All 12 National Hockey League teams were in action last night with some surprising results. We saw the debut of a new NHL coach, a couple of established teams being upset by two of the new clubs, and news of arrest warrants being issues for an NHL coach and one of his players.
Leafs Blank Stars
Toronto Maple Leafs goalkeeper Bruce Gamble made 33 saves as he shut out the Minnesota North Stars 3-0 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The score flattered the performance by the visitors, this game was not close. It’s yet another case of an expansion team’s goaltender putting forth a superior effort to keep a game score much more respectable than the actual play would warrant.
The goalkeeper in question for the Stars is lanky Cesare Maniago, himself a former Maple Leaf. Maniago faced 41 Toronto shots, many of them labelled, and gave the Leafs only three scores. He frustrated the Leafs on five clear-cut breakaways.
Over the past two games, Maniago has faced 97 shots.
This is not to say that Gamble’s play resembled chopped liver. He took away at least three Minnesota chances that should have been goals and kept the visitors off the scoreboard on those occasions when they threatened to make a game of it.
Mike Walton, Wayne Carleton and Tim Horton were the Toronto goal scorers. Walton’s goal is his ninth of the season and Horton netted number three on the year. Carleton’s goal was his fourth, but only his first in the past 10 games.
The game was a complete reversal of the first game between these teams back in Minnesota. North Stars defenceman Pete Goegan was impressed:
“I say the only Leaf who played the same as he did in Minnesota was Gamble and he robbed us blind in both games. I hate to think of what they will be like when they get The Big M (Frank Mahovlich), Keon and Sam (Allan Stanley) back in the lineup.”
Minnesota forwards thought the Leaf defence was mainly responsible for the Toronto win. Dave Balon summed it up:
“That Pronovost got a piece of every guy who went near him. And he started the plays for the first two goals. Horton was really crushing us along that fence.
“The ice was murder, too. The puck wouldn’t slide, it jumped and bounced. But it was the same for both sides – maybe it hurt them more than us.”
North Stars now have gone four games without a win.
Hull Hatty Helps Hawks Rip Rangers
Chicago Black Hawks superstar Bobby Hull is back on a goal-a-game pace after last night’s contest in New York against the Rangers. Hull scored three second-period goals to power the Hawks past the Rangers 7-1. Eric Nesterenko also was a force to be reckoned with, adding two goals and an assist.
Hull now has 18 goals in 18 games. The hat trick ends a two-game goalless drought for the Golden Jet. Hull now has scored at least three goals in a game 21 times in his NHL career. He is only five behind the career record of 26, held by the great Rocket Richard.
Pat Stapleton and Stan Mikita had the other Chicago goals. Phil Goyette was the only Ranger to get one past Chicago goalie Denis DeJordy. DeJordy had 26 saves in the game.
Ed Giacomin started in goal for New York and had a rough night, lasting only 40 minutes. He gave up six goals on 21 shots and was lifted by coach Emile Francis at the end of the second period. Francis may have made the move as much as to protect Giacomin from the derision of the partisan MSG crowd as to spark the Rangers.
Gilles Villemure handled the final period for Rangers, giving up Mikita’s goal. It was Villemure’s first appearance of the season.
Pens Shock Bruins Before Record Crowd
The Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t have picked a better night to play their best game of the season. Before a crowd of 9,701 fans, largest of the season in Pittsburgh, the Pens skated to a 4-1 upset win over the Boston Bruins.
The Penguins were full measure for the win. They out-hustled and out-skated Boston at every turn. They outshot the Bruins 39-32, including 17-10 over the final 20 minutes.
Keith McCreary and Ab McDonald gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 first-period lead. Boston took over the edge in play in the middle frame, but Les Binkley in the Penguins net refused to let Boston back in the game. He made several big stops during that scoreless second and that seemed to turn the tide.
Boston did manage to get onto the scoreboard at 1:09 of the third period. Skip Krake whipped a screened shot past Binkley, who never saw it coming. Unaffected by the goal, the veteran puckstopper blanked the Bruins the rest of the way.
Billy Dea and Noel Price scored goals for Pittsburgh about two minutes apart around the midway point of the third to put the game out of reach.
Habs Spoil Bowman’s Debut
Before this season, 34-year-old Scotty Bowman had worked for only one National Hockey League organization – the Montreal Canadiens. So it was a special night for him as he made his first appearance as a big-league coach against the Canadiens for the Blues in St. Louis.
It seemed like it might be a fairy-tale start to Bowman’s coaching career, at least for 40 minutes. The Blues carried out Bowman’s game plan to perfection, as the teams skated through two scoreless periods. Goalkeepers Gump Worsley of Montreal and the Blues’ Glenn Hall had a lot to do with that. Hall made 29 saves over the first two periods, while Worsley stopped 18 St. Louis tries.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the much superior Montreal team took over in the final frame and skated off with a 3-1 win.
