Three National Hockey League games last night, including the Los Angeles Kings finally ending their eight-game losing streak. They didn’t win, but they did get a point. Plus, a lengthy suspension for an Eastern Hockey League player and you won’t believe how it came about.
Kings 2 Blues 2
The Los Angeles Kings finally snapped their eight-game losing streak last night at Jack Kent Cooke’s Fabulous Forum. The Kings managed a 2-2 tie with the visiting St. Louis Blues before a crowd of 6,984.
All the scoring took place in the first period. That was allegedly when the soft ice was at its best – it deteriorated as the night went on. The start of the game was delayed for 26 minutes as some last-minutes repairs had to be conducted on the protective glass that surrounds the playing surface.
The Kings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of goals within 39 seconds. Howie Hughes scored his third of the season a 7:30 of the opening frame, followed by Bill Flett’s 13th at 8:09.
The home side couldn’t stand all this prosperity and just a little over six minutes later, Red Berenson got the Blues on the board with his seventh. Frank St. Marseille tied it up 80 seconds later, ending scoring activities for the evening.
The final 40 minutes was basically a mish-mash of failed scoring attempts interspersed with the odd body check and some good goaltending by Kings Terry Sawchuk and the Blues Seth Martin. The Blues outshot the Kings 23-21, a clear indicator of the lack of offensive action in the game.
St. Louis coach Scotty Bowman was unimpressed with the $16 million dollar arena:
“I’d rather have my team in our building than their team in their building. I could build six good arenas for what it cost them to build this one. Cooke built a Taj Mahal but he forgot to put an ice plant in it.”
As far as the game went, Bowman seemed satisfied with earning two points on the west coast:
“We did not play as well as we did in the 2-2 tie in Oakland the night before, but this is the first time we’ve even got a point on the second night of back-to-back games and it’s our tenth point in our last 10 road games. I really can’t complain too much.”
Even Kings coach Red Kelly was also displeased with the ice conditions:
“It’s hard to play a good game on slow, soft ice like this.”
Kelly had been easy on his troops this week, hoping a bit of a rest would snap them out of the losing skein. But now it will be back to work for the Kings:
“I gave them a good rest this week, now I have a whole week to get them ready to play. I plan to get them in real good shape. If I can get the ice time here next week, we’ll go twice-a-day – like training camp.”
The Kings are not scheduled again until next Thurday.
Canadiens 4 Flyers 2
A huge crowd of 14,426 packed The Spectrum in Philadelphia last night to see the Montreal Canadiens down their Flyers 4-2. The Canadiens turned the trick by scoring three goals within a three minute and 12 second span late in the second period.
Flyers grabbed an early lead when rookie Rosaire Paiement scored a goal only a minute and 32 seconds into his first NHL game. Paiement had been called up from the Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.
Flyers goalie Bernie Parent was then at his best for the rest of the first, stopping all 11 Montreal shots to keep his team ahead after 20 minutes.
The Habs then beat Parent with the three quick ones in the second. J.C. Tremblay started things off at 13:38. Yvan Cournoyer gave Canadiens a lead they would not surrender a minute and 15 seconds later. Then it was rookie Jacques Lemaire at 16:52 and at that point the Flyers were basically done.
Defenceman Joe Watson did get one back for Philly at 7:15 of the final frame. That was a faint bright spot for the young rearguard, though. He was on the ice for all four Montreal goals.
Canadiens put it out of reach when Gilles Tremblay converted a fine Jean Beliveau set-up at 16:38 of the third.
Flyers coach Keith Allen’s post mortem on the game was typical:
“ I don’t think we played our best, but I think we played much better tonight (than the previous night in Minnesota – a 6-4 loss to the North Stars).
“To beat these established teams you’ve got to go your best the whole game and not make mistakes. When we made a mistake, they murdered us.”
