Five National Hockey League games to report on this morning, plus a comeback by a certain future Hockey Hall of Famer.
Hawks, Bruins Tied at 4-4
Chico Maki of the Chicago Black Hawks finally scored his first goal of the season last night and it was a big one. Maki scored on a fine solo rush, finishing it off with a fine backhand shot at 18:30. of the final period to give the Hawks a 4-4 tie with the Bruins in Boston.
Maki had missed the first month of the season after undergoing an emergency appendectomy just before the schedule started.
The Bruins had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but couldn’t stand prosperity and three times let the BlackHawks back into the game.
After defenceman Dallas Smith had given Boston a 4-3 lead at 14:36 of the third, the Bruins went into a defensive shell, icing the puck frequently and ignoring any semblance of offence. That strategy proved fatal, as the Hawks stormed the Boston zone, finally culminating in Maki’s tying marker.
Gerry Goyer, Dennis Hull and Kenny Wharram had the other Chicago goals. The goal for Goyer was his first in the NHL and Chicago’s first of the night. It came on a nice three-way passing play started by Bobby Hull.
Hull crossed the Boston blue line and wound up for one of his patented slap shots. But the move was a fake, and he slipped a pass to Maki. Boston goalie Ed Johnston covered the angle nicely on Maki, who alertly passed on to Goyer. The 31-year-old rookie made no mistake with Johnston having no chance on the play.
Johnny Bucyk led the Boston attack with a pair of goals. John McKenzie had the other. The goals by Bucyk give him 231 in a Bruins uniform, making him the all-time leading Boston goal scorer.
Chicago goalie Denis DeJordy had a fine game between the pipes for the Hawks. He faced 40 Boston drives, many of the difficult variety.
Bower Blanks Bert’s Seals
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Johnny Bower skated onto the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens last night and saw a lot of familiar faces wearing unfamiliar colours at the other end of the rink. The Leafs took on the Oakland Seals, who have a host of former Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in their lineup. And one of Bower’s old running mates with the Leafs, Bert Olmstead, stood stoically, as is his custom, behind the Oakland bench.
Bower wasn’t moved to take it easy on his old friends, and neither was the rest of the Toronto team. The 43-year-old Leaf netminder made 38 saves in registering his second shutout of this season as the Maple Leafs cruised to a 3-0 whitewash of the visiting Seals.
Right winger Ron Ellis led the Leafs with a pair of goals, with Mike Walton getting the other. For Ellis to score at all seemed somewhat of a miracle, given that it looked like he was down for the count early in the first period.
Ellis was caught squarely in the solar plexus by Oakland forward Mike Laughton, another former Leaf chattel. The Toronto winger lay on the ice momentarily stunned. But he eventually regained his feet and was soon back to being his old self.
Ellis spoke about the hit after the game:
“I didn’t pass out until after I hit the ice. They say I had a spasm and I tightened up from the lack or oxygen. That’s when I blacked out.
“I thought I died. I’ve been hit by harder checks than this one, but he got me right in the solar plexus. I saw him coming at me and dumped the puck out of our end and was ready for the check.”
Walton’s goal was his 14th of the season and 10th in his last eight games. That goal opened the scoring at 8:09 of the second period and was all the offence Bower needed.
Bower faced 20 shots in the opening frame, but many of those were from long range. His fine work seemed to take the steam out of the Seals attack, and he had a relatively easy time of it after the first.
Poor Charlie Hodge was left pretty much to his own devices in the Oakland net. He faced 49 Toronto shots, a season high for the Leafs. Twenty of Toronto’s shots came in the third period, when Ellis scored both of his goals.
Olmstead sounded like he’s becoming weary of the Seals seemingly always following a familiar script:
“It was an old story. We had enough chances in the first period to win three games. We sagged after Wally Boyer missed an open net.”
Boyer, for his part, insists Bower managed to at the last second deflect his shot on the chance to which Olmstead referred.
