The five National Hockey League games played last night saw a retired Red Wing goalkeeper begin his big-league comeback, and vicious stick-swinging duel between and Black Hawk and a Bruin, and yet another huge brawl between the Blue and the Flyers.
Maple Leafs 2 Red Wings 0
Detroit Red Wings goalie Roger Crozier, making his first NHL start since November 5, played very well in his return but it wasn’t enough as his Red Wings dropped a 2-0 decision to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. While Crozier made 24 saves in a steady, if unspectacular performance, Toronto netminder Bruce Gamble was nothing short of brilliant.
Gamble, manning the goal for Toronto during the absence of starter Johnny Bower, narrowly missed a shutout on Saturday night. After giving up a goal in the final minute of play the previous evening, he turned the trick last night. Gamble made 40 saves in showing the flamboyant style at earned him four shutouts in eight starts as an injury replacement for Bower and Terry Sawchuk last season. Leafs have now won five of the seven starts Gamble has made while Bower is sidelined.
Red Wings former defenceman and present administrative assistant Doug Barkley was impressed by Gamble:
“He’s a lot different goalie now than he was last season, especially against us. He’s murdered us every time out. Leafs don’t win if Gamble isn’t hot out there tonight.”
Norm Ullman of the Red Wings was Gamble’s most frequent victim. He also made great saves on Paul Henderson, Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Jimmy Peters.
Larry Hillman and Murray Oliver were the goal scorers for Toronto.
Crozier was recalled from the Fort Worth Wings of the Central Professional Hockey League yesterday after backup goalie George Gardner conveniently came down with the flu. Gardner had played the final period of Saturday’s debacle against Pittsburgh where the Wings were bombed 8-5 by Pittsburgh.
Crozier’s play was an encouraging bright spot in an otherwise dreadful weekend for the last-place Red Wings. But he won’t be staying in Detroit. NHL rules stipulate that players assigned to minor leagues must remain there for 14 days, and can only be recalled under emergency conditions, such as Crozier was this time. He will have to return to Fort Worth today, and must remain there for at least two more games.
Boston 6 Chicago 0
Boston Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and then cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks last night in Boston. The win enabled the Bruins to take over sole possession of first place, two points ahead of Chicago in the NHL’s Eastern Division. The game was, however, marred by a vicious stick-swinging duel between Boston tough-guy Ted Green and Chicago’s Doug Mohns.
Rookie centre Derek Sanderson had a big game for the Bruins, scoring a goal and adding four assists. The other Boston scorers were Eddie Westfall, Phil Esposito, Eddie Shack, Fred Stanfield and Glen Sather.
Boston goaltender Gerry Cheevers was spectacular against the Hawks. He made 33 saves in a surprise start. Four of those were amazing stops of blasts from Chicago superstar Bobby Hull.
Cheevers, who had been nursing a sore shoulder for the past couple of weeks, was pressed into action when Boston coach Harry Sinden learned that Ed Johnston was suffering from torn rib cartilage that hadn’t improved since he was injured a week ago.
The 27-year-old Cheevers while happy over the shutout, was even more pleased just to get a win under his belt:
“I wouldn’t have cared if the score had been 12-11.”
Cheevers felt that two big stops he made on Hull in the first period made all the difference:
“The first shot by Hull was from the left and he hit it pretty good. I just caught sight of it and got it with my stick – about two feet off the ice – as it was going up into the far corner. His second shot – the one I caught – didn’t have as much on it.
“I had plenty of help from the guys out in front of me. Don’t forget that.”
The ugliness between Mohns and Green took place in the first period. And it could have had dire consequences had Mohns not been wearing a protective helmet.
The two tangled after, according to Green, Mohns hit him on the back of the neck with his stick. Green retaliated with a blow that resembled a professional wood-splitter, coming directly in contact with the Chicago player’s helmeted head. The two then exchanged a series of jabs, stabs and slashes that went on for what seemed far too long. At least a couple of more blows glanced of Mohns’ cranium.
The linesmen eventually were allowed to step in and bring an end to the proceedings. Young referee Bruce Hood made a wise decision that belied his relative inexperience and banished both players from the game. Hood handed out the rare double match penalty to the pair, and that likely saved further problems for the rest of the night.
Blues 2 Flyers 2
It was business as usual last night between the St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers as they clashed before 10,834 rabid fans in Philadelphia, and that business was nasty. The score, which ended up at 2-2, seemed inconsequential as the two teams seemed more intent on beating each other senseless.
To say there is a real sense of animosity between these two Western Division rivals would be putting it mildly. Referee Bob Sloan called 19 minor penalties in the game.
The most serious brawl took place in the first period at the 10:17 mark. Flyers Gary Dornhoefer took a run at the Blues defenceman Barclay Plager near the St. Louis blue line. Plager went down, but quickly regained his feet with mayhem on his mind. He stuck his stick into Dornhoefer’s belly, at which point the gloves came off.
As those two squared off, Blues toughie Noel Picard became entangled with the Flyers John Miszuk. They ended up rolling on the ice in a scene reminiscent of tag-team wrestling as other players joined in.
Linesmen Walt Atanas and Red Shetler did their best to keep all the other players on the ice from becoming involved but were less successful than Blues coach Scotty Bowman, who did manage to keep his team on the right side of the boards. Four Flyers snuck onto the ice, but didn’t find it necessary to participate and thus avoided being penalized.
