January 5

Three National Hockey League games on which to report today, including a great game from Gordie Howe in a Red Wings lopsided win over Oakland.

Red Wings 9 Seals 3

Thirty-nine-year-old Gordie Howe showed no sign of his advanced age last night as he compiled two goals and two assists to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 9-3 shellacking of the hapless Oakland Seals at The Olympia in Detroit. Rookie Doug Roberts, one of the few American-born players in the NHL, also scored twice for Detroit.

Norm Ullman, Alex Delvecchio, Floyd Smith, Gary Jarrett and Ted Hampson also found the back of the net for the Red Wings.

There was a glimmer of good news for the Seals. After going an incredible 13 periods without scoring, Alain Caron opened the scoring in the game for Oakland with a goal at 8:26 of the first to give the Seals a short-lived 1-0 lead. Wally Boyer and Kent Douglas had the other goals for the visitors.

Only a little over 10,000 fans turned up at The Olympia to see Oakland’s second and final visit to Detroit this season. The Seals are last in the NHL’s Western Division.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 4.19.53 PM
Seals goalie Gary Smith leads a rush up the ice with Detroit’s Norm Ullman in hot pursuit, 

Seals goalie Gary Smith provided the most excitement of the evening and it wasn’t for his puckstopping ability. Smith, who certainly couldn’t help but be frustrated by the lack of support he received from his mates, twice left his net and carried the puck up the ice to start a rush. But the move proved costly on Howe’s second goal. The Oakland netminder skated into the faceoff circle after a loose puck with the clear intention of skating out of the zone with it. But Howe beat Smith to the disk and simply fired it into the unguarded goal while the goalie was scrambling back to his position.

Bruins 3 Flyers 2

Phil Esposito’s two third-period goals powered the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.

With the score tied 1-1 going in the third period, Esposito connected for goals at 8:02 and 16:09 to give the Bruins the victory. Sandwiched between big Phil’s markers was a score by Flyers’ Brit Selby.

Lou Angotti had given the Flyers a 1-0 first-period lead, only to have Boston’s Tommy Williams knot things up in the second stanza.Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.13.03 PM.png

Boston put on a sluggish performance, possibly drained by an emotional 5-5 tie against the Rangers the night before. Despite that, they dominated the play territorially and should have won this one going away. But Philadelphia received yet another stellar goalkeeping performance from former Bruin Bernie Parent. His work, especially in the third when Boston had 16 shots on goal, kept the game close.

Bruins coach Harry Sinden acknowledged that his team’s play was below par:

“We were lucky to get out of here alive. It looked like a tough night, especially after we blew that early opportunity.”

That early opportunity to which Sinden referred was a 39-second two-man advantage in the first period. Boston failed to land a shot on goal during that span.

The loss for Philadelphia was their sixth in a row to an established team. They do, however maintain their four-point lead in first place in the Western Division.

Penguins 4 Kings 3

Billy Dea is one of the smallest players on the Pittsburgh Penguins. But last night he was the big man on offence as he scored twice to lead the Pens to a 4-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings before 4,202 at the Civic Arena.

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.13.47 PM.png
Penguins Billy Dea (14) notches his second goal of the game on Kings goalie Terry Sawchuk.

The diminutive Dea, who checks in at only 5-7 and 170 pounds, has been a pro since the 1952-53 season,. He had brief flings with the Rangers, Red Wings and Black Hawks before finally finding regular NHL employment with the Penguins thanks to NHL expansion.

Ken Schinkel and Andy Bathgate scored the other Penguin markers, with Bathgate’s being the eventual game-winner at 11:38 of the third. Eddie Joyal, Bob Wall and Lowell MacDonald counted for the Kings.

The new line put together this week by Penguins coach Red Sullivan was mainly responsible fort this win. Sullivan lined up Earl Ingarfield at centre with Dea on the left side and Bathgate on the right. Dea added an assist to his two goals for a 3-point night, with Ingarfield earning three helpers. Bathgate had an assist to go with his goal.

Quick Hits

  • National Hockey League Players Association delegates will huddle with management reps in Toronto during the All-star break. The players are complaining that one NHL team has been very hard to get along with this season, and it’s not the Toronto Maple Leafs. While the team in question hasn’t been named, it’s thought that the authoritarian way Wren Blair has run the North Stars has been a source of consternation for the players. Seals coach and general manager Bert Olmstead has also come under fire for his Spartan management methods.
  • Hamilton Red Wings got goals from six different players as they doubled the Montreal Junior Canadiens 6-3 in an Ontario Hockey Association Junior A game in Hamilton. Danny Lawson, Freddie Speck, Tom Trevelyan, Eddie Hatoum, Mike Flanigan and Lee Carpenter had the Red Wings goals. J.P. Bordeleau fired a pair for the Baby Habs, with Michel Jacques getting the other.
  • Gary Swain had a big night for the Niagara Falls Flyers, scoring four goals as they tied the Peterborough Petes 5-5 in an OHA Junior A at Peterborough. Doug Brindley had the other Niagara Falls tally. Defenceman Ron Stackhouse had a pair for the Petes, with singles coming fro Bob Ruthig, Bob Black and Rick MacLeish.

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