Game 480 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2

Game 480
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 2
Wednesday, February 10, 1965
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs overwhelmed Montréal’s staggering Canadiens 6-2 last night in a wild National Hockey League game at the Gardens.

By handing the Habs their fifth successive defeat – an unenviable record for coach Toe Blake – the Leafs earned a tie for second place and remained four points behind the Chicago Black Hawks. Play was interrupted for 18 minutes at the 5:54 mark of the second period when all players except four Leafs and the two goalkeepers brawled in front of the Habs’ net.

It started when John Ferguson of Montréal hooked Frank Mahovlich and “The Big M” retaliated by boarding Ferguson.

Three separate fights and half a dozen waltzes broke out with Mahovlich the central figure for the Leafs. He took on Terry Harper and Ted Harris as often as they wished while Ferguson tangled first with Kent Douglas, then Peter Stemkowski.

“The Big M” has rarely been more aggressive, or impressive, in rough going. He also continued his recent resurgence with two fine set-ups for goals by Ron Ellis.

Ferguson and Stemkowski got minors though they fought three times and at one point Stemkowski threw the Hab’s sweater into the stands. It was returned. Ferguson’s penalty was for the original hooking infraction, not for fighting.

Most belligerent of those who escaped detection were Ellis and Claude Larose. Those who left the bench to enter the fighting will be automatically fined $25.

Referee Bill Friday imposed 66 minutes in penalties over the 60 minutes of play, 33 to each team.

Only two goals were scored on power plays, Ralph Backstrom for the Canadiens and Douglas for the Leafs.

A dozen Leafs shared 17 scoring points. Ellis scored his 15th and 16th goals, Bob Pulford his 17th, Dave Keon his 14th, Red Kelly, the Leafs’ outstanding player, his 12th, and Douglas his second.

Ferguson scored the Habs’ other goal.

Summoned from the press room to replace Johnny Bower who was hurt in the pregame warmup, Sawchuk provided the Leafs with competent goaling, particularly when the game was in doubt. Bower stretched to make a stop and pulled groin muscles.

Bower was given an injection almost immediately and after the game the Leafs said the injury was not serious. They said he could have played in an emergency.

At the other end, Hodge was returning to action after an 11-game rest.

Hodge, who generally plays well against the Leafs, kept the score respectable as long as he could, with little help from his mates.

The Canadiens were outshot 16-5 in the first period, but Hodge surrendered only one goal, Pulford’s well placed long shot.

The Leafs, who outskated, outhit and outplayed the Canadiens by an even wider margin than in their 5-1 win in Montréal last Thursday, settled the outcome in six minutes of the second period.

Ellis scored in an open net as “The Big M” caught Hodge hopelessly out of position with his cross-goal pass at 4:37. At 5:03, the same combination was back, with Ellis jamming the pass past Jean Béliveau and through Hodge’s pads.

Dickie Moore, who earned two assists, supplied a perfect pass for Keon’s goal and a 4-0 lead before the second intermission.

Backstrom’s screened shot ruined Sawchuk’s shutout bid before Kelly whacked in Bathgate’s rebound. Ferguson deflected a long shot by rookie defenceman Noel Picard and Douglas lashed a 30-footer through a maze of players to complete the scoring.

NOTES: The Leafs have won five of their last six games, including two from the Habs, one from the Hawks. They meet Detroit here Saturday, play in Boston Sunday, then are idle for six days…Ex-Leaf Dickie Duff was one of the more prominent Canadiens and one of the handful who appeared to give it a full effort regardless of the score…The Leafs set the tempo early. They had a power play within two minutes of play and the Canadiens were able to clear the puck only once in two minutes…There were 14,231 fans on hand, but the one most concerned with Bower’s injury was Johnny Bower Jr., aged 11, who came to the press room between periods to ask about his father’s health…The Leafs, in emerging from a prolonged scoring slump, have scored 26 goals in their last six games…Kelly’s goal topped his last season’s output of 11.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 11, 1965

1st Period

MTL PEN – 01:45 – Larose, high sticking
TOR PEN – 07:32 – Horton, roughing
TOR GOAL – 11:34 – Pulford (Kelly)
TOR PEN – 18:13 – Armstrong, slashing
MTL PEN – 18:13 – Harris, high sticking

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 04:37 – Ellis (Mahovlich, Keon)
TOR GOAL – 05:03 – Ellis (Mahovlich, Stemkowski)
MTL PEN – 05:54 – Harris, roughing + fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 05:54 – Mahovlich, boarding + fighting major + misconduct
MTL PEN – 05:54 – Ferugson, hooking
TOR PEN – 05:54 – Stemkowski, slashing
MTL PEN – 05:54 – Harper, roughing
TOR PEN – 05:54 – Douglas, spearing
MTL PEN – 12:04 – Picard, holding
TOR GOAL – 16:15 – Keon (Moore, Brewer)
TOR PEN – 17:40 – Armstrong, interference

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:31 – Bathgate, roughing
MTL PP GOAL – 02:05 – Backstrom
TOR GOAL – 04:27 – Kelly (Bathgate, Horton)
MTL PEN – 05:25 – Picard, boarding
TOR PEN – 05:40 – Mahovlich, tripping
MTL PEN – 06:21 – Richard, slashing
TOR PEN – 08:34 – Brewer, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 09:26 – Ferguson (Picard)
MTL PEN – 13:49 – Roberts, tripping
TOR PP GOAL – 14:49 – Douglas (Armstrong, Moore)
MTL PEN – 17:24 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR PEN – 19:04 – Kelly, holding

TOR – Sawchuk (W, 24-26)
MTL – Hodge (L, 31-37)

TOR – 16+10+11 = 37
MTL – 5+11+10 = 26

TORGoaltenders: Terry Sawchuk. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Noel Picard, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau.

TOR – 23-17-11 (.559)
MTL – 25-17-7 (.582)