Meanwhile, referee Sloan stood in the middle of it all, arms crossed, simply observing the festivities, appearing to take mental notes. All he needed was a pencil and a clip board.
There were four goals scored in the game. Lou Angotti and Forbes Kennedy were the Flyers who managed to beat Blues goalie Glenn Hall. That in itself is quite a feat, since Hall has allowed only 18 goals in his last 12 games.
St. Louis goal scorers were the helmeted Frank St. Marseille and Red Berenson.
Flyers goalie Bernie Parent was the game-saver for the home side. He made a number of brilliant stops, especially in the first period when the Blues outshot the Flyers 12-2. Among his chief victims was Berenson, whom he robbed at least four times during the game.
North Stars 4 Penguins 3
Minnesota North Stars snapped a four-game losing streak with a narrow 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Minneapolis. It was the first North Star win since the death of forward Bill Masterton.
Ray Cullen led the North Stars attack with his 14th and 15th goals of the season. Andre Boudrias and Jean-Paul Parise had the other Minnesota markers. Earl Ingarfield, Ken Schinkel and Andy Bathgate replied for Pittsburgh.
Penguins coach Red Sullivan was furious with his team’s performance, their first loss of the season in Minnesota:
“If we keep playing like this, it won’t be the last. We had no spark, no life.
“We were sloppy in clearning the puck in the third period and we paid for it by giving them their winning goal.
“Of course this was our fourth game in the last five nights. That’s a rough deal. You can’t expect to look very sharp by the fourth game of that siege.
“We lost six seconds on the clock at the end, too. Three times the puck went into the crowd and three times the clock ran two seconds too long. That’s six seconds and we could have used them.”
Minnesota coach and general manager Wren Blair was no happier with the officiating than Sullivan was with his team or the timekeepers. Blair was upset with referee Ron Wicks, who called a penalty on Boudrias with 35 seconds left in the game with Minnesota up by one.
“You don’t call a penalty in the last minute of a close game unless it is a flagrant violation. Everybody know that. This one was nowhere near that.”
Blair also had a run-in with Wicks last time he officiated a North Stars game.
Penguins did put on a furious push to try and tie the game in the last couple of minutes but had to do so without Bathgate. He took a six-stitch cut to the chin late in the period.
North Stars were without captain Bob Woytowich, who missed the game with a reoccurrence of a back injury. Two other Stars rearguards, Elmer Vasko and Bob McCord, did manage to suit up, but only after receiving treatment for their own back woes.
Seals 3 Kings 0
The Oakland Seals, winners of only one game in their past sixteen, came up with a masterful performance as they shut out the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in Oakland. It was a shame only 3,650 were on hand for the game.
The Kings seems to be a good luck charm for the Seals. The last time they played in Oakland, the Seals ended a six-game losing streak by downing the Kings 6-0.
Charlie Hodge, Oakland’s diminutive goalkeeper, was the star of the show for the Seals. He was at his acrobatic best, making 39 saves including 17 in the final period. His best stop came in the dying moments of the game when he grabbed a blazing screened shot of the stick of the Kings Jimmy Anderson.
Gerry Odrowski, Alain Caron and Wally Boyer took care of the Oakland offence as the Seals scored a goal in each period.
Oakland played without centre Billy Harris, their fourth choice in last summer’s expansion draft. Harris, whose play had gone downhill in recent games, with a corresponding decline in ice time, left the bench during Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers and did not return. He was not in the rink for last night’s contest either.
Coach Bert Olmstead said that Harris said nothing to him before he left on Saturday and as of last night he hadn’t spoken to him. He did say Harris was being suspended until the situation can be resolved.
Harris told Hugh McDonald of the San Mateo Times about his decision to take his leave of the club:
“Things have been building up over the last couple of months. Retirement is on my mind and I’ll make a decision on Wednesday.
“I haven’t been away from hockey since training camp at Port Huron in September and I felt I needed some time now from hockey to think about retirement.
“In the last five or six games Bert was using me regularly and I felt I wasn’t playing well. I said to myself the net time I was benched I’d have a good excuse to stay away.”
Harris, 32, played 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to Detroit in May of 1965. He didn’t last long with the Wings, finally being sent to their American Hockey League farm team at Pittsburgh, where he played last season.
- Forward Bob Berry of the Canadian national team’s eastern unit will join the western section of the team for the 1968 Olympics.
- The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association says that the first half of the 1970 World Championships will be played in Montreal. The tournament will then finish up with the final 15 games in Winnipeg.
- Roger DeJordy’s goal with just 20 seconds left on the clock gave the Hershey Bears a 2-1 win over the Barons in Cleveland. Gil Gilbert also lit the lamp for the Bears. Cecil Hoekstra had the Cleveland tally.
- Jimmy Bartlett had a big night with four goals to lead the Baltimore Clippers to a 7-2 home-ice win over the Springfield Kings in an AHL contest at Baltimore.
- Portland Buckaroos of the WHL doubled the Buffalo Bisons 4-2 in Buffalo. Norm Johnson, Bill Saunders, Art Jones and Arlo Goodwin had the Bucks markers. Wayne Larkin netted both Buffalo goals.
- The San Diego Gulls of the WHL scored five times in the third period to skate to an 8-3 win over the AHL Reds in Providence. Fred Hilts was the top Gulls scorer with a pair of goals.