A busy Saturday night in the National Hockey League saw five games played. In the big matchup of the night, the streaking Montreal Canadiens took out the Chicago Black Hawks in Montreal. We have reports on all the games, plus other newsy items in Quick Hits.
Canadiens 3 Black Hawks 1
The streaking Montreal Canadiens earned their seventh straight win with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks last night in Montreal.
Yvan Cournoyer scored a pair of goals, both on setups from Gilles Tremblay, to pace the Montreal attack. Ralph Backstrom added a single marker. Defenceman Pat Stapleton was the only Hawk to best Habs goalie Rogatien Vachon, who made 23 saves. Denis DeJordy had 28 stops for Chicago.
Chicago coach Billy Reay, looking for answers to the Hawks recent poor play anywhere he can find them, moved superstar left winger Bobby Hull to centre on a line with brother Dennis at left wing and Eric Nesterenko on the right. Hawks have gone five games without a win now, tying three with two losses.
Hull didn’t sound very enthusiastic when asked how the switch to centre was going:
“Ask the boss. I haven’t played centre since my first two years in the league and it takes a lot of getting used to. Still, we didn’t play well and they always check hell out of us in this rink.”
Four Chicago players wore helmets for this game. The Scooter line of Stan Mikita, Doug Mohns and Ken Wharram, along with defenceman and captain Pierre Pilote all sported the headgear.
Reay was asked about the players wearing helmets and he didn’t have much to say:
“I know one guy with a helmet who had a pretty bad game.”
Reay didn’t mention a name, but it was clear he was referring to Pilote, who was on the ice for Cournoyer’s two goals and wore the goat horns both times.
Maple Leafs 5 North Stars 1
Toronto Maple Leafs took an easy 5-1 win over the Minnesota North Stars before 15,803 fans in one of the most uninspired games seen at Maple Leaf Gardens in quite a while. The game was completely devoid of bodily contact and featured only sporadic bursts of action.
One of those sporadic bursts occurred near the midway mark of the final period when Toronto’s Frank Mahovlich scored two goals within 16 seconds. The first was an adroit Johnny-on-the-spot move by the Big M, as he grabbed the rebound from Dave Keon’s shot and flipped it over Minnesota goalie Gary Bauman. The second was one of his patented swooping moves in on goal off the left wing to beat Bauman with a bullet drive.
Bob Pulford, George Armstrong and Wayne Carleton had the other Toronto goals. Milan Marcetta ruined Bruce Gamble’s shutout bid with a goal for Minnesota with only 44 seconds left in the game. It was Marcetta’s first goal for the North Stars since being acquired from the Leafs organization in a late-December trade.
Bruins 4 Flyers 2
Third period goals by line mates Tommy Williams and Ken Hodge powered the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in a nationally televised game yesterday afternoon in Boston. Williams’ goal, at 10:29 of the third period, snapped a 2-2 tie, proving to be the game winner.
Boston jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Johnny Bucyk and Ted Green. The Flyers bounced back in the middle frame, with Bill Sutherland narrowing the gap to 2-1.
Former Bruin Forbes Kennedy tied it up only 4:16 into the third on a goal that the Bruins bitterly complained was several feet off side. That set the stage for the Boston’s late-game offensive.
The contest was a fine display of hockey for a national television audience. There was lots of end-to-end action, great goaltending from Flyers Bernie Parent and Ed Johnston of the Bruins, and enough rough stuff to keep everyone honest.
Boston coach Harry Sinden was extremely pleased by his team’s work:
“That’s the best man-to-man hockey our guys have played in a month. We played a little differently against Philadelphia. We didn’t run around so much and we didn’t try to fore-check so much.”
The game featured one fight, at match between one-time Bruin Joe Watson of the Flyers and Boston’s pepper-pot Johnny McKenzie. The brief tussle was rated a draw and both drew five-minute fighting majors.
Penguins 8 Red Wings 5
The Pittsburgh Penguins scored five straight goals in the second period and that was enough to claim an 8-5 win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings before a crowd of 10,547 at Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. That’s the largest crowd ever to see a hockey game in the Steel City.
Eight different players shared in the Penguins scoring. Gordie Howe and Kent Douglas each had a pair of goals for the Wings.
The teams battled through a see-saw first period that saw them tied 2-2 after 20 minutes. Leo Boivin and Paul Andrea had given Pittsburgh 1-0 and 2-1 leads, with Howe and Douglas tying the score each time.
Five straight scores in the second put the Penguins up 7-2 after 40 minutes. Earl Ingarfield, Art Stratton, Billy Speer, Billy Dea and Keith McCreary were the middle-frame marksmen.
George Konik made it 8-2 for the Pens at 8:35 of the third. The Red Wings mounted a late comeback on goals by Howe, Douglas and Alex Delvecchio but it was too little, too late.
Neither goalkeeper, Roy Edwards of the Red Wings, nor the Penguins Les Binkley, distinguished themselves in this one, although much of the blame could be laid at the feet of two porous defensive units.
Rangers 3 Seals 0
Ed Giacomin had to make only 15 saves in goal for the New York Rangers as they blanked the Oakland Seals 3-0 before 7,064 fans in Oakland. The game was a dull, defensive contest with the Rangers getting only 21 shots at the Seals goal.
Jim Neilson, Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle had the Rangers goals.
Seals centre Billy Harris left the team’s bench at the end of the second period and wasn’t seen again. He apparently got undressed and went home without notifying coach Bert Olmstead or anyone else.
Olmstead said he had no idea why Harris left or where he went. He did say that until Harris comes forth with a reason for his absence, the 32-year-old centre will be suspended.
It is known that Harris is no great fan of Olmstead’s Spartan coaching methods. He also hasn’t been playing well, and has seen his ice time reduced in recent weeks.
- Minnesota North Stars have received some player help from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The North Stars have purchased 37-year-old veteran centre Bronco Horvath, who was with the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Professional Hockey League, from Toronto. Horvath had missed significant time this season with a broken thumb and had been sent by the Rochester Americans to Tulsa to play himself back into shape. As part of the deal, the Amerks retain the right of recall and expect to get Horvath back at the end of the season.
- Louis Blues coach Scotty Bowman thinks that helmets should be mandatory for all NHL players: “The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association made it mandatory for all players under the Junior A level to wear helmets about two years ago. In a few years I feel that all players on every level of hockey will wear them.”
- Boston Bruins goalie Ed Johnston is getting x-rays on his chest where he was hit by a shot from North Stars forward Wayne Connelly last Sunday evening. Johnston is still experiencing pain in the area of his chest where he was struck by the puck.
- Detroit Red Wings have called up goalie Roger Crozier from Fort Worth of the CPHL. Crozier, who has been in Fort Worth to get himself ready to start his NHL comeback, appeared in five games with the CPHL club, winning three times and losing once. He had a 2.49 goals-against average. He will start in goal tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Detroit.
- The Buffalo Bisons edged the Barons 2-1 in an AHL contest in Cleveland. Dennis Kassian and Dennis Hextall lit the lamp for the Bisons. Norm Ferguson had the Cleveland goal.
- The AHL Springfield Kings defeated the WHL San Diego Gulls 5-3 in an interlocking game in Springfield. Randy Miller, Gerry Foley, Brian Kilrea, Marc Dufour and Paul Popiel counted for the Kings. Ed Ehrenverth, Len Ronson and Al Nicholson replied for the Gulls.
- In another WHL-AHL interlocking match, the Hershey Bears and Portland Buckaroos skated to a 2-2 stalemate at Hershey. Art Jones and Mel Pearson found the range for the visitors, with Bud Debrody and Myron Stankiewicz getting the Bears goals.