December 7

Today we have reports on five National Hockey League games from last night, along with the usual Quick Hits.

Bower Stars as Leafs Tie Minnesota

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager-coach Punch Imlach calls goalie Johnny Bower the best in the world. Last night was an instance where the 43-year-old gave credence to Imlach’s claim as Bower single-handedly enabled the Maple Leafs to gain a point they didn’t deserve in a 1-1 tie with the Minnesota North Stars at Bloomington, MN.

Bower stopped 29 of 30 North Stars drives, including 14 in a second period in which the host club threatened to drive Toronto right out of the state. The only shot that did get by him was a screened shot from near the blue line by Stars defenceman Mike McMahon. That came with just over a minute to play in the first period.

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 8.37.36 AM.png
Leafs goalie Johnny Bower makes one of his 29 saves last night on North Stars Bill Masterton.

Bower’s finest moment in the game was a key stop with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. Minnesota centre Ray Cullen was sent in all alone by a fine pass from Bill Collins, a former Toronto farm hand. Bower stood his ground and didn’t go for Cullen’s series of moves, a save only netminders with years of experience can pull off.

Wayne Carleton scored Toronto’s only goal. It was a result of a fine passing play, one of the few the Leafs executed, that involved nearly every player on the ice. Carleton started the play, retrieving a loose puck in the Toronto end. He passed to Tim Horton and took off up the ice. Horton found Mike Walton streaking up the middle with a pin point pass. Walton, in turn, relayed the puck to Ron Ellis on the right wing, who took the pass in full stride. Ellis carried into the Stars zone and threw it towards the front of the net. Carleton arrived on the scene just in time to poke it past Minnesota goalkeeper Gary Bauman, off the right post and into the goal.

Bauman wasn’t nearly as busy as Bower, making just 17 saves, but played just as well. It was a close-checking contest, but very entertaining for the 12,338 who braved a blustery Minnesota evening to see the Stanley Cup champs take on their hometown heroes.

Wayne Carleton

Carleton was particularly happy with his goal, his fifth of the season:

Last week I read a book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and it really has helped. You wouldnt believe the things it explains. In fact Im reading it again. Im going to start living and lets hope the goals start coming my way.

Imlach wasn’t happy with the effort his team put forth, except for Bower:

“They wanted it more than my guys. They never stopped skating. Our fellows did, that was the difference. We got a tie only because Bower played well.”

North Stars got a bit of a scare when centre Andre Boudrias was flattened by a Marcel Pronovost body check in the second period. Boudrias stayed down for more than a few seconds before regaining his feet and making his way to the bench. The speedy little centre said after the game it looked worse than it was:

My wind she go woosh, but it only hurt for the moment.

North Stars general manager-coach Wren Blair thought it was one of the best games North Stars fans will see this season:

“That’s the best spectacle we’ve had here this season from a fan’s point of view. I thought we played well enough to win but I’ll settle for a tie against Leafs any day.

“We’d have had 2,000 more for this game but  the radio stations were warning people to stay off the roads because of the fog and hazardous driving conditions.”

Mikita Nets 4 As Hawks Pound Pens

Veteran Chicago centre Stan Mikita scored four goals in a game for the first time in his career as the Black Hawks throttled the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-2 at Chicago Stadium. Mikita scored the first three goals of the game for the Hawks, then completed the quadruple with team’s sixth goal in the final period.

Stan Mikita

Bobby Hull scored twice for Chicago, giving him 21 on the season. Captain Pierre Pilote’s first of the year rounded out the scoring for the Black Hawks.

Penguins goal-getters were Keith McCreary and Art Stratton.

Mikita was dominant all night and could even have had fifth goal. He said after the game that was on his mind: “I was shooting for that little Frenchman’s record.”

Mikita was referring to the five goals Montreal’s Bobby Rousseau scored in a 1964 game against the Rangers. Bernie Geoffrion of Montreal also had five against the Red Wings in 1955. That would be the record for active players in the league.

The all-time record for one game is 12, by Frank (One Eye) McGee, who did it for the Ottawa Silver Seven in 1906. But that was a different league and a much different time.

Frank McGee

McGee scored 25 goals in seven games for Stanley-Cup-winning Ottawa that season. In six playoff games for the Silver Seven, he scored 17 goals.

