Playoff Game 50 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

Playoff Game 50
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)
Stanley Cup Semifinals, Game 3
Tuesday, April 6, 1965
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Dave Keon swept a backhander under goalie Gump Worsley after 4 minutes and 17 seconds of sudden-death overtime last night, to turn a routine icing infraction into a dramatic climax to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 3-2 victory over the Montréal Canadiens.

The Leafs came from behind twice with their strongest effort of the series and won their first game after losing 3-2 and 3-1 in Montréal. The fourth game of the Stanley Cup semifinals best-of-seven set will be played here tomorrow night.

Frank Mahovlich and Canadien defenceman Ted Harris were pursuing the puck shot from the Leafs’ end by Ron Ellis. Had “The Big M” played it, he was offside. Had Harris touched it first, it was icing. Either way, there would have been a faceoff in Leaf territory.

However, the puck caromed off the boards almost into the Montréal goal crease and Worsley erased the possible infractions by playing it himself, clearing to Jean Claude Tremblay.

Tremblay had a two-stride lead on “The Big M” when Dave Keon, replacing Red Kelly, raced in from the Leafs bench. Tremblay slowed, giving Mahovlich a chance to check the puck away from him.

Keon picked it up, eased around Harris and steered an ice-level shot which caught Worsley by surprise.

The Leafs’ victory was a successful parlay by players who might have been least expected to provide a win on this occasion.

Eddie Shack scored their first goal, tying the game 1-1 early in the second period. Andy Bathgate, who had been booed on almost every appearance, forced the overtime, firing a power play goal at 7:50 of the third period.

Jean Béliveau and Henri Richard had given the Habs 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Despite outplaying Montréal overall, and forcing Worsley to great saves in the final period, the Leafs were unable to make their margin pay off in a more substantial margin. As a result, they required a brilliant save by goalie Johnny Bower in the last few minutes to get their overtime opportunity.

Béliveau and Jim Roberts broke through on one Leaf defenceman. Béliveau gave the puck to Roberts, but Bower smothered the play, and broke Roberts’ stick to prevent any second chance.

There was little of the belligerence of the first two games and referee Frank Udvari kept any nastiness under control by imposing 16 minor penalties, two majors and two misconducts. The Leafs took nine minors to the Habs’ seven, and the other penalties were split.

The only fighting occurred late in the second period after the Habs’ John Ferguson had charged Bower, who was on his knees outside his goal crease. There was no penalty and seconds later Udvari called a delayed penalty on Kent Douglas for holding.

As play stopped, Douglas and Ferguson clashed at the Toronto blueline, both earning major penalties. Shack and Claude Larose staged a separate wrestling match 20 feet away. They received minors.

Surprisingly, only one of the penalties affected the scoring. Five seconds after Tremblay went off, Bathgate got the puck 25 feet directly in front of Worsley. His quick drive appeared to deflect off a Montréal defenceman and easily beat the handcuffed goaler.

The Leafs presented their revamped and for once well-practiced power play in this game. The improvement was apparent, although there was still a costly reluctance to direct the puck on goal, and a tendency to tee it up before shooting.

However, it was the power play which set the stage for Shack’s goal.

The Leafs had sustained what for them would have to be considered unbelievable pressure from the start of the second period, when the Canadiens were still shorthanded from a first period penalty.

Finally the whirling dervish, Shack, took over, getting the puck from Carl Brewer. After several swooping charges, Shack lashed a waist high shot, partially screened by Bob Pulford. Pulford waved at the puck, further distracting Worsley.

The failure of Leaf defencemen Allan Stanley and Douglas to move out to check Béliveau aided the first scoring play.

The Montréal centre got Bobby Rousseau’s pass just inside the Leaf blueline. When no one bothered him, Béliveau suddenly lashed a waist high shot to Bower’s catching side, but Bower was caught.

Richard, who never seemed to be more than a few feet from the puck all night, appeared to be the only man in the rink who knew where the puck was when he scored. A rebound came out from the opposite side. When Bobby Baun decided to knock another Canadien out of the way, Richard scored with his second whack at the puck.

Pulford’s return to full time play not only added considerable strength to the Leafs’ deportment, but also made a marked improvement in their penalty killing. The Habs had four power play goals in two games. Last night they had none, officially, although Béliveau scored just four seconds after Bathgate’s penalty had expired.

A sidelight to the on-ice play was the strategic battle behind the benches, as coaches Toe Blake and Punch Imlach attempted to manipulate their lines. Blake was trying to get Béliveau away from the tenacious checking of Pulford, but as home coach, Imlach had the last change.

Results were frustrating at times because lines would be switched after only a few seconds, slowing play.

NOTES: Dickie Moore, one of the more capable Leafs in the opener, never left the bench, and their best forward in the second game, Peter Stemkowski, made infrequent appearances along with Ron Stewart…Bower’s biggest saves were against Yvan Cournoyer, Richard three times, Tremblay and Ferguson, plus of course, Roberts…Robust Horton had three good cracks at Worsley, once hitting the post. In the final period, “The Gumper” was most alert at the expense of Pulford, Ellis twice, “The Big M” and Keon…Attendance was 14,502…The Habs’ spare goalie, Ernie Wakely, substituting for the injured Charlie Hodge, goes back to Québec for an AHL playoff game tonight. If Hodge isn’t ready, he will be back Thursday.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, April 7, 1965

1st Period
TOR PEN – 04:40 – Baun, high sticking
MTL PEN – 05:03 – Laperrière, high sticking
MTL PEN – 08:30 – Balon, holding
TOR PEN – 10:27 – Keon, slashing
MTL PEN – 13:26 – Richard, interference
TOR PEN – 14:58 – Bathgate, high sticking
MTL GOAL – 17:02 – Béliveau (Rousseau, Duff)
MTL PEN – 18:38 – Rousseau, tripping

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:19 – Shack (Brewer)
TOR PEN – 03:39 – Kelly, holding
MTL PEN – 08:07 – Larose, cross checking
MTL PEN – 11:07 – Ferguson, elbowing
TOR PEN – 15:03 – Douglas, holding + fighting major
MTL PEN – 15:03 – Ferguson, fighting major
TOR PEN – 15:03 – Shack, roughing
MTL PEN – 15:03 – Larose, roughing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:47 – Richard
TOR PEN – 00:48 – Stanley, misconduct
MTL PEN – 03:43 – Backstrom, hooking
MTL PEN – 07:45 – Tremblay, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 07:50 – Bathgate (Kelly, Keon)
MTL PEN – 07:50 – Duff, misconduct
TOR PEN – 09:41 – Brewer, tripping

TOR GOAL – 04:17 – Keon

TOR – Bower (W, 26-28)
MTL – Worsley (L, 30-33)

TOR – 8+12+11+2 = 33
MTL – 6+11+10+1 = 28

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower, 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, Don McKenney, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Ernie Wakely, Gump Worsley. 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, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau.