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Black Hawks Stun Red Wings with Thrilling OT Win at Olympia Stadium

Apr. 2, 1964 - Chicago’s Black Hawks, nearing the death throes in their struggle to win hockey’s Stanley Cup, suddenly came to life in the 10th minute of the third period tonight to tie the score, then drove onward with renewed vigor to win their playoff match in sudden death overtime, 3-2.

The victims were the Detroit Red Wings, who had beaten the Hawks twice in a row and seemingly were on their way to increasing their lead to 3-1 in the best-of-seven semifinal series. But the teams are now even at two victories apiece, and will play game No. 5 in Chicago Sunday night.

Murray Balfour and Stan Mikita combined for the game-winning goal, Balfour tipping in a Mikita 40-footer at 8:21 of the first overtime period and stunning 14,901 spectators at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium into silence. The man who made it possible, however, was Glenn Hall, truly “Mr. Goalie” in this one. Hall was sensational, forcing the overtime by robbing Alex Delvecchio twice on a break-in with only 90 seconds left in regulation.

The losing goaltender was 22-year-old Roger Crozier, who traveled 900 miles today just to drop his second 3-2 overtime playoff game in as many nights in two different leagues. Crozier went in at 1:56 of the second period when Terry Sawchuk, who aggravated his shoulder injury late in the first period, couldn’t continue. Crozier, who played for the Pittsburgh Hornets in Quebec City last night in the American Hockey League opener and lost 3-2 in overtime, suffered a similar fate in his first Stanley Cup game.

“That winning shot, the one that beat us, I never really had a chance at it,” said Crozier afterward. “Mikita took the shot and it hit Balfour right in the — well, it caught him in the backside and shot right past my hand.”

One other one got away from Crozier, the one by Pierre Pilote, which tied the score for the Hawks at 2-2 in the third period and forced the overtime. Crozier offered no alibi on that one: “It was dead on, and it just hit the back of my glove hand and popped over my head. I lost the puck then.” It flipped into the air and fell behind Crozier into the net.

“We’re going with the kid [Crozier] again in Chicago Sunday,” Detroit coach Sid Abel said after the game. “I doubt that we’ll even take Sawchuk with us. We’re sending him back to the hospital immediately so they can treat the pinched nerve.”

Sawchuk was dressed and waiting somberly in obvious discomfort for the game’s end. “Before the game, I was feeling better than I was Tuesday night,” Sawchuk said. He shut out the Hawks then, 3-0, coming out of a hospital bed to do it. “But then, once the game started, the pain started getting to me again.”

Gordie Howe’s second period goal, which gave the Wings a 2-1 lead, was another milestone shot by hockey’s most prolific scorer. It was Howe’s 50th playoff goal, and it tied him with Rocket Richard, the retired Canadien great, for most points in playoff games. The record: 126 points.



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