Today we have details on the three National Hockey League games played last night, including the first road win in the history of the Oakland Seals. Plus the usual Quick Hits.
Invading Seals Shock Flyers
Well, it wasn’t quite a Seal invasion, but the visiting Oakland National Hockey League club did come into Philadlephia last night and upset the heavily-favoured Flyers by a score of 3-1 right in their own building.
The smallest crowd of the season at the Spectrum, 3,167, saw their Flyers put on a less-than-enthusiastic effort against the fifth-place team in the Western Division. But there were mitigating circumstances. The Flyers had arrived home just hours before the game after a debilitating nine-hour return trip from Chicago, slowed by a massive snowstorm.
The kingpin of the Seals attack was a rather unlikely hero. Veteran Gerry Odrowski scored twice for Oakland and that was really all the offence they needed. Odrowski counted his second goal of the season at 17:57 of the first period during a four-on-four situation. He then added the Seals second goal of the game at 7:20 of the middle frame while killing a penalty.
And that is what makes Odrowski’s offensive outburst so unique. He’s a player that is rarely used on occasions when his team needs a goal. His ice time is usually reserved for penalty-killing duties or to be spotted on a line where someone is out with an injury.
Before this season, Odrowski had played 138 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring exactly two goals. True, he had played mainly on defence, but took the occasional turn on left wing. This season, he’s spent more time on the forward line, but again, mainly in a penalty-killing role.
Odrowski’s first marker came on a rebound. The Seals had three rapid-fire shots at Flyers goalie Bernie Parent, who stopped them all. Odrowski grabbed a loose rebound and rammed it home while the Philly defence stood around and watched.
His second goal was purely a result of his penalty-killing ability. He was buzzing around the Philadelphia end generally trying to disrupt the play and force mistakes. Flyers defenceman Jean Gauthier fumbled a pass as the Flyers got ready to leave their zone. The swiftly-moving Odrowski swooped in, scooped up the loose disk and found himself all alone in front of Parent. Gauthier was too slow-footed to offer any resistance as the balding 29-year-old beat Parent from about 15 feet before he had a chance to get set for a shot.
Oakland built their lead to 3-0 about five minutes later when defenceman Larry (Hank) Cahan drifted a screened 55-footer into the Flyers net. Parent’s reaction indicated he never did get a good look at the shot.
The only issue left to be determined at that point was if Seals goalie Charlie Hodge would be able to register the shutout. That question was answered at 13:49 of the final frame when big Ed Van Impe of the Flyers scored on a power play. He beat Hodge with a wicked shot from near the blue line, on a setup by Wayne Hicks.
The Seals were full-value for their first road win, outshooting the host club 29-17. Oakland coach Bert Olmstead, said to be grouchy even on Christmas Day, took little solace in his team’s milestone win:
“It was our first win on the road this season. There’s not much to be enthusiastic about when you’re one and 11 on the road.”
Leafs Kayo Edwards to Tie Wings
A late third-period goal by Mike Walton with just 6:24 to play gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-3 tie with the Detroit Red Wings last night at the Olympia in Detroit. Walton’s goal came with Red Wings goalie Roy Edwards lying semi-conscious on the ice, bleeding from a wounds to his nose and above the eye.
The Red Wings played near-perfect game and certainly deserved a better fate. So did Edwards, who had to leave the game after being struck between the nose and right eye by a rising backhand shot from George Armstrong. As the Red Wings rookie goalie slumped to the ice, Walton slid the puck into an unguarded cage.
George Gardner came into the game to replace Edwards, who needed five stitches to close the wounds. Gardner wore a face mask for the first time in the NHL and said that he will continue to use facial protection from now on.
Early in the game the Leafs looked like they might make a rout of it. They scored goals 34 seconds apart at the five-minute mark of the first period. Peter Stemkowski tapped in a goal-mouth pass from Brian Conacher at 5:01. Then, at 5:35, it was Frank Mahovlich with his first goal since his return to the Toronto lineup.
