A full slate of six National Hockey League games on which to report today. Highlights include a successful return to the lineup by Toronto star Frank Mahovlich and an historic goal by Boston’s Johnny Bucyk.
Big M Helps Leafs Topple Habs
Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Frank Mahovlich made a successful return to the Maple Leafs lineup last night after nearly a month away from the game. Less than five minutes in, Mahovlich set up the game’s first goal as the Leafs nipped the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 at Maple Leaf Gardens.
The Big M made his initial appearance at 4:25 of the first period on a line with Mike Walton and George Armstrong. He picked up a loose puck in the Montreal zone and fed a pass to Walton who beat Montreal goalie Gump Worsley at 4:44 to give the Leafs the 1-0 lead.
A capacity crowd of over 16,000 fans erupted into a lengthy ovation in appreciation of big Frank’s return and the fine play he made to open the scoring. Those ovations continued for the balance of the evening.
The cheers added some excitement to a game that was virtually devoid of action, unlike most recent Toronto – Montreal contests. Only one penalty was called by referee John Ashley and that was on Leafs’ Marcel Pronovost in the first period. The Habs power play was abysmal and offered no serious threat for the full two minutes.
In fact, the game’s only flurry of sustained action took place in the final three minutes when each team scored a goal.
Jim Pappin put Toronto up 2-0 at the 17:14 mark on a goal that had a bit on an odour to it. Pappin fired a shot from deep in the corner that struck Worsley and bounded into the Canadiens’ net.
Gilles Tremblay brought Montreal back to within one a minute and six seconds later, ruining Johnny Bower’s shutout bid. Canadiens mounted a brief flurry in the final minute of play, buzzing around the Toronto net, but were unable to get away a good scoring chance.
Canadiens were unhappy with what they perceived was an all-too lenient approach to the game by Ashely. Coach Toe Blake’s only post-game comment reflected that:
“Just once I’d like to see us leading 1-0 in the Forum and get away with the tripping Leafs got away with.”
Worsley was also miffed at the lack of calls by Ashley late in the game:
“They don’t call anything in the last five minutes of close games any more. You might as well face it.”
Worsley was Montreal’s best player in what was essentially a duel of the goalkeepers. Toronto had four clear-cut scoring chances stopped by the Gumper. Walton could easily have had two more goals had Worsley not foiled him from close-in on both occasions.
Bucyk All-time Bruins Leader
Johnny Bucyk scored two goals to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 win over the Minnesota North stars last night at the Boston Garden. The two markers give Bucyk a career total of 229 goals in a Boston uniform. That ties him with Milt Schmidt as the Bruins all-time leaders in goals. Schmidt is the current Boston general manager.
The victory was the fourth in a row and sixth in seven games for the surging Bruins. Other Boston scorers were Johnny McKenzie, Tommy Williams and Derek Sanderson. For McKenzie, that’s four goals in his past two games.
Bill Collins had the only Minnesota goal.
It was a dominant performance by Boston, leaving little doubt about their superiority over the expansion North Stars. The Bruins outshot the North Stars 36-22. In fact, the only bright spot for the Stars was the work by their goalkeeper Cesare Maniago, who kept the score respectable.
Boston coach Harry Sinden felt his team could have played better:
“I wanted our guys to go out and hit people tonight. But we couldn’t get any cooperation. They didn’t want to hit.”
North Stars bench boss Wren Blair was less than pleased with the effort of his squad. He hinted changes could be in the offing if things don’t improve soon:
“Harry told me his guys couldn’t catch ours to hit them. Not only didn’t we hit, but we were running away from checks. I won’t stand for that too bloody long.
“But I’m not going to press the panic button in these games. This was our second worst effort of the year. But one night is one night. I hope they bounce back against Montreal tonight.
“I’ll review all these things when we get off this road trip, but one thing is for sure. We can’t be getting less than two goals per game and win. It doesn’t matter who we play in the nets if we get only two goals in 12 periods like we have.”
Red Wings Upend Rangers
Detroit Red Wings snapped a three-game losing streak as they skated to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers last night in New York.
Alex Delvecchio, Ted Hampson and Paul Henderson scored for the Wings. Bob Nevin had the only Rangers goal.
Roy Edwards was back in goal for Detroit after getting a rest in the Detroit’s last game. He was once again solid, making 23 saves. Rangers goalie Gilles Villemure had 30 saves.
New York seemed to fade after a strong first period. The Rangers had nine shots at Edwards, but had almost the same number blocked by the Red Wings defence. Gary Bergman and Bart Crashley were particularly effective on the Detroit blue line. Crashley also made a great play in setting up Delvecchio’s goal.
The newest Ranger, former Maple Leaf and Bruin Ron Stewart, fitted in well but was held off the scoresheet. He skated on a line with Orland Kurtenbach and Larry Jeffrey.
Rangers had one other new recruit in the their lineup. Defenceman Allan Hamilton was recalled from Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League to replace the injured Wayne Hillman. He didn’t see much ice time.
Hawks Down Flyers
Doug Mohns had his second two-goal game in a week to lead the Chicago Black Hawks to a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Chicago Stadium. The win solidifies the Hawks hold on third place in the NHL’s Eastern Division. Philadelphia remains in first atop the Western Division.
