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Canadiens Dominate Maple Leafs

Dec. 18, 1963 - Tomorrow is the day for the Montreal Canadiens’ Annual Christmas Party when they take their youngsters skating at the Forum. But if the fathers want to make the skating lessons short and sweet, the kids shouldn’t blame them. The Habs did more than enough skating tonight when they virtually flew away from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 7-3 victory. It was a big win that put the Canadiens alone in second place and only six points away from the Chicago Black Hawks, who play at the Forum Saturday night. Jean Beliveau (pictured #4) used two dynamic shots to score his 13th and 14th goals of the season, and the second one tied him with the late Nels Stewart’s 324 total as the highest-scoring centers in history. Beliveau also earned an assist on Bernie Geoffrion’s winning goal, and Jean’s three points forced a tie with Chicago’s Stan Mikita for the NHL’s individual scoring lead. Little Henri Richard also scored twice, while Gilles Tremblay and defenseman Jean Claude Tremblay were the other Montreal snipers. “I knew when I got my first goal that I needed one more to tie Nels Stewart,” said Beliveau afterward. “But the second one was close — I was afraid my shot was wide. I’m sure glad it came right away. Sometimes, it takes four or five games to get an important goal.” “This is the best I have felt all season,” smiled Henri Richard after the contest. “But it’s about time, isn’t it, after 29 games?” Montreal coach Toe Blake called it a “team effort by everybody.” “It was by far our best skating game of the season,” said Blake. “I was certainly glad to see three or four fellows, especially Richard and Geoffrion, skating so well out there.”


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