Walton started that play, knocking the puck away from Wings defenceman Bert Marshall. Walton slipped a nifty pass to Armstrong, who found Mahovlich off to the side of the Detroit net. The Big M made no mistake and the visitors were up 2-0.
To their credit, the Red Wings settled down, especially defensively and played text book hockey the rest of the way.
Marshall atoned for his gaff on the second Toronto goal by scoring his first NHL tally at 11:04. Dean Prentice tied the game for Detroit a little more than four minutes later when he deflected Alex Delvecchio’s shot past a helpless Toronto goalie Bruce Gamble.
There was no scoring in the second period. Red Wings took the lead at 11:58 of the third when former Leaf Gary Jarrett put the Wings in front on a pass from Gary Bergman. That set the stage for Walton’s tying goal less than two minutes later.
Detroit outshot Toronto 44-33 on the night and it was some great work by Gamble that kept the Leafs in it. Prentice was especially frustrated:
“I could have had three more in the first period. He’s too fat to get the puck uip over. Honestly I don’t know how he got in front of two of my shots.”
Stars Hold Habs to Tie
Minnesota North Stars left winger Ted Taylor scored a goal with less than six minutes remaining in the game to lift his team into a 1-1 tie with the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal. While it was a great emotional victory for the first-year Minnesota club, the Stars still are winless in their past eight games. They have only two ties in that stretch.
The game, witnessed by only 12,567, was, as branded by Montreal Gazette hockey writer Pat Curran as a dud. Curran called the contest “a farce that passed as a hockey game.”
The most exciting moment in the entire contest came at the six-minute mark of the opening frame. Montreal defenceman Jacques Laperriere pulled down North Star forward Dave Balon on a breakaway, for which Balon was awarded a penalty shot by referee Bruce Hood.
Balon faked Habs goalie Gump Worsley out of position and then shot wide of the open net. It was all down hill from there.
Canadiens scored their goal at 16:26 of the first. Yvan Cournoyer was the marksman, and what’s unusual about this goal is that it came while Cournoyer was killing a penalty. He is rarely used in such situations, but took advantage this time.
Not much else of interest happened until Taylor’s goal to tie it up at 14:53 of the third. He fired in a rebound after Worsley had stopped a point shot by Minnesota rearguard Bob McCord.
Minnesota had a goal called back by Hood in the second period. Andre Pronovost had fired the puck into the Montreal goal, but Hood ruled that North Stars Bill Masterton was in the goal crease at the time, nullifying the score.
Montreal outshot the North Stars 28-27. Both goalies, Worsley for the Habs and North Stars’ Gary Bauman, were the only players who really earned their paychecks in this one.
- Don McKenney will finally play his first game for the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night. He has been out of the lineup since training camp with a knee injury.
- Some people are claiming that the key to the early-season success of the Boston Bruins this year is their use of a new “magic potion” called Gatorade. Bruins trainer Dan Canney says that the drink was developed for the University of Florida football team.
- Eddie Shack and Ted Green are the latest Bruins players to be stricken by a flu bug sweeping through the team.
- Red Wings coach and general manager Sid Abel says his team will spend Saturday morning watching films of last night’s tie against Toronto. For the first time slow-motion will be used to analyze the play.
- Former Seals coach and general manager Rudy Pilous has been offered a similar position with the new Denver team that is slated to being play next season in the Western Hockey League. Pilous is reticent to accept any offers until he settles his breach of contract suit with the Seals.
- Hamilton Red Wings and Niagara Falls Flyers skated to a 2-2 tie in an OHA game at Hamilton. Mike Flanigan and Eddie Hatoum had the Hamilton goals, with Brad Selwood and Don Tannahill replying for the Falls.
- Catharines Black Hawks outscored the Peterborough Petes 7-5 last night’s other OHA Junior A game. Moe L’Abbe and John Fisher each had two goals for the Hawks. Ron Anderson, Skeeter Teal, and Dale Power added singles. Peterborough goal-getters were Paul Gillis, Rick MacLeish, Rob Ringler, Rob Black and Bob Jones.
- Russia’s number two national team bombed Canada’s Eastern nationals 9-3 in Leningrad. Bob Berry had two goals for the Canadians.