Game 493 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3

Game 493
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3
Wednesday, March 2, 1966
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The guy who coined that old phrase about a tie being the same as kissing your sister should have been in Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

You wouldn’t get a charge like that out of your sister even if she was one of those Ubangi babes with the big lips.

When the smoke cleared, it was discovered the Maple Leafs had tied the Montréal Canadiens 3-3 in the roughest, toughest game here this season.

After 60 minutes of mayhem, both clubs straggled off to Union Station and caught the same train for Montréal, where they have a return engagement tonight.

But what they will have left for tonight remains to be seen.

It was a night in which almost everything happened, including a second-period brawl involving the Leafs’ Orland Kurtenbach and Bob Baun against Montréal’s John Ferguson and Terry Harper.

The result was a unanimous decision for Kurtenbach over Harper as the big guy finally showed Toronto fans his prowess as a fighter. Harper, no slouch, took a beating from Kurtenbach last season when Kurt was with Boston. This time it took 16 stitches to patch him up again.

He had two cuts over his left eye that took eight stitches and another eight in a cut over the right one.

The Baun-Ferguson match was more of a spirited grab-and-tug affair.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after a hard-checking first period on goals by Ralph Backstrom of the Canadiens and Red Kelly of the Leafs. On the Kelly goal, Eddie Shack sprawled in the goalmouth and emerged with a deep, 10-stitch skate cut in his cheek.

In the second period, Jean Béliveau scored goal number 380 of his career during a power play. He now ranks as the third-highest scored in National Hockey League history.

Going into the game, Béliveau had been tied at 379 goals with Ted Lindsay, the former Detroit Red Wing.

The Leafs got that one back during a power play of their own when Frank Mahovlich took a line pass from Larry Hillman and with a quick shift turned goaltender Charlie Hodge around in his long underwear.

Before the period ended, Bob Pulford went in from the side on Hodge and fired a shot that hit Hodge behind the right ear. Hodge went down as if poleaxed. After going to the bench, he returned to his post and continued until the period ended.

Then it was discovered that he had been cut so badly it would require 18 stitches to close the wound. Gump Worsley came out in the third.

You would have thought, after that wild second period, that they would be tired. But the third was the same – the Canadiens scoring first a gain, on a power play goal by Gilles Tremblay, and the Leafs on a power play goal by George Armstrong.

Army’s goal came when the Canadiens were shorthanded through a penalty to Worsley for taking a vicious slash at Pete Stemkowski. Stemmer had been knocked into him from behind.

Gump argued and pointed to one ear, as if he too had been cut.

Things were going so well late in the game that Bob Pulford and Jean-Guy Talbot were allowed to take full swings at one another with their sticks and Ferguson was allowed to punch Baun in the head from behind. And no penalties.

In the second period brawl – which made the period the longest of the season – Baun and Ferguson started it off and in the melee, Kurtenbach squared off with Harper.

They kept skating away from officials so they could get at one another and it became so interesting, even Baun and Ferguson stopped for a moment to watch,

Kurt and Harper squared off as if in a ring. Kurt feinted a couple of times then nailed Harper with a hard right.

That finally broke up. Then Baun, showing respect for Ferguson’s reputation with his fists, lured Ferguson over near the boards at the Leaf bench, hugged him around the middle and pinned him there.

Then, for some reason, Harper decided he would like more, so Kurtenbach gave it to him.

Somewhere along the way, Ralph Backstrom of Montréal came hurtling through the air. It was Stemkowski who had thrown him. Tim Horton, meanwhile, was paired off with Claude Larose, holding Larose’s arms to his sides so they couldn’t get serious.

Stan Obodiac, the Gardens’ publicity man, walked through the press box in the middle of it all and said, “remarkable show by the players on the bench.”

He was making reference to the last big brawl here when Chicago and Toronto tangled two seasons ago and the players left both benches to take part. This time they left it up to the players on the ice.

NOTES: Bruce Gamble played a creditable game in the Leaf net…Brent Imlach, son of manager-coach George Imlach, was in a Leaf uniform as a last-minute replacement for Brit Selby, who turned up with the flu. Brent, however, did not get in the game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 3, 1966

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:55 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL GOAL – 05:13 – Backstrom (Larose)
MTL PEN – 11:00 – Laperrière, high sticking
TOR PEN – 11:00 – Shack, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 14:39 – Kelly (Pulford, Shack)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 03:00 – Harper, fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 03:00 – Kurtenbach, fighting major + misconduct
MTL PEN – 03:00 – Ferguson, fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 03:00 – Baun, fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 10:58 – Shack, high sticking
MTL PP GOAL – 11:27 – Béliveau (Cournoyer, G. Tremblay)
MTL PEN – 13:23 – Provost, interference
TOR PP GOAL – 14:04 – Mahovlich (Hillman, Ellis)
TOR PEN – 14:25 – Stanley, hooking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 04:17 – Shack, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 04:24 – G. Tremblay (Rousseau, Béliveau)
MTL PEN – 06:07 – Ferguson, high sticking
MTL PEN – 07:20 – Roberts, hooking
MTL PEN – 09:57 – Worsley, high sticking
TOR PP GOAL – 11:10 – Armstrong (Keon)
MTL PEN – 19:55 – J. Tremblay, slashing
TOR PEN – 19:55 – Pulford, charging

TOR – Gamble (T, 33-36)
MTL – Hodge (23-25), Worsley (T, 12-13)

TOR – 13+12+13 = 38
MTL – 12+12+12 = 36

TORGoaltenders: Bruce Gamble, Al Smith. Defence: Bobby Baun, Kent Douglas, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Wally Boyer, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Orland Kurtenbach, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski.
MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge, 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 – 25-20-9 (.546)
MTL – 31-16-8 (.636)