Bobby Hull had the other Chicago goal, his 19th in just 23 games. Ed Hoekstra scored for the Flyers.
Unlike many of the games between the older clubs and expansion teams, this was a fairly even contest. The Flyers played a disciplined game designed to limit the Chicago skating game and prevent scoring chances.
Philly goaltender Bernie Parent was once again the Flyers best player. He had little chance on the goals that beat him, making 27 saves on the night.
Hull gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead just over seven minutes into the second period on a nice setup from rookie Gerry Goyer. Goyer fed a pass to Hull from behind the net and he blasted it past Parent before he could move.
Parent said after the game, “He shot that thing so fast I didn’t even see it”
Hawks took a 2-0 lead about seven minutes later on Mohns’ first goal. He was set up perfectly by centre Stan Mikita right in front of Parent, who again had no chance on the play.
Hoekstra got the Flyers on the board with just less than two minutes left in the middle frame. He beat Black Hawk goalie Denis DeJordy to a loose puck in front of the Chicago cage and knocked a one-handed dribbler off DeJordy’s leg into the net.
Mohns added the insurance goal with 31 seconds left in the game and Parent on the Philadelphia bench in favour of an extra attacker.
Penguins Skin the Seals
The Pittsburgh Penguins cruised to a lopsided 6-1 win over the visiting Oakland Seals last night before only 4,499 fans at Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. And it’s likely many of those who bothered to show up last night won’t be back if they like good hockey. Last night’s game was anything but good hockey.
It was a dull, listless effort by both teams. Both coaches, Red Sullivan of the Penguins and the Seals Bert Olmstead, must have been extremely frustrated by the apparent lack of interest and effort shown by players of both sides. Sullivan and Olmstead were known as two of the hardest-working players in the NHL during their playing days.
The six goals scored by the Penguins was their highest total in a game this season. And they accomplished that with surprisingly little effort. Keith McCreary had two of the Pittsburgh goals, with singles coming from Bob Dillabough, Andy Bathgate, Ab McDonald and Gene Ubriaco.
Dillabough added a pair of assists and was easily Pittsburgh’s best player. He was named the game’s first star.
Defenceman Aut Erickson scored the only Oakland goal, ruining Pittsburgh goalie Les Binkley’s shutout bid.
Blues Trade Pays Quick Dividend
Sometimes change can be good. Last night the St. Louis Blues and their new centre, Gordon (Red) Berenson proved that as they snapped a seven game winless streak by edging the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at the Arena in St. Louis.
Berenson took a regular turn for the first time all season, centering a line with right winger Jimmy Roberts and left winger Bill McCreary. The line accounted for two of the three Blues goals, with Roberts netting a pair and Berenson assisting on both. Ron Schock scored the game-winner for the Blues in the third period.
Berenson was traded to the Blues on Monday along with defenceman Barclay Plager for right wing Ron Stewart and centre Ron Atwell. He arrived in St. Louis just hours before the opening faceoff.
The win wasn’t enough to lift the Blues out of the Western Division cellar, but they are only one point shy of fifth-place Oakland. Maybe more importantly, it marks the first win for Scotty Bowman as a National Hockey League head coach. He was understandably ecstatic:
“Let’s just say I’m happy and relieved. I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to come.”
Berenson was very happy at the recent turn of events in his career:
“I played more tonight than I have all season.”
Berenson was relegated to strictly penalty-killing and spot duty roles with the Rangers. Bowman has indicated he’ll get plenty of work with the Blues. But first, he’s immediately flying right back to New York to bring his family to St. Louis by car.
This wasn’t the first time Berenson, McCreary and Roberts had played together. The three were on a line with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the now-defunct Eastern Professional Hockey Leaguein 1962-63 while all three were in the Montreal organization. Berenson had 23 goals that year, McCreary 15, while Roberts added two, along with 27 assists.
Bill Flett scored the first Los Angeles goal, with Bill White adding the second. That set the stage for Schock’s game-winner at 9:29 of the third. He deflected Noel Picard’s shot from the point past Kings goalie Terry Sawchuk.
- The AHL Hershey Bears scored twice in the final 33 seconds to win going away, 6-3 over the WHL Phoenix Roadrunners at Hershey. Myron Stankiewicz scored the winning goal for the Bears.
- Jimmy Anderson scored at 3:01 of overtime to power the Springfield Kings to a 4-3 win over the Portland Buckaroos in Portland, Oregon.
- Ottawa 67’s pulled their goalie and scored in the final minute of play to earn a 3-3 tie with the St. Catharines Black Hawks at Hull, Quebec. Peter Nevin deflected Jean Potvin’s point shot for the tying goal. Murray Wilson and Pierre Jarry also scored for Ottawa. Glen Sherwood, Peter Mara and Skeeter Teal replied for the Hawks.
- When the New York Rangers acquired centre Ron Atwell from the St. Louis Blues, the plan was to send him immediately to the AHL Buffalo Bisons. Turns out NHL rules stipulate that Atwell will have to be placed on waivers in order to be sent to Buffalo. Rangers GM Emile Francis hasn’t indicated whether he will risk waivers on Atwell.