The four National Hockey League games last evening provided some interesting firsts for this young season. The Chicago Black Hawks earned their first point of the year, but also remained winless. The Los Angeles Kings lost for the first time, at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Other developments include injuries to key personnel and crowds in the new NHL cities continue to be a concern.
Kings Finally Lose
The Los Angeles Kings finally lost a hockey game. That happened last night at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, where, on the occasion of owner Jack Kent Cooke’s 55th birthday, the Kings bowed to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 4-2 score.
While the Toronto performance was generally unimpressive, they did force Kings goalie Terry Sawchuk to make a number of brilliant stops. He was named the game’s third star. The win for the Leafs ended their three-game losing streak.
Maple Leafs regular goalie Johnny Bower was given the night off by coach Punch Imlach. His replacement, Bruce Gamble, played a very solid game. Bower was impressed by both of the game’s netminders:
“Terry was good. He robbed Ron and the Big M blind, but I credited Bruce with nine key saves – three of them on Gord Labossiere when he was in cold turkey. He was great, the real difference in the game as far as I was concerned.”
Leafs Dave Keon felt his club was the far better of the two, especially over the final 25 minutes.
“I thought they had one good scoring chance in the final 25 minutes, while we had eight or 10. If Sawchuk’s not having a good night it could have been perhaps 9-2.”
Toronto goals were scored by Ron Ellis, Jim Pappin, Bob Pulford and Frank Mahovlich. Bill Flett and Eddie Joyal, both former members of the Toronto organization, counted for the Kings. The Leafs outshot Los Angeles by a 34-31 margin.
Hawks Finally Get a Point
The Chicago Black Hawks did something last night that they hadn’t done all season – they didn’t lose a hockey game. That’s the good news. The bad news is, they didn’t win, either. The Hawks skated to a hard-fought 2-2 draw with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Bobby Hull led the Chicago attack with a goal and an assist. His goal was his seventh in seven games. Pit Martin had the other Hawks marker. For the Rangers it was defenceman Rod Seiling and winger Vic Hadfield, with Hadfield’s tally tying the game 2:27 of the final period. He scored off a Jean Ratelle pass with defenceman Gilles Marotte of the Hawks caught out of position. It was his fourth of the young season.
Hadfield, who led the NHL in penalty minutes three years ago, seems to have transformed his game. He did take a minor penalty last night, only his first this year.
Goalkeepers Denis DeJordy of Chicago and New York’s Ed Giacomin both had solid games. In fact, it was easily DeJordy’s best effort so far this season as he made 30 saves.
Penguins Dump Seals, But Lose Ingarfield
Captain Ab McDonald scored twice to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 over the visiting California Seals last night at Civic Arena. But the victory may have been a costly one. Number one centre Earl Ingarfield left the game in the second period with a suspected serious knee injury.
Ingarfield was hurt when he took a crushing body check from Seals’ captain Bobby Baun. He had to be helped off the ice and did not return. Penguins doctor David Steele examined Ingarfield after the game and ordered x-rays. The pictures indicate that the 32-year-old Lethbridge, Alberta native suffered a cracked knee cap and possible torn cartilage. He could be out for six to eight weeks.
Val Fonteyne and Billy Dea scored the other Pittsburgh goals. The only marksman for the Seals was Billy Hicke, who connected for his fourth of the year.
Only 3,819 fans saw the solid defensive performance by the Penguins. Coach Red Sullivan was left bewildered by the paltry number of patrons in the seats:
“I can’t understand it. That was a darn good NHL hockey game.”
Stars Nip Blues
The Minnesota North Stars got a goal from Ray Cullen at 17:46 of the final period to eke out a 3-2 home-ice win over the St. Louis Blues. And to add to their misery, the Blues lost leading scorer Larry Keenan with a broken ankle.
Elmer Vasko, the hulking former Black Hawk defenceman, opened the scoring with the first period’s only goal. The Blues tied it near the eight-minute mark of the middle frame on a goal by Gerry Melnyk. But the Stars regained the lead with 1:38 left in the second on Dave Balon’s goal.
The Blues refused to surrender and Ron Atwell tied things at 2-2 early in the third. That set the stage for Cullen’s winner late in the game.
Cullen was sent in alone by Bob Woytowich, who stole the puck from Atwell at centre ice. Cullen lost control as he crossed the blue line and the puck squirted towards the St. Louis goal. Blues goalie Glenn Hall left the cage to knock the puck to safety, and he and Cullen collided as they reached the black rubber disk simultaneously. Cullen, in the act of falling, knocked the puck into the unguarded Blues goal.
The North Stars outshot the Blues 30-21. Minnesota netminder Gary Bauman made several key stops when the game was tied to enable Cullen to net the game-winner.
North Stars coach Wren Blair was happy with the two points, but didn’t think his boys played especially well:
“We didn’t play nearly as well as we did Saturday.”
The Blues lost Keenan with a suspected broken ankle in the second period. Keenan apparently fell all by himself and the ankle snapped. He said he simply stepped in a crack or rut on the ice as he was in the act of turning.
This was the same ankle that Keenan broke last season while he was with Victoria of the Western Hockey League. That injury caused him to miss most of the season.
- NHL president Clarence Campbell, commenting on the poor attendance experienced by the new expansion teams, singled out the California Seals as a particular problem area: “There is no doubt that Oakland has been a disappointment to everyone, including the promoters.”
- Jerry Wolman and Ed Snider have officially dissolved their partnership. The split leaves Wolman as chief owner of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, while Snider becomes the principal owner of the NHL Flyers.
- The Flyers announced that WCAU-radio will air 61 of the Flyers final 69 games. However, at least to start, the broadcasts will cover only the third period of each game. Stu Nahan, who does the play-by-play for the Flyers televised games, will call the radio games when not on TV duty. Another Philadelphia broadcaster, Gene Hart, will handle radio while Nahan is doing television.
- Montreal Canadiens have sent rookie forward Danny Grant to Houston of the CPHL. The Habs still have three rookie forwards on hand – Jacques Lemaire, Mickey Redmond and Garry Monahan.
- Red Wings star centre Norm Ullman tried his slightly separated shoulder in practice yesterday but the injury is still too painful for him to rejoin the lineup.
- The Bruins leading scorer during preseason games was rookie Ross Lonsberry, who has not yet played this season. He will finally get into the lineup tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
- New York Rangers have recalled defenceman Allan Hamilton from Buffalo Bisons of the AHL.
- Toronto prospect Andre Champagne, who has been holding out, has signed his 1967-68 contract with the Rochester Americans.