Game 475 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2

Game 475
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, December 17, 1964
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Montréal Canadiens left winger Gilles Tremblay suffered a broken right leg last night during the Canadiens’ come-from-behind 2-2 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He is probably out for the balance of the season.

Tremblay crashed feet first into the end boards after absorbing a jarring shoulder check from Leafs rookie right winger Ron Ellis. The mishap occurred with less than four minutes remaining in the exciting National Hockey League game.

The Canadiens, behind 2-0 in the first minute of the final period, rallied quickly after an unfortunate player mixup by the Leafs.

Carl Brewer, Toronto’s top defender, had jumped onto the ice after serving a penalty and participated as a left winger in two end-to-end rushes.

He then misread a signal from coach Punch Imlach, who wanted him to move back as a defensive partner for Bobby Baun. Brewer instead went to the bench and Kent Douglas replaced him on the ice. Almost immediately, John Ferguson broke between Douglas and Baun to golf a bouncing shot past Johnny Bower.

Little more than three minutes later, Jacques Laperrière stole the puck from Ellis, passed to Dave Balon, then reclaimed the puck. Baun dropped in an attempt to block Laperrière’s 35-foot backhander. He may have obscured Bower’s vision and the puck hit the far corner of the net.

The Leafs, fortunate to escape from a jittery first period, took the lead shortly after the second intermission. Frank Mahovlich, who had stickhandled his way past four Canadiens minutes earlier only to be thwarted by Charlie Hodge, tipped in Dave Keon’s pass. The goal came 33 seconds after Ferguson went off for interfering with Ron Stewart.

It was 2-0 37 seconds into the third period when Brewer lashed a long shot to the far side of the net. The puck appeared to be deflected in flight and Hodge was trapped.

After the first period, the Leafs had more good scoring chances and as usual, Hodge came up with the tough saves. The Leafs outshot the Canadiens 23-15 in the last 40 minutes.

Much of the second period was taken up by the strategic manipulations of coaches Toe Blake and Punch Imlach. Blake was trying to keep his best centre, Henri Richard, away from the close checking Bob Pulford.

It worked a couple of times, but generally only served to disrupt the normal rotation of lines.

The result was a stalemate, with Pulford playing strongly as usual and Richard having two great opportunities, only to be balked by Bower. It was Pulford’s first game since he suffered an eye injury December 5 in a game at Toronto.

Bower, playing only his third game in a month, appeared shaky at the start but in the last 10 minutes he made alert saves against Richard, Balon and Jean Béliveau.

The result here, coupled with the Boston Bruins’ 5-3 win in Detroit, increased the Canadiens’ first place margin to two points over Detroit. They remained three ahead of the Leafs. The Chicago Black Hawks are four points off the pace in the closest NHL scrimmage in many seasons.

NOTES: Don McKenney’s groin injury eliminated the problem of which Leaf not to employ. Imlach called in Duane Rupp, the Rochester defenceman, as a standby for Allan Stanley, also hampered by a groin injury. Stanley played but when called upon for quick movements he appeared bothered by the injury…Dickie Moore talked to Imlach. His back is still a problem and it’s unlikely he’ll rejoin the Leafs before the New Year…Ellis was one of the more dominant Leafs, making three great plays in the second period…Referee Bill Friday, working a third consecutive Leaf game, imposed nine penalties, all minors, with five to the Canadiens…Attendance was 14,410.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 18, 1964

1st Period

MTL PEN – 03:21 – Ferguson, elbowing
TOR PEN – 09:08 – Brewer, high sticking
TOR PEN – 10:30 – Douglas, holding
MTL PEN – 19:15 – Béliveau, high sticking

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 14:19 – Laperrière, charging
MTL PEN – 18:05 – Ferguson, interference
TOR PP GOAL – 18:38 – Mahovlich (Keon, Bathgate)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:37 – Brewer (Stewart)
MTL PEN – 02:50 – Talbot, interference
TOR PEN – 02:50 – Brewer, interference
MTL GOAL – 05:30 – Ferguson (Backstrom, Larose)
MTL GOAL – 08:50 – Laperrière (Balon)
TOR PEN – 14:40 – Baun, tripping

MTL – Hodge (T, 27-29)
TOR – Bower (T, 23-25)

MTL – 10+5+10 = 25
TOR – 6+14+9 = 29

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, Frank Mahovlich, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 13-7-6 (.615)
TOR – 11-9-7 (.537)