TORONTO – The wind started to change at the very start of the third period, last night at the Maple Leaf Gardens, when Toronto goalkeeper Bob McCready was alone with the ball in front of his rival, Quebec’s Emie Mitchell.
McCready didn’t count. Quite the contrary.
Too abrupt a gesture, a bad movement, a free ball, and Jim Lynch catches a throw of more than 125 feet towards the empty net.
The Tomahawks are only leading by two goals, 13-11, and, as Toronto instructor Jim Bishop will say half an hour later, adrenaline is starting to float on the bench for Quebecers.
After Lynch, Rick Bossley scores after a breakaway. Then Torontonian Chuck Li is penalized and Bishop signals his goalkeeper to come to the bench to allow the defense to catch their breath. The arbitrator intercepts McCready and denies him permission to go and have his leg warmer repaired. Bishop then announces a goalkeeper change and sends Ron Thomas into the fray.
The game resumes, the Tomahawks grab the ball, Thomas heads for the bench, McCready runs towards his goal … Too late! Dave Tasker has just grabbed the ball and McCready can only witness Quebec’s second goal in an empty net.
Equal count: 13-13! New match! Erased the mistakes and lack of conviction of Quebecers during the first 40 minutes of play!
Lynch is penalized and the Tomahawks’ power play immediately saves: 14-13. Then Wayne Sutherland clears the deficit and, halfway through the period, at exactly 2:32 pm, Dave Litzenberger wins a faceoff and the fast Dale McKenzie escapes to give his own their first lead in the match.
Litzenberger himself counts.
There are less than three minutes to go, it’s 16-14, and the Quebecers’ third consecutive victory seems indeed assured.
On the clock: 13:04. A long throw from Stan Cox catches Ernie Mitchell in default: 16-15.
On the clock face: 7:37 p.m. Joe McRay plays Gord Floyd, comes alone in front of Mitchell and it is again a tie, 16-16.
Only 23 seconds left!
The Tomahawks win the face-off. Chuck Li, their first draft pick and best player, on the ball in the Montreal area.
Li wants to let the seconds slip away, to force Quebecers to overtime.
Quebecers should think the same way: 15 minutes of rest, time to recover from their emotions, to convince themselves that victory is really possible despite the catastrophe of the first two periods …
Litzenberger doesn’t think. He rushes over the other. Li, surprised, loses a fraction of a second, leaves his stick uncovered. The shot arrives, the ball saulte .. in the basket of McKenzie who sees only John Davis, in the center, at dLé: oovver …
Fifteen seconds to go.
A feint and McCready steps forward. Second feint, other not. The Quebec captain opened half the net.
On the clock: 19:48!
Quebecers 17, Tomahawks 16.
The bench for Montrealers is emptying.
Bishop lowers his head, Ferguson sponges.
Dame Chance sowit of satisfaction.
BOX-NOTES: Toronto’s goals belong to Duffy McCarthy (3-2), Stan Cox (3-2), Brian Thompson (2-1), Joe McRae (2-0), Jim Hinkson (2-0), Sandy Lynch (1-5), Jack Chisholm (10), Bob Haw (1-1), Ziggy Musial (1-1).
Chuck Li, injured for most of the second period, has four past … The Quebecers joined the Philadelphia Wings and Toronto in second place in the standings, three points behind the leaders, the Rochester Griffins … The Quebecers have played four more games than the Wings and two more than the Tomahawks … Bob McCready, recently acquired by the Torontonians, was looking for a fourth win in a row … … Excellent Toronto initiative during intermissions: short lacrosse matches between five-year-olds … For those who were worried about the scarcity of goals which John Davis put an end to at the very end of the match: he was playing with Bill Sheehan’s stick, his being broken …