The biggest news coming out of the three games played in the National Hockey League last night originates in Toronto, but has nothing to do with the Maple Leafs. The Philadelphia Flyers, hosted the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens because their own arena is closed due to roof damage. The Bruins edged the Flyers 2-1 in a game that saw a vicious stick-swinging duel and we had all the details.
Bruins 2 Flyers 1
The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 last night in a game played in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. But this game won’t be remembered because of the unusual venue, or because of the great play of any particular player. This game will be remembered because of a vicious incident that will go down as one of the NHL’s darker moments.
The incident took place at 9:33 of the first period and involved Boston’s Eddie Shack and Larry Zeidel of the Flyers. The two have had a running feud that goes back 10 years to a time when they both played in the minor leagues.
The incident began in the Flyers’ zone when the players crashed together near the boards. As they disengaged, Zeidel swung his stick at Shack, missing his head but striking him on shoulder. He then followed that with another swing that did connect with Shack’s head.
Shack retaliated in kind and the two staged the hockey version of a fencing duel that eventually ended up behind the Philadelphia goal. Both players were cut and bled profusely. The bout eventually ended as if by mutual consent and referee Bruce Hood and the linesmen ushered both men from the ice and out of the game.
But the incident didn’t end there. While Shack was getting stitched up in the Gardens infirmary, Zeidel attempted to break into the room to continue the battle. The Flyer defenceman barged into the room but was pushed out by attendants before the two could re-engage.
Zeidel shouted at Shack “Why don’t you learn to play hockey. That’s why you’re not here (Toronto) now.”
Shack said something unintelligible back at Zeidel, who shot back with “You started it!.”
Shack said that he was only defending himself from Zeidel and most witnesses seems to support that version of the events. While the Philadelphia papers indicate that Shack swung his stick first, Toronto reporters say that Zeidel struck the first blow. Referee Bruce Hood’s version may be the closest to the truth. He said that if the clash hadn’t degenerated into a stick-swinging fight, Zeidel would have been penalized for high-sticking or cross-checking.
“But once the sticks start to fly, you can’t single out an aggressor. They’re equally to blame.”
Shack, of course, blamed Zeidel for starting the whole thing:
“I hate a thing like that. I really wanted to play a good game in this rink. I’ve got 18 goals and I want to score more, not fight with the village idiot.
“But what can you do when a guy comes at you with his stick, a guy who does it all the time? You can’t back away.
“I’ll have to go after that guy the first chance I get. You’ve got to protect yourself from a player like him. At you with his stick all the time.”
Shack said that the feud between the two began about 10 years ago. He recalled their first battle with the sticks:
“Zeidel and I have had a few run-ins, this wasn’t something new. It happened 10 years ago in Niagara Falls, during an exhibition game between New York and Hershey. I was only a rookie at the time. He speared me twice and I said ‘spear me again and I’ll hit you over the head.’ He speared me again so I let him have it, right over the head.”
The two were thrown out of that game and eventually ended up in a Niagara Falls jail when they began fighting in the stands and police were called in to break it up.
Last night’s incident had probably been brewing for most of the season. On January 20 the two had to be separated when they began jawing at each other during pre-game warm-ups.
After the hostilities between Shack and Zeidel had ended, players on the Bruins bench began a war of words with Zeidel as he was being escorted off the ice. Zeidel tried to break free to get at a Boston player, likely Don Awrey, who seemed to be most vocal.
It was learned after the game that Marie Zeidel, wife of the the Flyer rearguard, told a New York hockey reporter that racial insults from the Boston players were to blame for all the trouble:
“Larry phoned me and said the Bruins called him ‘Jew Boy’ and ‘Goddam Jew’ in their insults from the bench. Larry told me they had done this before. Shack was not one of the guilty Bruins but he was using his elbows on Larry.”
NHL president Clarence Campbell says he will examine the referee’s game report and make a decision tomorrow on whether further fines and / or suspensions will be levied against the two players.
As far as the hockey that was played last night, the Bruins got goals from Ken Hodge and Gary Doak to win the game. Pat Hannigan had the Philadelphia marker. The loss spoiled a brilliant performance by Flyers goalie Bernie Parent, a former Boston player. He made 38 saves and kept his team in the game all night.
Penguins 2 North Stars 2
Rookie forward Sandy Fitzpatrick was the star for the Minnesota North Stars as they tied the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-2 before 10,705 in Minneapolis last night. Fitzpatrick scored both of the Minnesota goals, including the game-tying marker at 12:32 of the third period.
Paul Andrea and Wayne Hicks were the Pittsburgh goal-getters. It was Hicks’ first goal for the Penguins since being traded to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia last week.
Fitzpatrick’s first goal came on an unusual play. His slap shot narrowly missed the Pittsburgh goal, but bounced off the backboards directly on to the rookie’s stick. Penguins goalie Hank Bassen was down after lunging at the initial drive and was in no position to stop Fitzpatrick’s second try, which he jammed between Bassen’s pad and the left goal post.
