Today’s report contains details on all last night’s action, including an ugly scene late in the Montreal – Los Angeles game in which a fan had to be taken to hospital after an altercation with Canadiens coach Toe Blake. Plus the usual Quick Hits.
Kings Win Game, Toe Wins the Fight
The Los Angeles Kings dealt the Montreal Canadiens their second loss to an expansion team in as many nights last evening. The Kings doubled the count on the Habs, dumping them 4-2 in Los Angeles. The game was marred by an ugly incident late in the third period in which a fan was injured.
Lowell MacDonald was the scoring star for the Kings. He fired three goals to pace a Kings attack that was surprisingly efficient. All of MacDonald’s goals came in the second period in succession, a “natural” hat trick.
MacDonald, 26, has had trials with Detroit and Toronto but never was able to make the big time on a regular basis. He has always been a prolific scorer everywhere but in the NHL. He is one of those players for whom expansion has been the perfect tonic for a stagnating career.
MacDonald now has six goals on the season.
Canadiens scored the only goal of the first period. Gilles Tremblay netted his fifth of the year at 15:15 on a very smart play. Given a nice pass by Ralph Backstrom, Tremblay held the puck as the Kings defence backed in on rookie goalie Wayne Rutledge. Tremblay then fired a quick wrist shot from close in that left Rutledge little opportunity to make a save.
The second period was all MacDonald as he scored his three goals in a 14-minute span. His first was a deft deflection of a Bill White point shot that got through Montreal goalie Rogatien Vachon at 1:16.
At 10:10 he made it 2-1 thanks to a perfect setup by left winger Ted Irvine. MacDonald connected from the right faceoff circle with an accurate wrister. He completed the hat trick five minutes later on an identical setup from Irvine.
Bryan Campbell, the centre on the line with MacDonald and Irvine, assisted on all three goals.
Campbell notched a goal of his own at 4:03 of the final frame, with Irvine and MacDonald adding helpers. That effectively put the game out of the visitors’ reach.
Ted Harris did manage a goal for Montreal at 8:31 but that was as close as the Habs would get.
The incident involving the yet-unnamed fan happened with 1:32 left on the clock. The Kings’ Gord Labossiere and Serge Savard of Canadiens engaged in a bit of fisticuffs for which they each received roughing minors. That seemed to incite the fan who approached the Montreal players’ bench and engaged in a verbal confrontation with Canadiens coach Toe Blake.
At this point accounts of the altercation begin to vary. It seems that punches were thrown that may or may not have landed. One report and possibly others had Blake landing at least one good shot on the nose of the fan. What happened next just added to the ugliness.
The Montreal players near Blake on the bench began to swing their sticks into the crowd. Some of them allegedly jumped on to the intruder and began to pummel him as well. When order was restored, the fan was taken from the arena to a local hospital, bleeding profusely from at least one head cut. He was still shouting obscenities at Blake as he was escorted out of the building, so it’s thought his injuries were likely superficial.
There are reports that the Los Angeles police will be asked to investigate the matter.
Over 9,800 fans took in the contest, the largest Kings gathering this season.
Bruins Shackle Leafs
Led by two goals from former Maple Leaf Eddie Shack, the Boston Bruins trounced Toronto 6-2 last night at Boston Garden. It was a dominating performance by this year’s new and improved Boston squad. They outshot the Leafs 56-23 and only the early goaltending magnificence of veteran John Bower kept the score from reaching double figures early.
The Bruins came out flying before a sellout crowd of 13,909. They had 20 shots at Bower in a first period where the Toronto netminder could have sued his mates for non-support. Only Derek Sanderson managed to beat Bower in the opening frame. The Boston goal was offset by one from Leafs’ Brian Conacher.
The onslaught continued into the sandwich session. Phil Esposito put the Bruins up 2-1 at 3:22. Shack then scored his first of the night at 14:07 and that was it for Bower. Toronto coach Punch Imlach mercifully summoned the veteran to the bench and replaced him with Bruce Gamble.
At that point a very curious thing happened. The partisan Boston crowd, never known for being easy on the opposition, gave Bower a thundering ovation as he left the ice. The cheers and applause lasted for over 30 seconds, a warm acknowledgment of the fine work Bower did in the face of an almost irresistible attacking force.
Veteran Boston Garden officials could not recall an opposing player ever receiving such a sincere, prolonged ovation.
Imlach was asked to explain why he lifted his goaltender when he was playing so well:
“I saw no reason to waste such terrific goaltending when the guys in front of him were playing so badly. They outshot us 56 to 23 and Bower had 28 shots before I lifted him for Gamble.”
Other Boston goals were scored by John Bucyk and Glen Sather. Ron Ellis had the second Toronto goal.
Rangers Shoot Down Stars
Don Marshall scored two goals, including the 200th of his NHL career, as the New York Rangers rolled over the Minnesota North Stars 5-2 at Madison Square Garden. This was another case of a goaltender valiantly trying to keep the score reasonable while facing a plethora of shots.
