Four National Hockey League games on tap last night, including a spectacular goaltending performance by Philadelphia’s Doug Favell before family and friends at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Flyers 2 Maple Leafs 1
A month ago, he wanted to quit hockey. This morning he’s sitting on top of the world after playing one of the best games of goal in recent memory before his parents, fiancé and friends at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. In as good a goaltending display as you will ever see, Doug Favell and his Philadelphia Flyers shut down the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 last night.
The Leafs are probably wishing that Favell had followed through with his retirement thoughts. He was simply brilliant from start to finish, frustrating Toronto at every opportunity. He was at his best in the third period when the Leafs poured in 23 shots on goal and he stopped every one.
Claude Laforge’s goal at 11:34 of the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner. Ed Hoekstra had given the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first period, before Bob Pulford tied it for the Leafs in the middle frame.
It was a costly loss for Toronto. Aside from the ignominy of losing to one of the league’s new teams, the Maple Leafs also blew a chance to move into a tie with Boston for first place in the Eastern Division. These lost points to the expansion teams will be next to impossible to get back as the season moves on.
Flyers coach Keith Allen was effusive in his praise for the 22-year-old rookie Favell:
“That one belongs to our goalkeeper. If Favell didn’t rob Dave Keon in the first 15 seconds, I’m sure they’d have stoned us.
“Doug made it stick by making three more sensational stops in the first few minutes. I could see our guys perk up after that.
“That should prove that we are for real and belong at the tip of the Western Division. It was our first win in our last nine games against the established clubs but all the others were close, right-down-to-the-final-whistle games.”
Philadelphia’s Ed Van Impe, one of the tougher rearguards in the league, is a big fan of Favell’s:
“This was no flash in the pan for Doug, He should be the rookie of the first half despite the fact that we’re an expansion club.”
Favell was ecstatic over the win, and with good reason. His parents, fiancé, some cousins and a gaggle of good friends were at the game:
“I brought along my own rooting section. We just had to win. I should have had the Pulford backhander that beat me, The puck hit Van Impe’s stick. I Pulled up and then moved too late to glove the puck It was a bad goal and could have cost us a big win.”
Favell explained his thinking about retirement just a month ago. He feels the surrounding publicity was a bit overblown:
“I really get tense when they don’t play me enough. It really gets me, riding the bench.”
To date, Favell has appeared in 20 games. His partner Bernie Parent has been in 23.
Keith Allen the man behind the Flyers’ bench who makes the decisions on who tends goal for the team on a particular night, simply told Favell he was too young to retire:
“I told Doug it was a little too early to retire at 22. I told him to look at Johnny Bower, who is old enough to be his father.”
Toronto goalie Bruce Gamble could not be blamed for the loss. He played well, making 30 saves. He had little or no chance on either of Philadelphia’s scoring plays.
Rangers 2 Bruins 1
Jean Ratelle was all the New York Rangers needed last night against the Boston Bruins. Ratelle scored both Ranger goals as they edged the Boston Bruins 2-1 at Madison Square Garden. It was the first Ranger win over Boston in six tries this season.
Ratelle shifted the credit to his team mates for the win:
“It was a team effort – it just happened that I got the goals.”
The game started out looking like another Boston triumph over New York. Ken Hodge gave the Bruins a 1-0 at 2:54 of the first period, beating Ranger goalie Eddie Giacomin with a 55-foot howitzer.
Ratelle scored the first of his pair about five minutes later when he shifted between two Boston defencemen and beat Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers from about 25 feet.
The game-winner by Ratelle came at 9:09 of the middle frame. He was left uncovered in front of the Bruins goal and had no trouble tipping in Rod Gilbert’s hard shot.
The game marked the NHL debut of 20-year-old centre Walter Tkaczuk, up from the Junior A Kitchener Rangers. He got a couple of shifts in the second period while Orland Kurtenbach was serving seven minutes as a result of a fight he had with Bruins rookie rearguard John Arbour.
That fight was a draw, but big Kurt did manage to relieve Arbour of his sweater during the tussle.
Tkaczuk centred a line with Reggie Fleming and Ron Stewart on the wings, and did not look out of place. He even belted a few of the Bruins who were doubtless wondering who the heck he was.
Bruins seemed disorganized for most of the game, but that was mainly due to the Rangers sticking to a game plan that called for diligent forechecking. Boston couldn’t organize a sustained attack at any time during the game.
Ranger goalie Giacomin was apparently knocked unconscious after a collision with a Boston player in his goal crease in the first period. He was revived quickly and remained in the game.
Red Wings 4 Bruins 2
Goals in the third period by Detroit Red Wings Gary Bergman and Bruce MacGregor snapped a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Black Hawks and were enough for the Wings to claim a 4-2 win at the Chicago Stadium.
The loss for Chicago was their fourth in a row, and they have gone seven without a win. The Hawks remain in third place in the Eastern Division, only one point up on fourth-place Montreal. Another point back is fifth-place New York Rangers.