A different time, indeed.

Penguins coach Red Sullivan and general manager Jack Riley were both upset with the Black Hawks choices of lines in the third period. They felt like the Hawks were “running up the score” on the Pens. Riley vowed his team wouldn’t forget the Chicago tactics:

“I hope we’re in that situation some time. They’re afraid to throw that third line out there.”

Reay responded by saying that he relied mainly on the Mikita and Hull units because they were rested.

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask of a man to work 30 minutes a week.”

Not sure of Billy’s math there, especially when it comes to Mikita and Hull…

Wings. Rangers Saw One Off

The Detroit Red Wings scored with less than nine minutes to play to salvage a 3-3 tie with the New York Rangers last night at Madison Square Garden. The tie leaves the Red Wings in third place in the NHL Eastern Division, one point ahead of fourth place New York and Chicago.

Norm Ullman

This was a game where Detroit’s Big Three came through. Norm Ullman scored the tying goal for Detroit at 11:19 of the third, his 16th point in the last 15 games. Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe had the earlier Red Wings goals.

Don Marshall, Jean Ratelle and Reggie Fleming connected for the Rangers. Marshall’s goal at 14:49 of the middle frame was an unassisted short-handed effort.

Rangers coach Emile Francis was satisfied with the point and the play of his goalkeeper, Eddie Giacomin:

“Giacomin made a lot of great saves in the first period to keep us in the game and the way we played in the second and third periods, we deserved to win. Naturally I’d have liked to have the two points, but I’m satisfied with the way we played and I’ll take the tie.”

Detroit goalie Roy Edwards was particularly great in the second period when the New Yorkers pounded 17 shots at him. Rangers managed only two goals but could have run away with the game right there.

Kings Grab West Lead

Los Angeles Kings took over first place in the NHL’s Western Division by eking out a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Long Beach Arena. Only 4,323 turned out in a rink that sounded more like a mausoleum than a sporting venue.

Kings led the game 1-0 at the end of 20 minutes thanks to defenceman Dave Amadio’s third of the year.

Ted Irvine

The second period is where the Kings won the game. After veteran Don McKenney tied things up with his first for the Blues, the Kings scored a couple in quick succession to take control.

Brian Smith netted his sixth on a nice setup by Gord Labossiere at 6:51. Just less than three minutes later, Teddy Irvine rapped in number seven on the year for him, assisted by Brian Kilrea. It was Irvine’s first goal in 12 games. He scored on a rebound after St. Louis goalie Glenn Hall had made a great save on his initial try.

It was then up to Kings goalie Wayne Rutledge to hold the Blues off the rest of the way, and for the most part, he did. This was despite having to go to the Los Angeles bench on two occasions for repairs to cuts suffered when he took pucks in the face. He was finally beaten with only nine seconds left on the clock by a long shot from Blues defenceman Fred Hucul.

Kings coach Red Kelly said the unusually quiet arena bothered both teams:

“You can’t hear any cheering, you have to do it all yourselves from the bench. I think this place was built for the world chess tournament, acoustically, that is.”

The game marked the return of forward Dickie Moore to the NHL with the Blues. Moore last played in the league with Toronto in 1964-65. He did not look at all out of place last night and coach Scotty Bowman was pleased:

“If I didn’t know he had bad knees and had been out a couple of years, I wouldn’t have been surprised by his skating and his all-round play. He looked as good as he used to. He made some plays no one on this club has been making. I think he’ll help.”

Moore was satisfied with his performance and sounded like a man bent on making a large contribution:

“I felt pretty good and I’m not too tired now. It’s a hard thing to come back after all this time. It’s a challenge. I think now it’ll be all right. My knees don’t bother me too much. My lack of conditioning bothers me more. Actually I’d have liked to have had more ice time. But we always want more ice time.”

Seals Knock Flyers Out of First

The Oakland Seals came up with one of their best home-ice performances of the season last night as they scored a 4-2 win over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. It was a shame that virtually no one was there to see it. Only 2,426 fans were on hand, the Seals smallest crowd of the season.

Billy Harris

If Seals management is looking for increases in crowd size as a hopeful sign that the fledgling franchise is on the right track, this wasn’t it.