Rangers outshot Minnesota 56-30 in a wide-open contest. Stars goalie Cesare Maniago did all he could to stem the Ranger tide, but it was an impossible task.
Vic Hadfield, Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert had the other New York markers. Mike McMahon and Andre Boudrias connected for Minnesota.
Maniago faced 20 shots in the second period, and then 21 more in the third. Yet he gave up only three goals in that span. He was exhausted after the game:
“I had all I could do to stand up in that last period.”
Flyers Barely Hang On, Edge Blues
The Philadelphia Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 lead and had to hang on as the St. Louis Blues battled back but just fell short last night at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The Flyers edged the Blues 3-2 in a game that was marred as time ran out by a bench-clearing brawl that saw numerous fights break out all over the ice surface. The fisticuffs lasted for at least 10 minutes.
The fight started at the final buzzer when St. Louis defenceman Gord Kannegeisser took on Flyers’ Ed Van Impe. Actually, it was more like an ambush, Van Impe, a noted tough guy, had no idea Kannegeisser’s intention was mayhem.
That prompted Flyers forward Pat Hannigan to come to Van Impe’s aid. He managed to separate the two initial combatants and threw a few punches at Kannegeisser himself. At that point, players from both benches spilled onto the ice and the battle royale was on.
The only two players on the ice not involved in the disturbance were goalies Glenn Hall of the Blues and Flyers’ Bernie Parent. The two stood together away from the main fracas and exchanged pleasantries.
The wildest part of the brawl happened when St. Louis defenceman Noel Picard engaged Philadelphia rearguard Larry Zeidel. Zeidel comes to the NHL with a reputation as a minor league policeman, and Picard is thought of in much the same manner. Picard decked Zeidel with one punch and that blow drove Zeidel berserk.
It took four Flyers to keep Zeidel from getting at Picard and it’s quite likely a good thing they succeeded. Zeidel was in a rage and determined to do as much harm to Picard as he possibly could. Blues coach Lynn Patrick went onto the ice to personally herd Picard to the Blues locker room.
Zeidel spoke of the incident after the game:
“That Picard thinks he’s a tough guy, but he really isn’t. He hit me with a sneak punch and only floored me for the count of five. If he was as tough as he thinks he is, he would have knocked me out for the full count.”
As far as the actual hockey game is concerned, it was a fairly listless effort by both teams. Don Blackburn, Lou Angotti and Van Impe gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead which they very nearly blew.
St. Louis came back on two third period goals by Ron Schock but it was a case of too little too late and the Flyers hung on for a very valuable two points.
- Doug Mohns scored with just five seconds left on the clock to lift the Chicago Black Hawks into a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Stadium. Wayne Maki scored the first Chicago goal, while Bart Crashley and Bruce MacGregor replied for the Red Wings.
- Tom Webster and Steve Atkinson scored two goals each to power the Niagara Falls Flyers past the Toronto Marlboros 4-3 in an Ontario Hockey Association Junior A contest at Maple Leaf Gardens. John Wright had two goals for the Marlies.
- Flyers owner Hap Emms was at the Sunday afternoon game at the Gardens, a first for him. Emms asked reporters not to mention he was at the game. Emms has gained fame for his long opposition to the staging of Junior A hockey on Sundays.
- Hamilton Red Wings bombed the Ottawa 67s 10-1 in another OHA Junior A game at the Hamilton Forum. Danny Lawson had three goals for the Wings, with Rich Petit adding a pair. Other Hamilton goals came from Gary Coalter, Ron Climie, Renald Leclerc, Eddie Hatoum and Cal Russell. Pierre Jarry had the only Ottawa score.
- Buffalo Bisons blasted the Springfield Kings 6-2 in an American Hockey League game at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. Larry Mickey led the Bisons with a pair of goals. Singles came from Al Hamilton, Barclay Plager, Dennis Kassian and Wayne Larkin. Doug Robinson and Gerry Foley connected for the Kings.
- Providence Reds of the AHL tied the WHL Phoenix Roadrunners 2-2 in an interlocking game at Providence. Bob Leduc and Jim Mikol scored for the Reds. Walt McKechnie and Jack Matheson replied for the Roadrunners.
- Andre Lacroix scored three goals to lead the Quebec Aces to a 10-7 win over the Rochester Americans in an AHL game in Quebec City. It was a wild and woolly game before an enthusiastic Quebec crowd of 5,481.
- Toronto’s Brian Conacher played last night’s game in Boston wearing glasses. Saturday night Conacher’s contact lens became dislodged during a mix-up with Chicago’s Stan Mikita. Conacher received a scratched cornea so decided to use regular eyeglasses instead of the contact lens.
- With injured forward Brian Kilrea returning to the Los Angeles lineup, the Kings have sent centre Billy Inglis back to AHL Springfield.
- Saturday night’s Oakland Seals game against Montreal Canadiens drew a crowd of over 8,000 fans, largest of the season in Oakland.