The teams traded goals in each of the first two periods. Ken Wharram gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead at 6:44 of the first. Gary Jarrett came back for Detroit just before the 15-minute mark to make the score 1-1.
The second period saw the Black Hawks once again go ahead by a goal on a marker by Dennis Hull. Seven minutes later, the Wings again evened things up when Norm Ullman scored his 21st of the season.
Detroit outshot the Black Hawks 44-43 in the wide-open contest. George Gardner, third on the Red Wings goaltending depth chart, had a great game for the visitors. He was given the start because Roger Crozier had to return to Fort Worth to finish his 14-day minor league assignment. Roy Edwards, who has been handling the bulk of the Wings goalkeeping duties, was bombed by the Hawks the last time they played, so coach Sid Abel wanted a different look against Chicago this time around.
Blues 5 North Stars 2
The St. Louis Blues scored three times in the third period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota North Stars at the St. Louis Arena.
Red Berenson’s goal at 13:04 of the third broke a 2-2 tie. The Blues added two insurance markers only seven seconds apart in the final minute of play.
Berenson, acquired in November from the New York Rangers, has scored goals in nine of the last 10 Blues games.
Don McKenney had a pair of tallies for St. Louis. Gary Sabourin and Frank St. Marseille netted the others. Mike McMahon and Ray Cullen were the Minnesota marksmen.
Blues coach Scotty Bowman was happy with the win but winced when told that Philadelphia had upset the Maple Leafs at Toronto. A month ago, Bowman would have been happy with a playoff spot, but now he has his sights set on the Western Division lead:
“I guess the only way we’re going to catch them is to beat them every time we play them from here on in. We’re not going to get any help from anyone.”
The Blues lost defenceman Barclay Plager during the game and when they arrived at Detroit for tonight’s game against the Red Wings, he had to be hospitalized. It was learned he suffered a bruised kidney and will miss about two weeks.
The Blues have called up defenceman Darryl Edestrand from Kansas City of the CPHL to take Plager’s spot in the lineup.
Seals 4 Kings 1
The Oakland Seals have won only 3 times in their past 18 games. Each of those wins came against the Los Angeles Kings, with the most recent being last night. The Seals skated to a 4-1 win over the Kings before nearly 7600 fans at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood.
Early on, it looked like neither team really wanted this game. They skated through a scoreless opening 20 minutes before rookie Jimmy Anderson scored his first NHL goal for the Kings at 2:20 of the middle frame. That lead was short-lived, as the Seals came back to tie it only 31 seconds later on Wally Boyer’s seventh of the year.
Gerry Ehman put the Seals ahead just a little over a minute and a half later and the Kings were never in it after that. Bill Hicke made it 3-1 for the visitors before the second period ended.
Alain Caron added a little more insurance for the Seals at 11:26 of the third to make the final score 4-1.
The win for Oakland was only their second road victory of the season. They remain in the Western Division basement with 30 points, nine behind the Blues, Penguins and North Stars, all tied for third at 39.
The loss for Los Angeles, coupled with the Flyers win at Toronto leaves the Kings in second place, now nine points in arrears of first-place Philadelphia.
- Toronto Maple Leafs vice-president Harold Ballard says that the city of Vancouver shouldn’t count on having another NHL franchise move to the Canadian west coast city. Ballard says that he believes the NHL will expand again within two years and Vancouver is a certainty to get one of the new franchises.
- Ballard also discounted rumours that Leafs general manager-coach Punch Imlach is interested in moving to Vancouver when they finally are awarded an NHL team. Ballard says the Leafs are completely happy with Imlach and would match any cash offer made to him.
- Canadian national team coach Jackie McLeod is upset with Minnesota North Stars general manager Wren Blair. Blair has been discussing possible contracts with several players on the Canadian team and McLeod says he resents Blair’s actions: “They have a very difficult assignment ahead of them and they need to give it all the concentration they can. Wren Blair has been here for two days now, having meetings with them and I resent it. They have enough on their minds already.” The 1968 Olympics are being held next month in Grenoble, France.
- Monteal Canadiens coach Toe Blake is upset at how little consideration the other NHL coaches gave his ace defenceman Jacques Laperriere in the All-star voting. Laperriere received only 7 points in the voting.
- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jack Riley is looking towards his American Hockey League farm team at Baltimore for help. Two candidates for promotion to the big club are forwards Bobby Rivard and Tom McCarthy. Rivard was the AHL rookie of the year last season with the Quebec Aces.
- Forward Arnie Schmautz of the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League has been accused of second degree assault of Rochester resident Al Meminger during a game in Rochester last week. Meminger says he was pulled into the Portland bench and assaulted by Schmautz and several of his team mates.
- Hershey Bears moved into a first-place tie with the Springfield Kings in the AHL’s Eastern Division with a 4-2 win over the WHL San Diego Gulls. Bobby Leiter, Ted Snell, Mike Mahoney and Ralph Keller scored for the Bears. Fred Hilts and Al Nicholson had the Gulls goals.