Paiement’s stay with the Flyers was short-lived. He was sent back to the American Hockey League Quebec Aces, along with defenceman John Hanna, immediately after the game.
Ruins 5 Red Wings 4
Derek Sanderson’s goal at 8:05 of the final period lifted the Boston Bruins to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden.
Sanderson’ winning goal, the 14th of his fine rookie season, came after Detroit goalie Roy Edwards had gone to the ice after making saves on Eddie Shack and Bobby Orr from point-blank range. Sanderson grabbed a loose puck and lifted over the prone Wings netminder, who had no chance on the play.
Phil Esposito led the Boston attack with two goals, Skip Krake and Don Awrey also connected for Boston.
Normie Ullman fired a pair of markers for the Wings, giving him 20 for the season. Gordie Howe and newcomer Kent Douglas with his first for Detroit, had the other Wings goals.
The entertaining match featured a couple of pretty good battles. Wings Doug Roberts took on Bruins star Bobby Orr in the second period in what amounted to a draw. Earlier, Awrey and the Red Wings Bruce MacGregor engaged in a pretty good exchange. MacGregor, still a little sore from a recently-rebuilt broken nose, held his own with Awrey, who is no stranger to fisticuffs. Both players landed some solid blows and both drew blood. MacGregor had a cut over an eye while Awrey’s forehead was split open.
John Brophy Gone for the Year
Long Island Ducks of the EHL have lost defenceman John Brophy for the balance of this season. The rough and tough rearguard who has a reputation for being just a bit unpredictable, to put it kindly, was handed a season-ending suspension after a meeting with league president Tom Lockhart yesterday.
Brophy landed himself in hot water after he assaulted a referee and a linesman on two different occasions last month. At that time Lockhart suspended him indefinitely, pending a face to face meeting.
That meeting took place yesterday. Lockhart was considering lifting the suspension and asked Brophy if he would guarantee that he would not attack game officials again. Brophy, brutally honest, said he could not give such an assurance.
A rather surprised Lockhart said he then had no alternative but to suspend the 35-year-old rearguard for the rest of the season. He also slapped Brophy with an additional $150 in fines.
In 30 games this season, Brophy had not scored a goal, but had 17 assists. He had amassed 138 minutes in penalties in the 30 games.
- The NHL’s established teams are starting to beat up on their expansion brethren. Since December 16 there have been 18 meetings between the old and new teams. The established clubs have won 15 of those games, tying two while losing only once. During the first two months of the season, the older teams had won 35, tied five and lost 20 times.
- The Flyers – Canadiens game was broadcast around the world on the Armed Forces Radio Network via short-wave radio. Stu Nahan did the play-by-play of the game.
- Hard-luck Bruins winger Ron Murphy underwent his second shoulder operation since October yesterday. Bruins would not say if this will end Murphy’s season, but he will be out of the lineup for an extended period.
- Leafs coach Punch Imlach, remembering that assistant King Clancy had coached the Pittsburgh Hornets to the 1952 AHL championship, says he might let the King coach the Leafs during tomorrow afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- OHA Junior A: Montreal Junior Canadiens outscored the Petes 7-5 at Peterborough. Paul Lessard and Andre Gaudette each had a pair of goals for the Baby Habs. Gord Tucker scored twice for the Petes.
- OHA Junior A: Hamilton Red Wings doubled the London Nationals 6-3 before only 1,257 fans at the Hamilton Forum. Danny Lawson, freshly back in the Wings lineup after his one-game call-up to Detroit, scored twice for Hamilton. Renald Leclerc, Ron Climie, Rich Petit and Rick Smith also lit the lamp for the Wings. Mac Westgate, Rick Kessel and Barry Boughner replied for London.
- OHA Jr A: St. Catharines Black Hawks have lost centre Peter Mara for at least a month after he suffered a broken jaw when he collided with team mate Dennis Giannini during practice yesterday. Mara also lost a few teeth and suffered significant facial cuts in the accident.