Game 490 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 0

Game 490
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 0
Thursday, January 13, 1966
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs ended a three-game losing streak last night by whipping the Montréal Canadiens 6-0 in the Forum.

It was the worst beating Toe Blake’s Habs have taken in two years.

Edward “Clear The Track” Shack won it at the 21-second mark of the first period, scoring his 15th goal of the season, then old Johnny Bower took over and blocked 40 shots for Toronto’s first shutout.

It was a night for firsts. For instance, the fans started thundering “Go Leafs Go!” with the score 6-0 in the final period – the first time the chant has been heard outside of Maple Leaf Gardens.

Marcel Pronovost scored his first goal of the season and so did Larry Hillman.

The most undesirable place to be in town was the Canadien dressing room.

“I wouldn’t go near there until a week from tomorrow,” said a veteran Montréal newspaperman. “Toe will be wild.”

That, probably, was putting it mildly. Blake doesn’t smile much even when the Canadiens win, and their effort last night – when he was expecting a big one – will probably keep him awake nights for the next week.

The Habs are in a slump and during their off period, the Chicago Black Hawks overtook them in first place and the Detroit Red Wings scooted from behind to tie them for second.

Shack gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead in the first period when he stole the puck from Jean-Guy Talbot and Talbot fell trying to turn to chase him. Shack looked like Gordon Howe on the play. He went in on goalie Gump Worsley alone, pulled him to one side, and shot the puck past him.

Later in the second, Shack helped Bower’s shutout by stopping Talbot’s shot with the top of his crewcut. Shack then went to the bench and to the dressing room, rubbing his noggin as if he had been stung by a bee.

In the second period the defencemen took over. Hillman scored his first goal of the season when his shot from near centre ice seemed to bounce under Worsley during a Toronto power play. Pronovost made it 3-0 with a high twisting shot on passes from Dave Keon and Frank Mahovlich.

In the final period, the Leafs scored three times in less than three minutes – Wally Boyer with a slapshot after taking a nice pass from Mahovlich, Red Kelly in a scramble, then Mahovlich.

King Clancy would have loved this one, but the Leafs assistant manager was in Tulsa scouting players in the Central Pro League. Clancy sits in the press box keeping statistics at road games and even the players on the ice can sometimes hear him shouting instructions. His usual order is “shoot it outta there!”

That’s what they did for the first two periods. Every time the Canadiens got into their end, the Leafs would loft the puck back out to centre ice.

But in the third period, instead of falling into their usual defensive shell, the Leafs poured it on and in the last 19 minutes all efforts were devoted to saving Bower’s shutout. They mobbed the old guy at the end of the game.

In the final few minutes, centre Pete Stemkowski, a solid defensive performer, replaced Dave Keon on the line with George Armstrong and Mahovlich. Stemkowski had a couple of shots on goal, but even on this night of firsts he couldn’t get goal number one. He is the only Leaf, excluding the goalies of course, without one.

The three stars of the game were Bower, Shack and Allan Stanley.

It was a complete reversal of the first meeting between these two teams here early in the season when the Canadiens won 5-1.

The stories that night were studded with references such as “aged, decrepit, showing signs of decay,” to describe the Leafs and it was generally reported that the Canadiens were so good they might never lose a game.

The feeling wasn’t evident last night.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 14, 1966

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 00:21 – Shack
TOR PEN – 16:11 – Hillman, interference

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 06:30 – Larose, cross checking
TOR PP GOAL – 08:29 – Hillman (Boyer)
TOR GOAL – 18:24 – Pronovost (Keon, Mahovlich)

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 08:15 – Boyer (Mahovlich, Stanley)
TOR GOAL – 09:34 – Kelly (Horton, Shack)
TOR GOAL – 10:45 – Mahovlich (Horton, Armstrong)

TOR – Bower (W + SO, 40-40)
MTL – Worsley (L, 29-35)

TOR – 8+12+15 = 35
MTL – 12+11+17 = 40

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Kent Douglas, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Marcel Pronovost, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Wally Boyer, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Orland Kurtenbach, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Brit Selby, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski.
MTLGoaltenders: Gump Worsley. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 16-13-5 (.544)
MTL – 19-11-4 (.618)


Johnny Bower (TOR)
⭐⭐ Eddie Shack (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Allan Stanley (TOR)