Ralph Backstrom and Dick Duff gave Montreal a 2-0 lead before Wayne Rivers potted the only St. Louis goal, wrecking Worsley’s shutout bid with less than six minutes left in the game. Gilles Tremblay gave the Habs some insurance with a late goal to make the final 3-1.
The win was a costly one for Montreal. They lost forwards Henri Richard and Claude Provost with injuries, with Richard’s looking to be the most serious.
Richard took a heavy body check from St. Louis defenceman Bob Plager around the seven-minute mark of the third. He had to be helped from the ice, suffering a significant injury to his right knee that could knock him out of the lineup for a couple of weeks.
Provost left the game after being checked by the Blues Ron Stewart. He was complaining of double vision.
Sutherland Leads Flyers
Bill Sutherland was the difference as the Philadelphia Flyers stopped the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 before over 12,000 fans at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. Sutherland scored a pair of goals to lead the Flyers attack and hand Detroit rookie goalie Roy Edwards his first NHL loss.
Garry Peters and Don Blackburn also scored for the Flyers. Floyd Smith and Bruce MacGregor replied for Detroit.
Bernie Parent put in another fine performance between the pipes for the Flyers, making 30 saves. Edwards had 22 stops for the Wings.
Flyers coach Keith Allen was very pleased with his team’s effort:
“Offensively, this was one of our best games. We passed well and most of the goals were pretty. That was good for the big crowd, too.”
Kings Dump Seals
Before this National Hockey League season began, Bert Olmstead, coach and general manager of the Oakland Seals, said that he would quit his job if his team lost a game to the Los Angeles Kings.
Today, Olmstead is still coach of the struggling Seals despite his team’s second loss to the Kings this season. Last night it was a 3-1 victory by the Kings that kept the Seals in fifth playce in the NHL’s Western Division.
Goalie Wayne Rutledge, looking more and more like a number one NHL goaltender, improved his record to 7-1-2 on the season. But even Rutledge admitted he had an easy time of it as the Seals offered little in the way of opposition to the Kings.
Bryan Campbell, Bob Wall and Real Lemieux scored the goals for Los Angeles. Alain (Boom Boom) Caron had the Oakland goal.
The only real disappointment for the Kings was the crowd, announced at 5,301. The game had been billed as a game against the Kings’ state rival, and the turnout was far less than hoped or expected.
The most controversial thing about the game was Rutledge’s surprise start in place of veteran Terry Sawchuk in goal. Kings coach Red Kelly addressed the issue after the game:
“I don’t think the goalie’s name makes any difference as far as the crowds go. And Rutledge is playing well, you can see that.
“This is a long year – 70 games. And when that Stanley Cup playoff comes around, you’ll see Ukey (Sawchuk’s nickname) out there.
“Terry has played better on the road than he has here, too. And he’s doing a good job of helping Wayne in practice.”
Blake, Provost Charged
Warrants for the arrests of Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake and forward Claude Provost have been issued by the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles. The two are charged with assault with a deadly weapon and bail has been set at $500 once the pair are arrested.
No action will be taken on the warrants until the Canadiens next play in Los Angeles on March 3. It’s not known if the two will be taken into custody before the game or if other arrangements will be made.
The charges stem from an incident last Sunday night that resulted in injuries to a Los Angeles hockey fan. Bernard Wiseman, a salesman, claims to have been beaten by hockey sticks wielded by Blake and Provost, causing a six-inch gash to his head.
Wiseman’s attorney, Marvin Part, indicated that a civil suit will also be filed on behalf of his client.
- Canadiens have called up centre Garry Monahan from Houston of the Central Professional Hockey League to replace the injured Henri Richard.
- Toronto’s fine rookie forward Garry Unger wants to be sent to the Leafs farm club at Tulsa of the CPHL to get more playing time. “I want to go to the minors if I am going to become a permanent fixture here. I want to play hockey – a lot of hockey, and I want to do it in Tulsa. Don’t get me wrong, the experience with the Leafs is great. I probably have learned more in the practices here than I have in the last three years.”
- Toronto’s Ron Ellis jammed his left wrist in last night’s game against Minnesota and will have it X-rayed today.
- St. Louis Blues have invited former Montreal and Toronto forward Dickie Moore to make a come back with the team. Moore will be going to St. Louis to see if he can get himself into playing shape. Maple Leafs vice-president Harold Ballard says that if the Blues want to sign Moore, they will have to arrange a deal with Toronto, who still own his NHL playing rights.
- North Stars general manager-coach Wren Blair is a partner in a hockey school in Haliburton, Ontario with Jim Gregory and Hap Emms. He estimates their investment in the operation is about $200,000.
- The Cornell University hockey team is captained this year by Walter Stanowski, the son for former Toronto Maple Leaf Wally Stanowski.
- Jerry Sawchuk, son of Los Angeles goalie Terry, recorded a shut out last Saturday playing for the Bay Harbour Bantams of the Los Angeles minor hockey system.
- The Buffalo Bisons defeated the Rochester Americans 3-1 in an American Hockey League game at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. Mike Labadie scored all three Buffalo goals.