Billy Harris was the offensive catalyst for the Seals. He broke out of a month-long slump and a lengthy ride on the bench to score a pair of goals. Billy Hicke, making a successful return to the Oakland lineup after missing five games with a bout with pneumonia, also tallied. Gerry Ehman had other Seals goal.

Garry Peters and Leon Rochefort scored for Philadelphia.

Seals outshot the Flyers 37-22. Only the solid work of Philly netminder Doug Favell kept the score respectable. Favell was hard on himself after the came, declaring “I wasn’t as sharp as I should have been.”

It was an entertaining game that saw good chances at both ends and a spirited scrap between Seals captain Bob Baun and Flyers tough guy Ed Van Impe in the second period. Baun was less than complimentary of Van Impe’s tactics, calling him a “lady fighter.”

The Flyers’ loss coupled with the Kings win over St. Louis allowed Los Angeles to move into first place in the Western Division.

$1675 in Fines for Bruins, Habs

That brawl-filled so-called hockey game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens Sunday evening in Boston is going to cost a few people some money. NHL president Clarence Campbell has levied fines totalling $1,675 against the two teams.

Ted Green

The biggest losers were defenceman Ted Green of the Bruins and Montreal’s Terry Harper. They will have to shell out $150 each.

Eleven members of Canadiens and 12 Bruins will be out $50 each for leaving the bench to join an altercation. Canadiens spare goalkeeper Ernie Wakely was the game’s only player who wasn’t tagged – he remained on the Montreal bench.

Goalies Rogatien Vachon of the Habs and Boston’s Eddie Johnston were each fined $50 for leaving their goal creases during a fight.

Campbell reviewed referee Art Skov’s game report and issued the following report”

In the first period Boston’s Awrey and Montreal centre Ralph Backstrom became engaged in a high sticking exchange in which Backstrom received a slight cut on the head.

Left Winger Dick Duff came to Backstrom’s aid by cross-checking Awrey and the pair followed up with a verbal exchange. They then resorted to fighting and the linesmen were unable to break up the match.

In his eagerness to get at Awrey, Duff pushed linesman Walt Atanas several times. Awrey and Duff got clear and engaged in a fight lasting several minutes.

It was while this battle was in progress that all the players of both teams streamed off their benches to join the fracas.

Harper and Ted Harris of Montreal and Boston’s Ted Green and Ed Westfall led the respective charges.

Duff and Awrey refused to obey Skov’s instructions to reture to the penalty box.

Duff was assessed a minor penalty for crosschecking, a major for fighting and a game misconduct worth $50 for pushing the linesman. He receive an additional $50 for his failure to enter the penalty box on Skov’s instruction.

Backstrom received a minor penalty and escaped monetary penalties.

Awrey took a $25 major for highsticking, a misconduct for two majors ($25) and a $50 fine for failing to proceed to the penalty box. He was assessed a game misconduct and another $50 later in the game when he received his third major penalty.

Harper was tagged with $50 for leaving the bench and Campbell imposed an additional $100 fine when he determined that the Montreal rearguard was the first player to leave the players’ bench.

Quick Hits

  • Minnesota North Stars are leading the Western Division of the NHL in attendance, averaging 11,585 tickets sold per game.Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 8.34.47 AM.png
  • Members of the Rochester Americans post with American Airlines flight attendants before boarding their flight to Phoenix, Arizona. Top to bottom: Jean-Paul Parise, Bryan Hextall Jr., Bob Cook and Don Cherry.
  • Canadiens coach Toe Blake says he is going to keep his “Kid Line” together for a few more games. The line consists of rookies Mickey Redmond, Jacques Lemaire and Danny Grant.
  • Defenceman Bob Ellett scored a pair of goals to lead the Cleveland Barons to a 4-1 win over the Providence Reds.
  • Czechoslovakia’s second national team drubbed Canada’s Eastern national team 7-2 in the final game of a tournament in Russia. Canada finished fifth with a record of 1-4.
  • One of the main reasons for the early-season success of the Boston Bruins is their new-found strength down the middle. Centres Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield and rookie Derek Sanderson are all newcomers to the Bruins this season. Esposito and Stanfield were acquired from Chicago in that big off-season trade, while Sanderson is a graduate of the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A Series.

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