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Gordie Howe Breaks Rocket Richard’s Scoring Record

Nov. 10, 1963 - Gordie Howe scored his 545th goal on a spectacular play with Detroit a man short tonight to finally break Maurice (Rocket) Richard’s career goal-scoring record as the Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-0. “Now I can start enjoying life again,” he said afterward, looking at the mob of photographers and reporters about to be turned loose on something other than chronicling his every move. “I’m sure it took the heat off him,” said manager-coach Sid Abel. Howe’s goal at 15:06 of the second period gave him a “grand slam” of hockey’s biggest records. He has scored more points (1,221) and more assists (676) and played in more games (1,132) than any other player in NHL history. If Howe knew all along what the goal meant, the teammate who set him up didn’t. “I didn’t realize that was the big goal until the crowd began to yell,” said Billy McNeill. “I got it inside our blue line and carried over their blue line with Gordie behind me all the way yelling to keep me going. I turned and gave it to him, and he drilled it, he really did. It hit his stick — and bing!” The Wings were a man short at the time — Alex Faulkner had received a major penalty at 13:57. The shot never got more than an inch off the ice as it whistled through the narrow gap between Montreal netminder Charlie Hodge and the right goalpost. “That one had to go in,” Howe said. Because it was such a good shot? “Because I’m about 10 points behind where I should be,” Howe said.

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