Lots of Sunday hockey action on which to report today, with four National Hockey League games along with some American Hockey League and Ontario Junior A contests. Plus Quick Hits!
Hawks Blank Leafs, Tie for Lead
The Chicago Black Hawks scored two late third period goals to snap a 0-0 deadlock and claim a 2-0 victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs last night at Chicago Stadium. The win puts the Black Hawks into a first-place tie with the Boston Bruins in the NHL’s Eastern Division.
Despite the loss, the star of the game was Toronto goalkeeper Johnny Bower. Bower’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. He made 31 save, many on clear cut and close-in chances.
Pit Martin scored what proved to be the winning goal at 13:29 of the third. It came as a result of the only real gaff Bower committed all evening. The veteran Toronto netminder left the net to corral a loose puck behind the goal. As he attempted to hand it off to defenceman Allan Stanley there was a mix-up on the exchange and somehow Martin came into possession of the disk. He got a shot off that seemed to squeeze between Bower’s left pad and the goal post.
The goal was sweet justice for Martin. In one of his best games of the year, he had four outstanding scoring chances earlier in the game, only to be denied each time by a great Bower save.
Bower called the goal “weird.”
“It was a weird one. I couldn’t control the puck on the boards and neither could the other guys. I retreated back to the goal and was moving to the post when Martin jammed the puck from the side.”
Martin had a good description of his part in the scoring play:
“When Nester (Eric Nesterenko) got the puck free, I just banged it toward the goal crease. Bower must have been moving because it hit his leg and rolled in past the mouth. If he’d been tight up against the post, there would have been no place to go. He stoned me on four better chances, when I had him dead to rights.”
Chicago’s star centre Stan Mikita played despite having his right ear sliced for 17 stitches the previous night. He wore a helmet with a makeshift guard over the ear and garnered an assist on the second Hawks’ goal, by Doug Mohns into an empty Toronto net after Bower had been removed for an extra attacker..
Hawks coach Billy Reay was especially happy to have Mikita in the lineup, since he lost to injury another key player in Saturday’s game. Defenceman Gilles Marotte, acquired from Boston in that big off-season trade, sustained torn left knee ligaments and will be out for a while. Young Tom Reid, just a year out of junior hockey, took Marotte’s spot along side Pat Stapleton and played well. Chicago called up Al Lebrun from their Central Professional Hockey League Dallas farm team to serve as a swing man on the blue line.
It was an exciting game, well-played by both clubs, likely one of the best that the over 19,000 Chicago fans will see all year. Even Boston Bruins coach Harry Sinden, who was in the press box, was impressed:
“That was hockey at its best. I’d like to have seen Leafs soften Hawks up a little more before we meet them Wednesday for the group lead.”
Wings Top Habs in 8-6 Shootout
It was anything but a defensive struggle last night at the Olympia in Detroit. Both the host Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens showed a complete disregard for defensive play as the Red Wings outscored the Habs 8-6.
It got so bad for Montreal coach Toe Blake that he yanked goalie Gump Worsley with about five minutes gone in the third period and replaced him with Rogatien Vachon. The move so infuriated the pudgy netminder that, as he left the ice, he threw his goal stick and gloves at Blake on the bench. Worsley refused to take a seat on with his team and instead sat behind the bench, with the protective glass between him and his mates.
This was the first time in his 15-year career that Worsley had been pulled during a game and he took it hard. Sailing along with a 1.82 goals-against average going into the game, the Gumper likely felt he deserved better treatment.
However, it was reported that Worsley may have injured his left leg during Saturday’s game in Montreal, and it is possible that Blake was considering this when he summoned him to the bench.
Norm Ullman and Gary Jarrett led the Detroit attack. Ullman fired three goals with able support from Jarrett, who netted a pair. Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Gary Marsh also scored for the home side. For the rookie Marsh, who was called up just this week, it was his first goal in the NHL, in just his third game.
Big Jean Beliveau, Montreal’s great captain, served notice he is rounding nicely into form after missing time with an injury. He scored three goals to match Ullman’s effort, with Montreal’s number two centre, Henri Richard adding two. Jacques Laperriere had the other Habs score.
The hat trick for Beliveau was the 13th such performance of an illustrious career.
Gilbert Stars as Rangers Beat the Blues
Rod Gilbert, the Rangers right-winger with the matinee-idol looks, had been a huge disappointment to his team this season. Well at least up until last night.
Gilbert broke out of a lengthy slump by scoring three goals to lead the New Yorkers to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues before a crowd of 13,352 at Madison Square Garden. Despite the win, the crowd at the Garden was in a surly mood after the Broadway Blueshirts blew a 3-0 lead.
Rangers took that three-goal lead in the first period. Gilbert scored the first two of his goals, followed by a marker by Reggie Fleming.
The Blues came to life after Fleming’s goal, with a veteran and a youngster leading the way. Dickie Moore, looking more comfortable on the comeback trail, made the score 3-1 just 15 seconds after Fleming’s goal. Then rookie Tim Ecclestone, a former Ranger chattel, made it 3-2 a minute and a half later, and the crowd’s mood rapidly swung. It was Ecclestone’s first NHL goal.
Early in the second the Blues drew even when Ecclestone scored his second of the night. Boos were raining down from the crowd, now completely disenchanted with the Rangers play.
Things got back on track for the Rangers in the third. Phil Goyette scored the game-winning goal after only 47 seconds. He rammed home a rebound from a Don Marshall shot.
