December 21

After last night’s action in the National Hockey League, we have a new resident of first place in the Eastern Division. The Chicago Black Hawks completed their long climb to the top with a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins. We also have reports on the other three games, plus some Quick Hits.

Hawks Drub Bruins to Claim First

The Chicago Black Hawks finally completed their long climb from the bottom rung of the National Hockey League ladder to the top last night, thanks to a couple of brothers and a former Boston Bruin.

The Black Hawks moved past the Bruins into sole possession of first place in the NHL’s Eastern Division with a 6-3 win before nearly 20,000 fans at the Chicago Stadium. Bobby and Dennis Hull scored two goals each to lead the Chicago attack, while former Bruin Pit Martin netted the game-winning marker. Kenny Wharram had the other score for the Hawks.

Pit Martin

Rookie Derek Sanderson scored twice for Boston, with Tommy Williams getting the other Bruins goal.

For Dennis Hull the two goals were his first in 16 games. Dennis plays left wing on the Hawks’ third line, mainly used for defensive purposes. Paul Terbenche centres the unit, with Eric Nesterenko on the right wing. The threesome literally stifled Boston’s top line of Fred Stanfield, John Bucyk and John McKenzie.

Dennis attributed his scoring outburst to a “live stick.”

“I had a good stick for a change – a live one.”

For Martin, his sixth goal of the season was sweet redemption after being cited as one of the reasons the huge trade between the Hawks and Bruins last May has been deemed a failure for Chicago. In that transaction, Stanfield, Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito went from the Hawks to the Bruins for Martin, Gilles Marotte and goalie Jack Norris.

Marotte is currently out of the Chicago lineup with a knee injury while Norris is playing in the minors. Martin missed 12 games with an ankle injury early on and then got off to a slow start due to a lengthy contract dispute at training camp. He’s now rounding into form nicely, meshing well with the Hawks’ superstar Bobby Hull.

Black Hawks outshot the Bruins 32-21. Boston goalie Gerry Cheevers was in goal for the first time in a week, taking over from Ed Johnston, who broke a finger in practice yesterday.

Habs, Worsley Blank Leafs

It seemed like the Montreal Canadiens felt badly for leaving goaltender Gump Worsley literally defenceless in last Sunday’s 8-6 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. You will remember that Worsley was pulled from the game after surrendering six goals to the Wings in just over two periods of work. Last night in Montreal, the Habs played one of their best games in what has been a disappointing season so far as they shut out the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0 at The Forum.

Dick Duff

Former Maple Leaf Dick Duff was the offensive leader for Montreal with three goals, giving him seven on the season. Bobby Rousseau and Claude Provost added single tallies for Canadiens, who were in control for the entire night.

Worsley made 27 saves to register the shutout.

Montreal’s newly-formed line of Duff, Henri Richard and Rousseau did most of the damage and were just too much for the Leafs to handle. Toronto assistant King Clancy summed up the unit’s  dominance, and why his team allowed it:

“They’re just playing rag with us. But we haven’t hit anybody and I’ve counted only eight touches.”

For Duff, it was his third career hat trick, second with Canadiens.

Worsley, as is his custom, wouldn’t take any credit for the win or providing extra motivation for his mates:

“Things were a little different tonight. It was one of those nights when everything went right. The team was skating and it was easy to find the forwards. Every time we looked someone was there to take a pass.”

Toronto goalkeeper Johnny Bower had a rare off night. He gave up four goals over the first two periods before being relieved by Bruce Gamble in the final 20 minutes.

Rangers Blank Wings 2-0

Third period goals by Rod Gilbert and Phil Goyette, couple with brilliant goaltending by Eddie Giacomin added up to a solid 2-0 victory for the New York Rangers over the Detroit Red Wings last night at Madison Square Garden in New York. The win leaves the Rangers tied with the Red Wings for fourth place in the Eastern Division with 32 points.

giacominEdNYR10 adjusted
Ed Giacomin

For nearly 47 minutes, a hard-skating, fierce-checking contest had all the earmarks of a scoreless tie. It took a long screened shot by Gilbert to break the goose egg. His skipping drive whizzed by Detroit goalie Roy Edwards as he reacted late due to the obstructed view. It appeared the shot also deflected off the leg of Red Wings rearguard Bert Marshall. In any event, Edwards had no chance on the play.

