Game 464 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1

Game 464
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, January 29, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

A bouncing puck caromed off Bobby Rousseau’s chest and past Johnny Bower late in the third period last night, giving the Montréal Canadiens a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs – and first place in the National Hockey League.

The Canadiens’ victory dislodged the Chicago Black Hawks from the lead they have held since October 12. But the largest crowd to watch a Toronto-Montréal game here this season – 13,923 – left the Forum without knowing it.

The Detroit Red Wings’ 2-2 tie with the Hawks wasn’t official until almost an hour after the Canadiens had evened their season set with the Leafs at four wins and a tie each.

Dave Balon’s 18th goal tied the score for Montréal just prior to the second intermission. Jim Pappin’s 9th had given the Leafs the lead at 2:05 of the middle period.

This was a game which the Leafs could, perhaps even should, have won.

Their fanatical checking throughout the first 35 minutes drove the Canadiens to distraction. The Montréal offence was as disorganized as at any time in a Leaf-Canadien game this season. In fact, it was hard to recall a dangerous scoring opportunity.

Yvan Cournoyer, the 20-year-old junior who proved conclusively last night that he belongs in pro company, had the best chance, but shot wide of the net.

But a foolishly incurred penalty to Pappin proved to help the Habs.

Defenceman Carl Brewer was caught holding Cournoyer. As Brewer moved toward the penalty box, Pappin, for no apparent reason, skated over and took a swing at Balon.

It happened not 10 feet from referee Frank Udvari – and the Leafs were two men short for two minutes.

The Leafs almost weathered the Habs’ ensuing onslaught. Tim Horton, most efficient throughout this defence dominated game, Allan Stanley and either Dave Keon or Bob Pulford, who alternated every 30 seconds, checked fiercely. And Bower backed them with half a dozen saves.

Finally, as Brewer and Pappin returned to the ice, Balon fired a shot wide of the net. He fielded the rebound, wheeled and rifled home a backhander off the post.

The Leafs were still short for defensive purposes as Brewer and Pappin had not caught up to the play.

That appeared to defuse the Leafs. In the third period, play was about even territorially and Montréal had the better scoring bids. Jean Béliveau, great in this 20 minutes, young Cournoyer, and J.C. Tremblay had excellent chances.

It was Tremblay who engineered the winning goal, making up for a very mediocre game. Bower made the save on Tremblay’s shot but the puck bounced to Rousseau. Bower stopped his drive too, but kicked the puck off Rousseau’s chest. It appeared to rebound in off the Leaf goalie’s pads. That was at 16:20.

The Leafs tried desperately for the tying goal, and had Bower out of the net for the final 40 seconds. As the game ended, Jacques Laperrière smothered Dave Keon’s shot as the Leafs raced in – three forwards against Laperrière and goalie Charlie Hodge. The Canadiens were a man short at the time, as Terry Harper had incurred a late tripping penalty.

Pappin won a foot race with Jean-Guy Talbot for his goal, fielding Larry Hillman’s clearing pass off the end boards. He punched the puck off the inside of Hodge’s pads.

Hodge, picked as the game’s outstanding player by former Canadien Elmer Lach, and Laperrière prevented the Leafs from taking a bigger lead early. Hodge got a pad to Bob Pulford’s blistering long shot in the first period and Laperrière foiled two breakaway bids by a pair of the slower Leafs – Stanley and Ron Stewart.

Hodge and Bower each made 31 saves.

NOTES: Brewer didn’t miss a turn, despite a bruised leg which had made him a doubtful starter for the game…Béliveau rocked Red Kelly in the first period, but Kelly finished the game…Coach Toe Blake assigned defenceman Bryan Watson to right wing to shadow Frank Mahovlich for the last 90 seconds only…”The Big M” had three scoring chances, once waiting too long to shoot, therefore missing a wide open goal…Kelly slammed a Brewer rebound into Hodge’s armpit with the goalie helpless…Word from Rochester is that veteran Dick Gamble is the Amerks’ best left winger. So the former Canadien (early 1950s) may be called up for Saturday’s game against Boston. Eddie Shack is sidelined with a knee injury. The Leafs played a man under the NHL limit last night.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 30, 1964

1st Period

TOR PEN – 01:47 – Pappin, holding
MTL PEN – 03:35 – Laperrière, hooking
TOR PEN – 07:23 – Nevin, tripping
MTL PEN – 11:40 – Balon, cross checking
TOR PEN – 11:40 – Duff, high sticking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 02:05 – Pappin (Hillman, Brewer)
TOR PEN – 16:34 – Brewer, holding
TOR PEN – 16:34 – Pappin, roughing
MTL GOAL – 18:40 – Balon (Laperrière, Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 19:28 – Berenson, slashing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:55 – Pappin, tripping
MTL GOAL – 16:20 – Rousseau (J. Tremblay)
MTL PEN – 18:37 – Harper, tripping

MTL – Hodge (W, 30-31)
TOR – Bower (L, 29-31)

MTL – 6+11+14 = 31
TOR – 9+10+12 = 31

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay, Bryan Watson. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Yvan Cournoyer, John Ferguson, Bill Hicke, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Carl Brewer, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 24-13-10 (.617)
TOR – 22-17-7 (.554)