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Canadiens Top Leafs in Toronto as Hodge Scores Third Shutout

Jan. 22, 1964 - Charlie Hodge, the little man with the big pads, gave Toronto a dual lesson in bilingualism and goaltending tonight at Maple Leaf Gardens. Shouting at his teammates in both English and French, Hodge came up with a spectacular 28-save performance as the Canadiens whipped the Maple Leafs, 3-0. As Hodge chalked up his third shutout of the season, the Canadiens got tallies from Gilles Tremblay, Henri Richard, and Dave Balon. The victory pushed Montreal into a first-place tie with Chicago while still retaining a game in hand on the Black Hawks, and moved them three points ahead of the Leafs.

The Habs outskated Toronto, forechecked well, and came close to a few more tallies when they hit the post. On the first goal, Bob Pulford was off for slashing Terry Harper when the Habs’ power play paid off. Jacques Laperriere, who played a standout defensive game, let go a high shot from the blue line, and Gilles Tremblay deflected the puck home with his stick waist high. “We got a break on that first goal,” said a happy coach Toe Blake. “But we’ve been playing well enough lately and haven’t been scoring.” Up until tonight, the Habs had scored only four goals in four games. Dave Balon, who got his 18th goal of the season and his first in seven games, beat Toronto goalie Don Simmons with a high backhand flip. Balon was set up on his wrong wing by Ralph Backstrom.

“I didn’t expect to score on that one,” said Balon afterwards. “I was in too far and someone right on top of me. So, I just let go with the backhand. I was sure surprised when it went in.” As the disappointed crowd was somewhat quiet, Hodge could be heard shouting at his teammates all over the rink — switching from English to French and back again. “I don’t want to take any chances,” said the goalie with a grin.


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