Kings Crown Habs in Last Minute
Eddie Joyal scored with just 23 seconds left in the game to give his Los Angeles Kings an upset 3-2 win over Montreal Canadiens last night at the Forum in Montreal. Joyal’s goal came just two minutes after rookie Carol Vadnais had scored his first NHL goal for Canadiens to tie the game at 2-2.
Bill Flett and Bill White scored the other Los Angeles goals. White was strong all night and was named the game’s first star.
Dick Duff had the other Montreal marker. Vadnais’ goal came while the young defenceman was playing left wing. Habs have used him there with John Ferguson on the sidelines. He had played a bit of left wing while with the Junior Canadiens.
Neither starting goalkeepers, Gump Worsley of Montreal or the Kings’ Terry Sawchuk, finished the game. Both left after 40 minutes.
Worsley retired for the night after going blank in the Montreal dressing room. He apparently hit his head on the goal post late in the second period and was woozy when leaving the ice. He was replaced by Rogatien Vachon.
Sawchuk appeared shaky all night but Kings coach Red Kelly said the reason he lifted the veteran netminder was a pulled hamstring muscle. Wayne Rutledge played the final 20 minutes for the Kings.
Giacomin Stars as Rangers Top Pens
New York Rangers goalie Ed Giacomin put on a goaltending clinic last night in Pittsburgh. Giacomin made 30 saves as the Rangers toppled the Penguins 4-1 at the Civic Arena.
Bob Nevin, Rod Gilbert, Vic Hadfield and Harry Howell connected for Ranger goals. Art Stratton netted his ninth of the year for Pittsburgh.
It was a typical game between an expansion team and one of the old clubs. The Penguins started fast and gave Giacomin all he could handle in the Ranger goal in the first period. He kept the home side off the scoreboard until his mates got their legs under them. After that, it was no contest.
The only Pittsburgh goal came late in the third, when Stratton picked up a loose puck during a momentary lapse by the Rangers defence. He beat Giacomin from close-in, costing him the shutout and a $100 bonus he receives for each whitewash.
It was the largest crowd of the season in Pittsburgh, with 9,725 on hand.
Stars Rout the Blues
The Minnesota North Stars had little difficulty in bouncing the St. Louis Blues 5-1 last night in St. Louis. The North Stars outshot the Blues 32-22 and the issue was never in doubt after an evenly-played first period.
Wayne Connelly fired a pair of goals for Minnesota. Both were set up by centre Andre Boudrias. Those two, along with left winger Dave Balon are beginning to form an attacking unit that teams, at least in the Western Division, will have to reckon with.
Other Minnesota goals were scored by Bill Masterton, Duke Harris and Ray Cullen. Red Berenson completed the game’s scoring at 9:01 of the third period for the Blues only goal. That wrecked Minnesota goalie Gary Bauman’s shutout bid.
Blues Sign Dickie Moore
The St. Louis Blues announced yesterday that they have signed 36-year-old Dickie Moore to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Moore had been in St. Louis for the past week working out with the team. He sat down with general manager Lynn Patrick yesterday and agreed to the contract. He will see his first action on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Moore looked extremely lively in his workouts this week. Coach Scotty Bowman was very happy that the former Montreal and Toronto star had agreed to join the team:
“As far as I’m concerned, Dick will be an asset to this club. He’s been skating well and he still has that special touch around the net.”
Patrick had been worried that knee problems Moore had experienced in Montreal and Toronto would slow him too much to make a comeback. Moore, however, showed none of those problems this week. Patrick thinks Moore’s veteran presence will also help the struggling team:
“I’m tickled to death that he wants to play for us. I think he can give us the same lift that Bernie Geoffrion gave the New York Rangers last year.
“He’s skating better now than when he tried that comeback with Toronto. He had a bit of a hitch in his stride then. Now it’s completely gone and he told me that his legs feel better than they have in the last six or seven years. Maybe it was the rest.”
Moore underwent five knee operations, four on the same knee while he was with Montreal. The last one wasn’t as a result of a hockey injury however. He needed surgery after a piece of steel was driven through his leg in the machine shop he owns in Montreal.
Quick Hits will return tomorrow