The second North Star goal scored by Fitzpatrick came off a perfect pass by Bill Goldsworthy. Shortly after the goal, Goldsworthy was cut over the right eye, and Fitzpatrick was sliced open over the left. Goldsworthy put the blame on a high stick from Pittsburgh forward Gene Ubriaco.
Goldsworthy went after Ubriaco, but Stars netminder Cesare Maniago intercepted the Minnesota right-winger before things got ugly.
Both Goldsworthy and Fitzpatrick received four stitches for their wounds.
Kings 9 Seals 2
The Los Angeles Kings had it all going last night at the Forum in Inglewood as they hosted their cross-state rival Oakland Seals. The Kings blasted the Seals 9-2 before a crowd of 6,678. It was the most dominating performance of the season for the Kings, who set a club record with 24 shots on goal in the first period. Overall they outshot the Seals 54-18.
Charley Hodge started in goal for the Seals, giving up four goals in that first period. He was mercifully allowed to remain on the bench for the final 40 minutes, replaced by big Gary Smith.
It was a balanced Kings attack, with only winger Lowell MacDonald scoring two goals. Other Los Angeles marksmen were Ted Irvine, Real Lemieux, Brent Hughes, Howie Menard, Terry Gray, Doug Robinson and Bill Flett. Bill Hicke and Larry Cahan scored for Oakland.
Terry Sawchuk was in goal for Los Angeles, his first start in 11 games after breaking a finger and he had a relatively easy time of it. It was an ideal way for him to break back into the lineup. He viewed his return at this time and this game as a great warmup for the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs:
“A little rusty, but you get a little hungry now, eh?”
- New York Rangers have moved quickly to deny a report that they would have to move out of Madison Square Garden for playoff games because of a circus. The Rangers say that if they make the playoffs (and they are a lock to do so) they will be playing all home games in their brand new arena.
- Philadelphia Flyers have announced that their scheduled home game for this Sunday night against the Minnesota North Stars will be played at Quebec City. GM Bud Poile has been in contact with city officials but has been given no timetable for completion of repairs to the roof of the Flyers’ home rink, the Spectrum. The arena sustained severe rood damage last week during a windstorm and was ordered closed by the mayor.
- The Central Canada Exhibition Association, operators of the Ottawa Civic Centre, have offered their building as a new home to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Civic Centre can accommodate about 10,000 fans. Flyers management is willing to discuss the offer.
- Carl Brewer, the retired defenceman acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in Sunday night’s massive trade with Toronto, will not comment on whether he will return to the NHL with the Wings when he is eligible to play next season. Brewer says he wants to concentrate on his role as playing coach of the Muskegon Mohawks of the International Hockey League.
- Right winger Jim Pappin, who is still under suspension by the Toronto Maple Leafs for refusing to report to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, may be wavering on his retirement plans. Pappin says he will travel to Rochester from his Sudbury home to talk to the Amerks about joining the club.
- Bruins defenceman Bobby Orr is working hard at rehabbing his surgically-repaired left knee. Orr is riding a stationary bicycle several hours each day and will begin skating in about three days.
- Eddie Westfall, the Bruins all-purpose utility man, has added another position to his resume. Out of the lineup with an injury, Eddie has been doing TV commentary for Bruins broadcasts back to Boston. Sunday night, he said that his team, down 3-1 at the time, was completely capable of scoring “four or five goals” in the third period. Bruins won the game over Chicago by a 5-3 score.
- The National Hockey League Players Association is taking care of Montreal forward Claude Provost’s legal fees concerning those assault charges he and coach Toe Blake are facing in Los Angeles. The NHLPA has arranged for counsel for Provost in LA.
- Toronto Maple Leafs legend and former captain Teeder Kennedy has issued his seal of approval on the Toronto acquisition of centre Norm Ullman from Detroit:
“I like the way he digs in the other team’s zone. He has a knack of fighting for the puck along the boards and corners without getting trapped. I like the way he takes a look before passing and the way he slides into the slot for rebounds and passouts. He’s going to prove a very valuable asset to Leafs.
- Minnesota North Stars general manager Wren Blair told the Minneapolis Star the details of that complicated deal at the NHL Expansion Draft last summer that allowed Montreal to keep right winger Claude Larose. Blair said that in exchange for taking Dave Balon with the first skater pick instead of Larose, the Habs gave the Minnesota organization 13 players. Included in that group were present North Stars Mike McMahon, Billy Plager and Andre Boudrias. All Blair had to give Montreal was some cash and their first amateur draft choice in 1971.
- McMahon has been one of the NHL’s best defencemen this season, scoring 12 goals and adding 20 assists. Boudrias has also been a valuable North Stars asset, as has Balon. Larose, meanwhile, has spent much of the season in the minors. He is back with Montreal now, but sees very little ice time.