Rangers second goal by Goyette came with 12 seconds to play. The slender New York centre intercepted a pass by Marshall in the Wings zone and skated in alone on a Detroit  net that had been vacated by Edwards, who was on the bench for an extra attacker.

Giacomin made 27 saves for his second shutout of the year. It was also the first time this season that any club had hung a whitewash on the Wings.

It was a rough game throughout, but only one fight broke out, and that was early in the third period. Rangers Ron Stewart squared off with Wings defenceman Jim Watson. Stewart received a huge ovation from the partisan Garden crowd for his efforts.

Detroit lost for the first time in five games with the Rangers this year, playing without three regulars. Defenceman Howie Young was out with an ear infection, right wing Bruce MacGregor is still recovering from surgery on his broken nose, while centre Ted Hampson has a pulled groin.

Blues Move Out of West Cellar

The St. Louis Blues finally vacated the NHL Western Division basement last night. They edged the Oakland Seals 2-1 to move into fifth place past the Seals. The largest crowd of the season in Oakland, 9,650 fans, saw a veteran and a rookie lead the visitors to the win.

Frank St. Marseille

Rookie Frank St. Marseille scored both St. Louis goals. St. Marseille is one of the really nice stories of this expansion season. Languishing in the semi-pro International Hockey League for the past three seasons, he was literally a walk-on at the St. Louis training camp this fall. He was signed to a pro contract by the Blues and assigned to Kansas City of the Central Professional Hockey League to gain experience and was called up a few weeks ago. The two goals give him four in the 13 games since his call-up.

Veteran goalie Glenn Hall gave the Blues exactly what they thought they were getting when they made him their first pick in the expansion draft last summer. Hall made 23 saves, many of them spectacular, to send the large Oakland crowd home disappointed.

Blues coach Scotty Bowman thinks his team is finally starting to turn things around:

“We’ve never had so many chances. I think we’re going to start scoring. This is our first come-from-behind win and we’re going to get more.

“Eleven of our last 12 goals have been scored by players who have been with us for fewer than 15 games.”

Oakland had a 1-0 lead in this one. Wally Boyer scored his second of the season early in the second period. St. Marseille tied it at 14:15 of the second, then scored his winner at 14:14 of the third.

The large crowd in Oakland was due to a ladies night promotion, where members of the fair sex were admitted at greatly-reduced ticket prices.

Quick Hits

  • Bruins have lost goalkeeper Eddie Johnston for a week to 10 days after he broke the little finger on his left hand in practice. Boston has called up Andre Gill from Hershey of the American Hockey League to back up Gerry Cheevers.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs have been picked by a committee of writers and broadcasters as Canada’s team of the year for 1967.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins will be giving away free hockey sticks to all kids who attend Saturday’s game against the Minnesota North Stars. Here are Pens captain Ab McDonald (right) and centre Art Stratton with cousins Butch and Billy Mitchell holding some of the lumber to be given away.Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 12.04.43 PM.png
  • Los Angeles Kings have called up defenceman Jim Murray from their AHL club at Springfield, sending rearguard Brent Hughes to Springfield to take his place.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs have moved defenceman Jim Dorey from CPHL Tulsa to AHL Rochester. The Americans are short blueliners with Jim McKenny out with an injury and Darryl Sly up with the NHL team.
  • Seals assistant coach and general manager Gord Fashoway says that part of Oakland’s problems this year are due to players on whom they were counting underperforming. Fashoway says that Bill Hicke (12 goals), Wally Boyer (2 goals) and Gerry Ehman (5 goals) all were projected to be 30-goal scorers for the expansion club. A bigger issue for the Seals might be poor evaluation of talent.

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