Game 550 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2

Game 550
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2
Wednesday, October 11, 1972
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

It wasn’t the Montréal Canadiens who gave the Maple Leafs their major headaches at the Gardens last night.

If they had been the Leafs’ only obstacle Toronto would have been easy winners for the first time in this National Hockey League season. Instead, they settled for a 2-2 tie.

The Leafs, however, ran into a far more formidable opponent – the referee, who rarely loses a decision, whether he is right or wrong.

The Leafs were certain that referee Dave Newell miscued in disallowing a third-period goal, which would have put them ahead 3-1 and again in giving them a penalty with less than three minutes to play.

Toronto, and most people in the building, including the Canadiens, figured that the visiting Habs had been penalized at 17:32. Instead, Newell pointed at the Leafs’ Rick Kehoe instead of Montréal defenceman Serge Savard and the Canadiens promptly tied the game at 2-2.

Yvan Cournoyer, who also scored Montréal’s first goal, tied the game at 2-2 when he fired a shot past Toronto goalie Jacques Plante at 18:06.

His two goals offset scores by Dave Keon and Norm Ullman.

Afterward, Leaf coach John McLellan bitterly assailed Newell’s officiating, saying that “two bad calls cost us the game. They were for the birds.”

Savard was probably the most surprised man in the building when Newell pointed the finger at Kehoe.

“I was going to the penalty box and then I saw the Toronto players arguing with him (Newell). I was surprised as I was holding him and I figured I’d got it. I had a hold of him.”

Kehoe said he attempted to inform Newell of his error, but the official paid little attention to the Leaf player.

“He had his stick across my chest and I was trying to get away from him and get the puck. I finally grabbed his stick and pulled it away from me,” said Kehoe.

Savard said, “I guess it was the angle he was standing at. He didn’t see it right. But that’s part of the game. Sometimes you get lucky.”

“Take a look at the films,” said the frustrated McLellan. “I’ve already looked at them five times and there’s no way we should get a penalty. And Ullman’s second goal was good all the way. He got his stick up, but the puck was already in the goal. It was a reflex action.

“Two stinking calls and we have to settle for a tie. I thought we outplayed the Canadiens all the way.”

Ullman appeared to have scored a legitimate goal at 6:43 of the third period when he bunted defenceman Bob Baun’s shot from the blueline past goalie Ken Dryden. Instead Newell ruled that Ullman directed the puck out of the air while his stick was above his shoulders.

Pointing to his waist, Ullman said, “I had my stick right here. My stick was parallel to the ice and frankly I was trying to defend myself. I saw it coming all the way.

“It would have been impossible for me to score if my stick had been above my shoulders, as I’d never been able to touch the puck. When the puck came in contact with my stick it was below my shoulders. It came up afterward.”

Ullman, playing with his regular linemates Ron Ellis and Paul Henderson for the first time this season, counted a similar goal late in the second period to put Toronto ahead 2-1.

Jim McKenny played a superb two-way game. He prevented a first-period goal when he dived into the crease to turn the puck aside, took Henderson’s pass at the blueline and drilled a shot that Ullman redirected past Dryden.

On Keon’s goal in the first period the Canadiens were caught in a line change. Jacques Laperrière, who was wrestling with the latch on the Canadiens’ bench, was a step or two too late to prevent Keon and Pierre Jarry from going in to score.

This play was also started by McKenny, who passed ahead to Keon, who lateralled to Jarry. Jarry returned the puck and Keon’s drive wiggled its way through Dryden’s pads and into the net.

The Leafs were pressing for another goal as Garry Monahan broke in and fired hurriedly. But within seconds the Canadiens had tied the game at 1-1 as the rebound off Dryden’s pads went directly to Guy Lapointe and the Montréal defenceman quickly hit Cournoyer near centre ice.

The play caught the Leafs going in the opposite direction and Cournoyer sailed in alone to beat Plante with a sizzling 20-footer.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, October 12, 1972

1st Period
MTL PEN – 01:53 – Tardif, holding
MTL PEN – 07:35 – Lafleur, hooking
TOR GOAL – 11:49 – Keon (Jarry, McKenny)
MTL GOAL – 17:25 – Cournoyer (Lapointe)

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 00:35 – Glennie, holding
TOR GOAL – 17:27 – Ullman (McKenny, Henderson)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 15:44 – P. Mahovlich, interference
TOR PEN – 17:32 – Kehoe, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 18:06 – Cournoyer (F. Mahovlich, P. Mahovlich)

TOR – Plante (T, 29-31)
MTL – Dryden (T, 29-31)

TOR – 11+12+8 = 31
MTL – 9+10+12 = 31

TORGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Bobby Baun, Brian Glennie, Jim McKenny, Mike Pelyk. Forwards: Denis Dupéré, Ron Ellis, George Ferguson, Paul Henderson, Pierre Jarry, Rick Kehoe, Dave Keon (C), Garry Monahan, Darryl Sittler, Norm Ullman.
MTLGoaltenders: Ken Dryden. Defence: Pierre Bouchard, Jacques Laperrière, Guy Lapointe, Jim Roberts, Serge Savard. Forwards: Chuck Arnason, Yvan Cournoyer, Réjean Houle, Guy Lafleur, Claude Larose, Chuck Lefley, Jacques Lemaire, Frank Mahovlich, Peter Mahovlich, Henri Richard (C), Steve Shutt, Marc Tardif.

TOR – 0-1-1 (.250)
MTL – 1-0-1 (.750)


Brian Glennie (TOR)
⭐⭐ Yvan Cournoyer (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Jim McKenny (TOR)