Game 508 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1

Game 508
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, March 1, 1967
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Jim Pappin, a winning goal specialist, came through with one of his biggest goals of the National Hockey League season last night. It saved the Maple Leafs from defeat.

The lanky right winger scored with 49 seconds to play against rookie goalkeeper Rogatien Vachon to give the Leafs a 1-1 tie with the Montréal Canadiens before a Forum crowd of 14,783.

Pappin has scored only 13 goals, but more than half of them have been big ones. Six were game winners, two against the Canadiens.

Pappin scored when the Leafs were playing without a goaltender because interim coach King Clancy had removed John Bower at 18:48 for a sixth attacker.

Dave Keon, after taking a pass from Mike Walton, carried over the Montréal blueline and slid a rink-wide pass to Frank Mahovlich near the left point.

“The Big M” then laid an accurate pass over to Pappin after drawing J.C. Tremblay to one side. The pass went between Tremblay and Jacques Laperrière to Pappin, who darted in and forced Vachon to make his move before lifting the puck into the net.

The tie enabled the Leafs to stretch their undefeated streak to nine games (seven wins and two ties) and moved them to four points back of the second-place New York Rangers.

The Leafs were solidly outplayed and it looked as if the close-checking Canadiens would make Henri Richard’s first period goal stand up for a winner. They couldn’t beat Bower after the deflected goal.

The Leafs had few good scoring opportunities against the 21-year-old Vachon, up from Houston of the Central Professional League. And whenever the Leafs did threaten, they hit a goalpost, or a Habitant defenceman would make a big move.

Vachon’s toughest moment came at 17:17 of the third period when the Canadiens were pressing in the Leaf zone for the clinching goal.

The puck bounced out to centre ice and Red Kelly, showing more hustle and speed than many of his contemporaries, took it away from J.C. Tremblay and out-skated the Hab defenceman to break in alone on Vachon.

Kelly deked the goalie and it appeared the 40-year-old centre had an easy goal. But at the last second Vachon’s stick darted out and poked the puck away from Kelly. That is a trick that Bower has perfected during his long career.

J.C. Tremblay, until his error on Kelly, was Montréal’s best player. He was always breaking up Leaf forays at the last second with deft poke-checks and was usually the only man to get back when a Leaf would break away from the pack.

The Leafs scored twice in the first period but both goals were called back by referee Art Skov. They missed an excellent chance to tie the game when the Canadiens played two men short for 79 seconds in the second period.

Toronto’s best chance when Mike Walton deflected Tim Horton’s slapshot off the goalpost.

Skov called back the first Leaf goal after Pappin knocked the puck in with a high stick. On the other Skov was slow blowing a whistle to penalize Mahovlich, and Pulford scored. A Canadiens goal also was called back. Skov said the whistle had sounded before the puck was knocked loose from Bower’s grasp and into the goal.

When Clancy took out Bower the Forum crowd gave the 42-year-old goalie a rousing ovation. It was deserved because he had kept his mates in the game with one big save after another.

Bower’s biggest saves from short range were on Claude Larose, Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Richard and Bobby Rousseau.

Twice Bower was struck by the Canadiens’ John Ferguson after making saves. The Leafs reacted on both occasions. Horton went after Ferguson the first time, jumping on his back. Later Larry Hillman tossed a punch at the muscular Canadien.

Clancy, sticking to the script, tossed an unusually large number of different lines at the Canadiens, placing Eddie Shack and Mike Walton with numerous partners. Shack was cut in the fleshy part of the inside of his left leg in the third period and went to the infirmary for repairs.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 2, 1967

1st Period
MTL PEN – 02:54 – Ferguson, elbowing
TOR PEN – 04:07 – Mahovlich, holding
TOR PEN – 10:59 – Conacher, high sticking
MTL PEN – 10:59 – Duff, boarding
TOR PEN – 13:26 – Pronovost, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 15:24 – Richard (Laperrière, Rousseau)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 08:05 – Laperrière, cross checking
MTL PEN – 08:46 – Talbot, tripping
TOR PEN – 11:27 – Conacher, roughing
MTL PEN – 11:27 – Vadnais, roughing
TOR PEN – 13:05 – Horton, tripping

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 10:56 – Harris, charging
TOR PEN – 14:56 – Horton, high sticking
TOR EA GOAL – 19:11 – Pappin (Mahovlich, Keon)

MTL – Vachon (T, 31-32)
TOR – Bower (T, 38-39)

MTL – 16+12+11 = 39
TOR – 13+10+9 = 32

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge, Rogatien Vachon. Defence: Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay, Carol Vadnais. 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, Terry Sawchuk. Defence: Bobby Baun, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Jim McKenny, Marcel Pronovost. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Pete Stemkowski, Mike Walton.

MTL – 22-24-10 (.482)
TOR – 24-21-10 (.527)