Game 505 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Game 505
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, January 25, 1967
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have lost five games in a row, maybe coach Punch Imlach will finally get rid of that white fur fedora he has been wearing.

The Leafs’ latest setback was by a 3-1 score by the Montréal Canadiens before 15,848 fans at Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

Besides losing another game, the Leafs lost left winger Frank Mahovlich for an undetermined length of time with a charley horse injury to his left leg. He was hit with a hefty hip check from Montréal’s Ted Harris shortly after setting up the Leafs’ goal in the second period. The goal tied the game at 1-1.

Mahovlich crashed into the boards and lay on the ice for nearly 10 seconds before climbing slowly to his feet. He was helped from the ice by trainer Bob Haggert to the Leaf dressing room.

Montréal counted power play goals by Yvan “The Terrible” Cournoyer and Gilles Tremblay and a clinching third-period goal off the stick of Claude Larose. Dave Keon triggered the Toronto goal, his 10th.

Imlach’s fancy piece of haberdashery, which seemed to be a lucky charm when the Leaf coach first placed it upon his bald head, definitely has lost its effectiveness.

One of the most superstitious men in hockey, Imlach undoubtedly gave the hat another chance last night after abandoning it after three successive losses. He had switched to his regular grey fedora for the Leafs’ last game, but it failed, as well as his team, in Boston.

The first time he wore the fur headpiece his team beat the Canadiens in Montréal. The Leafs followed with a win over Detroit. However, since then they have lost five games in a row and their margin over the fourth-place Habs and challenging Detroit Red Wings has continued to diminish to the point where the lead is no longer formidable.

The Canadiens, who have been encountering almost as many problems as the Leafs in recent outings, were by far the better team last night. They continually bottled up the Leafs in the Toronto end of the ice with stout forechecking and had little trouble turning back offensive thrusts.

Jacques Laperrière, who acquired three minors from referee John Ashley, and J.C. Tremblay were magnificent in intercepting Leaf passes or moving the puck out of the Montréal zone.

Another key individual in the Montréal victory was Jean Béliveau, who was playing in only his third game since recuperating from a serious eye injury in December.

Béliveau’s performances against Chicago on the weekend were unimpressive. In fact, one Montréaler said Béliveau looked like a player who had been out for a month.

Judging by his efforts last night, the Leafs could use a few players in the same category.

Perhaps he wasn’t skating as strongly as he can, but the big centre was handling the puck as well as ever and did much of the work in setting up Montréal’s first goal.

Bob Pulford was off for boarding in the second period when Béliveau shot at goalie Bruce Gamble. The puck came loose as the husky centre poked away at it and Cournoyer darted in to push the puck past the prostrate Leaf netminder, who argued briefly that he had held it long enough for a whistle.

That Cournoyer should score should come as no surprise to Leaf fans. He has scored eight of his 15 goals against the Leafs. Seven of them have come while Toronto had a man in the penalty box.

The Leafs, who looked mildly dangerous whenever Keon, Mahovlich and George Armstrong were on the ice, tied the game 61 seconds later when both teams had a man in the penalty box.

Mahovlich and Keon, who hd the most scoring chances of any Leaf, both took whacks at the puck in front of Charlie Hodge before Keon flipped it home.

Montréal, which won its first game of the season here after two losses and a tie, won on Tremblay’s goal at 17:28 of the second period.

Bob Baun was off when Bob Rousseau streaked up the ice from behind his own goal and fed a pass to Tremblay. The Hab winger wheeled around Ron Ellis and fired a shot that trickled into the goal off Gamble’s pads.

Larose, who had only one goal in the Habs’ past 16 games, clinched the game at 8:46 of the third period with a blast from the blueline after Ralph Backstrom had won the faceoff from Keon and passed back to the Montréal right-winger.

Leaf fans had little to cheer about in this one except for several brilliant saves by Gamble and an end-to-end rush by rookie Mike Walton.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 26, 1967

1st Period
TOR PEN – 06:10 – Shack, boarding
MTL PEN – 18:13 – Laperrière, elbowing

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 03:23 – Laperrière, hooking
TOR PEN – 10:52 – Pulford, boarding
MTL PP GOAL – 11:29 – Cournoyer (Béliveau, Ferguson)
MTL PEN – 12:04 – Harper, roughing
TOR PEN – 12:04 – Stemkowski, roughing
TOR GOAL – 12:30 – Keon (Mahovlich, Horton)
MTL PEN – 14:41 – Richard, high sticking
TOR PEN – 14:41 – Stemkowski, elbowing
TOR PEN – 16:18 – Baun, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 17:28 – G. Tremblay (Rousseau)
TOR PEN – 18:23 – Pronovost, interference
MTL PEN – 18:38 – Duff, hooking

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 08:46 – Larose (Backstrom)
MTL PEN – 12:06 – Laperrière, interference
MTL PEN – 18:44 – Talbot, slashing
TOR PEN – 18:44 – Pulford, slashing

MTL – Hodge (W, 23-24)
TOR – Gamble (L, 27-30)

MTLGoaltenders: Garry Bauman, Charlie Hodge. 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.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower, Bruce Gamble. 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, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski, Mike Walton.

MTL – 17-17-5 (.500)
TOR – 17-16-8 (.512)