Game 469 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 469
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Wednesday, March 18, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs spotted the Montréal Canadiens two first period goals and fought back to a 2-2 tie in a National Hockey League game at the Forum last night.

The tie left Montréal with two games to play, one point behind league-leading Chicago. The Hawks have one game left.

The Leafs need only a tie in either of their weekend games against Detroit to secure third place, regardless of the result of the Red Wings’ game with the New York Rangers tonight.

Both Montréal and Chicago finish the schedule against the two tail end teams. The Canadiens play Boston Saturday and New York Sunday, while the Hawks play Boston Sunday.

The two goals against Toronto goaltender Johnny Bower virtually eliminated him from serious contention for the Vézina Trophy, barring a complete reversal of form on the part of Montréal’s Charlie Hodge and Chicago’s Glenn Hall.

Bower, and his understudy Don Simmons, now have let 168 goals past them, two more than Hall and three more than Hodge.

The Leafs, like the Canadiens, have two games left to the Hawks’ one.

Hicke, with his 10th goal of the season, got the Canadiens rolling at 4:32 of the first period. Rookie André Boudrias, a junior up for the game to replace Red Berenson, set Hicke up behind the Toronto defence and Bower missed the 20-foot shot from a difficult angle.

Don Simmons had been scheduled to play in goal, but coach Punch Imlach said before the game that he had given Bower the opportunity to play if he wished, in view of the Vézina Trophy situation. Bower was tied with Glenn Hall of Chicago, three goals behind Hodge prior to the game.

Bower justified the decision. He roobed Henri Richard, dived to knock the puck off Bernie Geoffrion’s stick, stopped Geoffrion as he tried to tip in Jean Béliveau’s shot, and did the splits to get a skate blade to Provost’s labeled drive.

The Leafs took over after that – and in the end it was the Habs who were fortunate to escape with a points split.

Bob Pulford and Dave Keon fired pucks off posts and Mahovlich somehow managed to miss the net from point blank range. Late in the second period, with Hodge down from saving against Pulford’s tip of Tim Horton’s slap shot, Eddie Shack was unable to control the puck to raise it in.

In the goalless third period, Bower’s big stops were against Richard, the standout Canadien, and Ralph Backstrom, this one screened.

This was a belligerent, sometimes nasty game, with Shack and the Habs’ John Ferguson having several flareups. However, when the lone fight broke out, it was Terry Harper who tangled with shack.

Penalties were evenly divided, eight each including a major. Referee Vern Buffey gave the crowd of 14,177 several opportunities to “get on him” with what could most diplomatically be termed inconsistency, and delayed whistles for offsides got linesmen Ron Wicks and Matt Pavelich on the club and fan carpet.

Late in the third period, Wicks practically launched coach Toe Blake of the Habs into orbit when he called back a two-on-one Montréal break for an alleged offside. From the press gallery, the offence wasn’t discernible. Earlier, Imlach moved behind the rail seats to express his opinion on Buffey’s work.

The Leafs continued their excellent penalty killing record, playing shorthanded for one stretch of three minutes and 48 seconds in the third period, 12 of it two men short.

Rookie André Boudrias, up for a one game pro shot after earning 98 assists with the Montréal Junior Canadiens, set up the Habs’ first goal. Leaf dereliction left Allan Stanley with two men to cover and eventually Boudrias passed to Hicke, who laced a 15-footer which appeared to go between Bower’s pads.

It was 2-0 after Provost scored. On this one, Richard stickhandled as though it was his puck and no one else could play with it. At least the Leafs acted that way. Ultimately, he passed from behind the net and Provost shot a partially screened 15-footer.

Hicke was off when McKenney fielded Bathgate’s pass and flicked the puck to the short side. Bathgate had knocked down Jacques Laperrière’s attempt to ice the puck.

Mahovlich led a three-Leaf rush for the tying goal, splitting the defence, then passing to Red Kelly. Hodge dived at Kelly’s shot, missed and the puck ricocheted off both posts, and out to Armstrong, who flipped it into the empty net from a sharp angle.

NOTES: The Leafs are unbeaten in four games…The Habs home record is 21-7-6…The Leafs won the first game of the season here, then tied twice and lost four.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 19, 1964

1st Period

TOR PEN – 01:51 – Stewart, tripping
MTL GOAL – 04:32 – Hicke (Boudrias, Ferguson)
MTL PEN – 06:00 – Rousseau, slashing
TOR PEN – 06:28 – Mahovlich, high sticking
TOR PEN – 09:42 – Shack, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:07 – Ferguson, roughing
TOR PEN – 16:07 – Shack, roughing
MTL GOAL – 16:33 – Provost (Richard, Talbot)
MTL PEN – 18:08 – Backstrom, holding

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 01:32 – Hicke, elbowing
TOR PP GOAL – 03:10 – McKenney (Bathgate)
TOR PEN – 04:15 – Baun, holding
MTL PEN – 04:15 – Ferguson, holding
TOR GOAL – 16:20 – Armstrong (Kelly, Mahovlich)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 00:40 – Ferguson, charging
TOR PEN – 04:14 – Armstrong, hooking
TOR PEN – 06:02 – Horton, tripping
TOR PEN – 15:40 – Shack, fighting major
MTL PEN – 15:40 – Harper, holding + fighting major

MTL – Hodge (T, 23-25)
TOR – Bower (T, 31-33)

MTL – 13+12+8 = 33
TOR – 3+11+11 = 25

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), André Boudrias, John Ferguson, Bernie Geoffrion, Bill Hicke, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Don McKenney, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 34-21-13 (.596)
TOR – 31-25-12 (.544)