacMillan, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Jean-Guy Morissette, Gump Worsley. Defence: John Hanna, Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, John Ferguson, Bernie Geoffrion, Bill Hicke, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 5-3-0 (.625)
MTL – 3-3-2 (.500)