Game 504 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1

Game 504
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 1
Wednesday, January 11, 1967
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs played for a tie but instead wound up with a 2-1 victory over the Montréal Canadiens in a National Hockey League game last night at the Forum.

The Leafs, who were concentrating on keeping the puck out of their own zone and clinging tenaciously to their checks to preserve a 1-1 tie throughout a dull third period, scored a fluke goal at 16:12.

Montréal goalie Charlie Hodge, who handled only two soft shots in the period until the winning goal, fumbled Ron Ellis’ 35-footer into the net to give the Leafs the surprising victory.

Ellis’ sizzling drive might have missed the net if Hodge had chosen to ignore the puck. However, he put up his glove to catch the shot.

The Montréal netminder never did have complete control of the puck as he twisted with it bobbling in his glove. Suddenly the puck popped out and into the goal.

To some observers it appeared that Hodge tossed the puck into his own goal.

Toronto’s Larry Jeffrey had fallen into Hodge, accidentally bumping him and causing him to lose control.

It was Bob Pulford, the Leafs’ best forward, who gave Ellis the puck. Pulford, who has regained the form that earned him 28 goals last season, tied the game for the Leafs with a great individual effort after 27 seconds of the second period. The goal was his third in the last three games.

Playing a double shift at centre along with Dave Keon, another standout for the Leafs, Pulford was his old pugnacious self, roughing up the opposition whenever he had a chance and digging earnestly for the puck.

His tying goal was Pulford at his best. He won the draw for the puck with Montréal’s Bob Rousseau and passed it back to Allan Stanley. Stanley returned the pass and Pulford fired at Hodge. Hodge blocked the shot but Pulford slid the rebound into the far corner from close range.

The only shot to elude goalie Bruce Gamble was fired by Yvan Cournoyer, the Leafs’ nemesis this season, at 14:08 of the first period. Gamble had just made a fine stop on Bob Rousseau when Rousseau grabbed the puck and passed it to Cournoyer, who hit the far corner with his shot.

It was Cournoyer’s 14th goal of the season and his seventh against the Leafs. Eleven of his 14 goals have come on power plays. He was playing on a line with Rousseau and Gilles Tremblay, Montréal’s best forward trio.

The Leafs, who have split four games at the Forum and lost only twice in seven games against the faltering Stanley Cup champions this season, received excellent goaltending from Gamble for the fifth game in a row.

Gamble has allowed eight goals during that span. He turned back 27 of the 28 shots directed his way and enjoyed his sharpest moments in the first period in stopping Claude Larose three times within a minute.

Larose took three shots at Gamble while standing less than two feet outside the goal crease. Two were in rapid succession, the other came a few seconds later as centre Ralph Backstrom set up Larose alone.

Other important cogs in the Leaf victory were Bob Baun and Tim Horton, the Leafs’ toughest defencemen.

The contest for the Forum crowd of 14,402 was a dull one that lacked the fights and exciting plays of the Leafs’ first three visits here.

Both teams played with little energy during the first two periods. Perhaps it was because Montréal’s bad man, John Ferguson, was in a peaceful mood. He rarely hit a Leaf. Only Terry Harper seemed eager to clout a few bodies about. And any time he did, Pulford or Baun would skate quickly to the scene looking for a possible scrap.

The Leafs, content to ice the puck or get it into the Montréal zone, in the third period didn’t have a shot on goal until 6:50. It was a long, easy shot by George Armstrong.

Nearly four minutes later Hodge made his next stop, a short shot by Larry Jeffrey. The next shot near Hodge was Ellis’ drive that resulted in the winning goal.

Shortly before the goal, Pulford was penalized for tripping Dick Duff, who took a dive. But the Leafs successfully killed the penalty, as they did on six previous occasions. The Leafs’ power play again was ludicrous. It operated, or stumbled about the ice, four times with lack of cohesion or reason.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 12, 1967

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:31 – Stemkowski, tripping
MTL PEN – 04:37 – Duff, high sticking
TOR PEN – 06:14 – Mahovlich, interference
MTL PEN – 06:35 – Laperrière, cross checking
MTL GOAL – 14:06 – Cournoyer (Rousseau, Tremblay)
TOR PEN – 14:26 – Baun, holding

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 00:27 – Pulford (Stanley)
TOR PEN – 01:39 – Ellis, holding
MTL PEN – 06:32 – Ferguson, high sticking
TOR PEN – 09:03 – team, too many men on the ice
MTL PEN – 17:40 – Balon, charging
TOR PEN – 19:47 – Shack, charging

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 12:16 – Pulford, tripping
TOR GOAL – 16:12 – Ellis (Pulford)

TOR – Gamble (W, 27-28)
MTL – Hodge (L, 18-20)

TOR – 8+7+5 = 20
MTL – 11+5+12 = 28

TORGoaltenders: Bruce Gamble, Al Smith. Defence: Bobby Baun, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Marcel Pronovost, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), John Brenneman, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Larry Jeffrey, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski.
MTLGoaltenders: Garry Bauman, Charlie Hodge. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Serge Savard, Jean-Guy Talbot. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.

TOR – 16-11-8 (.571)
MTL – 15-15-4 (.500)