Game 487 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1

Game 487
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, November 24, 1965
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens are back on top of the National Hockey League standing today, thanks to a little guy named Henri Richard, who always seems to be around whenever they need important goals.

Richard’s third period goal gave the Canadiens a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs last night at Maple Leaf Gardens in a sometimes uninspiring game watched by 14,460 customers.

There were moments, however, when the Leafs raised the crowd to its feet, but in the third period, when they needed it most, the Canadiens took the zip out of them with close checking.

The win moved Montréal two points ahead of the idle Chicago Black Hawks, and the New York Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins last night moved the Rangers into a tie with the third-place Leafs.

It was Toronto’s first loss in four games, ending the streak that started in Montréal a week ago. But Richard was out of the lineup last Thursday when the Leafs won 3-1.

Observers say that when Richard is on the ice, he owns the puck. What they mean is that he follows it like a spaniel after a bush-rabbit. He controlled play again when his line was on the ice last night, and when he cashed in Claude Provost’s rebound in the second minute of the final period, it was the winner.

The Leafs had gone ahead 1-0 in the first period on a power play goal by Dave Keon, his sixth of the season, but Montréal’s Yvan Cournoyer knotted the score with another power play goal in the final minute of the same period.

Actually, this was a game the Leafs could have won but for the work of goaltender Gump Worsley and erratic shooting at crucial moments.

Frank Mahovlich missed a big chance during a first period power play when he had an opening after taking a pass from Keon. Then, in the final two minutes of the game, the Leafs came close on shots by Mahovlich, Keon, George Armstrong, and a play that almost jelled to give Mike Walton a clean chance.

The fans gave the Leafs’ penalty killing team a hand in the second period when the Canadiens had a two-man advantage for more than a minute and failed to score.

Bob Pulford, Tim Horton and Allan Stanley were the men who did most of the work.

Then, when it seemed as if they had relieved the pressure, Richard found himself alone in front of goaltender Terry Sawchuk and looked as if he could not miss scoring. The puck, however, had different ideas, and before “The Pocket Rocket” could shoot it, Stanley had crashed him to the ice from behind.

Sawchuk was steady if unspectacular and Marcel Pronovost is finally getting used to his new teammates on defence. He played his third good game in succession.

Eddie Shack?

Well, at times it looked as if this was the Eddie Shack who was with the team last season. But, how long did they expect that he could lead the team? He has been on his streak for seven games.

One thing Eddie did again, however, was make a sucker out of Canadien badman John Ferguson. If you remember, it was a double minor to Ferguson, after a clash with Shack, gave the Leafs their 3-3 tie against Montréal in their last meeting here.

Shack refused to retaliate in that game and took only a single minor.

Last night, Ferguson took another penalty, trying to intimidate the hero of Carlton Street, and Eddie again turned his other cheek. The fans, unable to cheer many of his other efforts, gave Shack an ovation.

The Mahovlich-Keon-Armstrong line was best for the Leafs. The three kids, Peter Stemkowski, Brit Selby and Ron Ellis also played well as a unit.

Rookie Walton, replacing the injured Red Kelly, was used on the point on the power play. While he was caught out of position a few times, the power play was looking like a power play in most instances.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 25, 1965

1st Period
MTL PEN – 07:41 – Ferguson, tripping
MTL PEN – 18:51 – Ferguson, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 03:18 – Jeffrey, tripping
MTL PEN – 08:17 – Laperrière, elbowing
TOR PP GOAL – 09:13 – Keon (Mahovlich, Walton)
TOR PEN – 10:15 – Selby, tripping
TOR PEN – 11:01 – Kurtenbach, high sticking
MTL PEN – 13:38 – Harper, interference
TOR PEN – 17:14 – Shack, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 19:08 – Cournoyer (Rousseau, Laperrière)

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:15 – Richard (G. Tremblay, Provost)
TOR PEN – 03:17 – Horton, tripping
MTL PEN – 09:17 – Balon, holding

MTL – Worsley (W, 32-33)
TOR – Sawchuk (L, 31-33)

MTL – 13+10+10 = 33
TOR – 10+12+11 = 33

MTLGoaltenders: 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), Red Berenson, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Terry Sawchuk. Defence: Bobby Baun, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Marcel Pronovost, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Ron Ellis, Larry Jeffrey, Dave Keon, Orland Kurtenbach, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Brit Selby, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski, Mike Walton.

MTL – 8-4-3 (.633)
TOR – 6-7-2 (.467)