Then Gilbert completed his three-goal night at 13:50 when his blazing slap shot whizzed past Blues goalie Seth Martin, who likely still hasn’t seen the puck.
An interesting confrontation took place at 2:41 of the third between tough guys Fleming of the Rangers and Barclay Plager of the Blues. After a skirmish near the St. Louis net, Fleming threw a glove into the face of Plager. Plager picked it up and threw it right back at Fleming, and not in a friendly manner.
After a round of jawing and glaring daggers at each other, with maybe a few cuss words thrown in, Plager and Fleming were each given minors and 10-minute misconducts to think about their transgressions.
Flyers Edge Pens, Increase Lead
The Philadelphia Flyers increased their first-place lead to four points over the second-place Los Angeles Kings with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.
It was a defence-first attitude by the Flyers that earned the two points in this one. Goalie Bernie Parent was once again brilliant for the Flyers, making 36 saves. He was ably supported by defenceman Ed Van Impe, who played a bruising but sound positional game.
It was suggested that the Flyers would have an easy time of it because the Penguins were worn out from Saturday’s game in Chicago. But Philly was also coming off a tough game against the Blues in St. Louis the previous evening. Pittsburgh showed no sign of fatigue, outshooting the Flyers 37-22. It was only Parent’s great work, especially early in the game, that kept the Penguins from running away with this one.
The teams traded goals in the first period. Brit Selby kicked things off at 1:14 when he scored on a breakaway after a lovely pass by Lou Angotti put him in the clear. But Pittsburgh took over the period after that, firing 18 shots at Parent.
Parent made save after save, but there wasn’t much he could do on the tying goal by Pens’ Paul Andrea. He deflected a shot from the point by Leo Boivin past the helpless Flyers netminder at 11:58.
Leon Rochefort netted the winner at 14:24 of the middle stanza when he converted Don Blackburn’s pass on a two-on-one rush.
Flyers then switched to an all-defense strategy and it worked. Although Pittsburgh had 19 shots over the final 40 minutes, only one or two presented a severe test for Parent.
Flyers were still without forwards Bill Sutherland and Ed Hoekstra, and they were joined in sick bay by defenceman Joe Watson. His shoulder “popped out” on Saturday night in St. Louis and will be examined today to determine the extent of the injury.
- Boston Bruins say Bobby Orr’s broken collarbone isn’t as serious as first suspected. Coach Harry Sinden thinks the young superstar could be back in the Bruins lineup by the end of the year: “There’s just a sliver off it and we think he may be back before New Year’s Eve.”
- New York Rangers head scout Lou Passador took in Saturday’s game between Toronto and New York and thought his team was too soft against the Leafs: “There’s so much talk about bloodshed in Vietnam that we didn’t want to come in here and beat anybody.”
- Bobby Hull continues to lead the NHL scoring race with 25 goals and 13 assists for 38 points. Just two points behind is Johnny Bucyk of the Bruins, who has 18 goals and 18 assists.
- Here’s a look at the NHL standings as of this morning:
- Right winger Bruce MacGregor of the Detroit Red Wings suffered a broken nose when he was slammed into the glass by Canadiens defenceman Jacques Laperriere in Montreal Saturday night. He missed only one shift and was back again in Detroit last night.
- Toronto Marlboros crushed Kitchener Rangers 7-2 in an Ontario Hockey Association Junior A game at Maple Leaf Gardens yesterday afternoon. Richie Bayes, Dave Roy, Frank Hamill, Rick Kessell, Gord Davies, Yvon Labre and John Wright were the Marlie marksmen. Mike Robitaille and Lee Inglis had the Rangers goals.
- Catharines Black Hawks thumped Peterborough Petes 7-2. Peter Mara led St. Kitts with a pair of goals, with the others coming off the sticks of Dennis Giannini, John Fisher, Skeeter Teal, Barry Salovaara and Dale Power. Dave Gilmour and Bob Black tallied for the Petes.
- London Nationals survived their bus losing a wheel just 10 miles outside of Oshawa. The team made it to the game in taxis but lost to the Generals 5-3. Ron Dussiaume had two goals for Oshawa, with Joe Robertson, Gerry Welch, Chuck Gyles and Fred O’Donnell getting one each. Brian Murphy, Darryl Sittler and Bert Wilson had the London goals.
- Hamilton Red Wings and Montreal Junior Canadiens skated to a 5-5 tie in Montreal. Mike Flanagan, Cal Russell, Eddie Hatoum, Rick Smith and Danny Lawson had the Hamilton goals. Paul Lessard counted twice for the Baby Habs, with the others coming from Marc Tardif, Pierre Bouchard and J.P. Bordeleau.
- Hershey Bears waltzed into Rochester and drubbed the Americans 7-1. Roger DeJordy and Don Marcotte each had a pair of goals for the Bears.
- Springfield Kings crowned the Cleveland Barons 5-2. Doug Robinson, Billy Inglis, Yves Locas, Howie Menard and Mike Corrigan all scored for Springfield. Bob Ellett had both Cleveland markers.
- Guy Trottier’s second goal of the night lifted the Buffalo Bisons to a 4-3 win over the Quebec Aces in Buffalo. The goal was controversial as the entire Quebec team claimed Trottier’s shot went in through a hole in the side of the net. But Buffalo coach Fred Shero said he saw Aces goalie Al Millar cut the netting with his skate after the goal. Rookie referee John D’Amico ignored the Aces arguments and allowed the goal.