Game 473 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2

Game 473
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, December 3, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens tied the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the National Hockey League last night, whipping the lethargic Leafs 4-2 at the Forum.

The Leafs and Canadiens are three points behind the Detroit Red Wings who extended their margin with a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

After a careless first period in which the Leafs had the edge but could not score, the Canadiens came on strongly and completely overwhelmed the Leafs through the second and half of the third. Toronto had only two shots on goal in the second period. The Habs had three in the first.

Manager-coach Punch Imlach was so annoyed at his team’s incompetence that he iced a power play forward line of three defencemen, Allan Stanley, Tim Horton and Bobby Baun, when the Canadiens’ John Ferguson drew an elbowing penalty in the final period.

The gambit backfired with Jim Roberts deflecting the Habs’ fourth goal from the corner. Andy Bathgate and Johnny Bower tried to field the puck in front, but it went in off them.

As Roberts scored, Baun crashed him into the end boards, precipitating a shoving match which resulted in double minors and misconducts for Baun and the Habs’ Terry Harper.

Perhaps aroused by this action, or the knowledge of their leader’s extreme displeasure, the Leafs suddenly caught fire, with Dave Keon scoring the 100th goal of his NHL career and Ron Ellis ending an 11-game scoring drought. It was Keon’s first goal in 16 games.

However, Montréal’s 4-0 lead achieved on goals by Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau, Bobby Rousseau and Roberts was more than enough to win as Charlie Hodge, not overworked for the first 50 minutes, made several big saves late in the period.

Bower returned to the Leafs goal after a seven game absence, and appeared rusty. Twice he was unable to get back in position after making a difficult stop and the Canadiens scored.

Balon opened the scoring by tipping in Claude Provost’s pass early in the second period. Béliveau shot a 40-footer into an open net after Bower had saved against Yvan Cournoyer during a Montréal power play six minutes later.

Bower was handcuffed by Rousseau’s shot from the side and Gilles Tremblay’s unchecked presence in front when Rousseau made it 3-0 at 4:02 of the third period.

Twenty seconds after Roberts scored, the Leafs power play produced Keon’s goal and Ellis finished the scoring by ricocheting a long shot in off the far post.

NOTES: Chicago is having trouble getting Dennis Hull cleared to play at St. Louis. He’s practicing there. He played more than six NHL games, so had to be waived. Boston and Toront filed claims. The Hawks will withdraw waivers and trry to get the other teams to let him through on a “we’ll do the same for you” basis. The Canadiens’ Sammy Pollock commented “There’s no point claiming a guy you can’t get. They won’t let him go and this way, he can’t play.” There’s method in Pollock’s madness as he may be trying to get Yvan Cournoyer out of the NHL shortly. Cournoyer hasn’t impressed in 20 major league games and is being used frequently…The Canadiens are interested in available left wingers, giving credence to rumours Ab McDonald may be traded by Boston. The ex-Hawk has done little for the Bruins, two goals in 21 games. The Habs, knee deep at centre and right wing, are short on the left side like most other teams. An experiment to convert Hicke hasn’t worked. Cournoyer, also a right winger, is practicing on the left side…Imlach used five defencemen on a power play in a game here last year. Had the Leafs scored again, his piquish puck pattern with his defensive power play might have proved even more embarrassing than it did…Kent Douglas, the Leafs’ spare defenceman, also appeared on left wing on a line with Billy Harris and Shack…the Leafs argued that Béliveau’s scoring play was offside, but so was the play which ended with Ellis’ goal.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 4, 1964

1st Period

MTL PEN – 09:53 – Balon, roughing
TOR PEN – 09:53 – Horton, roughing
MTL PEN – 13:28 – Ferguson, cross checking
TOR PEN – 17:38 – Horton, boarding

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:45 – Balon (Provost, Talbot)
TOR PEN – 07:58 – Brewer, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 08:48 – Béliveau (Cournoyer, Ferguson)

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 04:02 – Rousseau (Béliveau, Harper)
MTL PEN – 08:03 – Ferguson, elbowing
MTL SH GOAL – 08:38 – Roberts (G. Tremblay)
TOR PEN – 08:34 – Baun, high sticking / roughing double minor + misconduct
MTL PEN – 08:34 – Harper, high sticking / roughing double minor + misconduct
TOR PP GOAL – 08:54 – Keon (Kelly, Douglas)
TOR GOAL – 12:38 – Ellis (Brewer, Douglas)

TOR PEN – 14:13 – Brewer, interference

MTL – Hodge (W, 24-26)
TOR – Bower (L, 22-26)

MTL – 3+15+8 = 26
TOR – 10+2+14 = 26

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Yvan Cournoyer, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Ron Ellis, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Don McKenney, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 9-6-5 (.575)
TOR – 9-8-5 (.523)