Game 517 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1

Game 517
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, January 3, 1968
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Maple Leafs finally scored a goal in the Forum this National Hockey League season and it almost was enough to give them a victory over the Canadiens.

However, the Canadiens, charging relentlessly at the Leafs in the final period, gained a 1-1 tie on a deflected shot during a power play.

Gilles Tremblay, who earlier in the game was robbed blind by goalie John Bower, tipped captain Jean Béliveau’s blast from a little inside the blueline into the Leaf goal at 13:17.

The goal came 25 seconds after referee John Ashley had sent Toronto’s best defenceman, Tim Horton, to the penalty box for holding the puck during a wild scramble in front of the Leaf goal.

Toronto’s goal, and its first in 146 minutes and 12 seconds at the Forum, was flicked in by their little gunner, Mike Walton, at 6:12 of the second period.

It came while the Canadiens’ John Ferguson was off for spearing. The goal was Walton’s 20th of the season and his eighth power-play score. It came on his 23rd birthday.

Walton joins the Hawks’ Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and the Bruins’ John Bucyk with 20 goals or more.

The game was by far the Leafs’ top effort of the season here after losing by 1-0 and 5-0 scores. They came out hitting with coach Punch Imlach starting winger Wayne Carleton and four defencemen in the first and second periods.

“We should have won this one,” said assistant coach King Clancy afterwards. “We outplayed them most of the way and end up with a tie because of a deflected goal.”

After the first and second periods Clancy was predicting a Leaf win, so was Jacques Plante, the former goaltender for the Canadiens.

“We’ll win this one because we’re outhitting them,” said Clancy. “We played our best period of hockey here in that first period. Did you notice that they weren’t flying in over the blueline like they usually do? They were looking.”

“The Leafs should be out in front 3-0 instead of 1-0,” remarked Plante. “If Worsley doesn’t make those saves it’s 3-0. Of course, the other guy (Bower) made a couple of big ones too.”

Plante was referring to Gump Worsley’s saves on Dave Keon and Frank Mahovlich in the second period.

Big M had a clean breakaway in the middle period after taking Pete Stemkowski’s pass. Mahovlich seemed to have Worsley beaten as he was spread out like a sheet on the ice but at the last moment Mahovlich lost control of the puck and it rolled underneath Gump.

In the final minute of the period Worsley made a fantastic kick save to get his right toe on Keon’s shot.

The only goal that got past Worsley came after Hillman lashed a drive from the left point. The puck dropped at Walton’s feet after hitting the corpulent Hab netminder and Walton quickly lifted the puck into the net.

Bower, who was named the game’s first star, held the Leafs in the game during the tension-filled final period and stopped all but one of 17 shots by the Canadiens. They fired more at him in one period than they did in the first two periods combined.

The Leafs’ stout checking limited the Canadiens to 13 shots during the first 40 minutes. On the game the Canadiens had a 30-23 edge.

Bower’s big saves came on Gilles Tremblay in the first and second periods, Ralph Backstrom and Provost.

Until Tremblay’s goal, the Leafs’ penalty-killing units of Keon and George Armstrong and Murray Oliver and Bob Pulford had done a magnificent job on three occasions in limiting the Canadiens to two routine shots on goal while the Leafs were shorthanded.

The Leafs’ best performers were Keon, Bower, Horton and Stemkowksi.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 4, 1968

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:40 – Carleton, interference
TOR PEN – 09:07 – Stemkowski, spearing
MTL PEN – 13:33 – Cournoyer, cross checking

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 05:42 – Ferguson, spearing
TOR PP GOAL – 06:12 – Walton (Hillman, Pappin)
TOR PEN – 09:14 – Horton, tripping
MTL PEN – 14:18 – Ferguson, cross checking

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 12:52 – Horton, delay of game
MTL PP GOAL – 13:17 – G. Tremblay (Béliveau, Cournoyer)
TOR PEN – 18:29 – Walton, slashing
MTL PEN – 18:29 – Rousseau, slashing

MTL – Worsley (T, 22-23)
TOR – Bower (T, 29-30)

MTL – 8+5+17 = 30
TOR – 8+10+5 = 23

MTLGoaltenders: Rogatien Vachon, Gump Worsley. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Serge Savard, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Danny Grant, Jacques Lemaire, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower, Bruce Gamble. Defence: Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Marcel Pronovost, Duane Rupp, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Wayne Carleton, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Murray Oliver, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford, Pete Stemkowski, Mike Walton.

MTL – 14-14-9 (.500)
TOR – 17-12-7 (.569)


Johnny Bower (TOR)
⭐⭐ Gump Worsley (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Dave Keon (TOR)