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Gordie Howe Ties Rocket Richard with 544th Regular Season Goal

Oct. 27, 1963 - Gordie got it. A thundering, deafening, five-minute standing ovation followed Gordie Howe’s 544th regular season goal, the one that ties him with retired Maurice Richard for the NHL career record. But the Rocket had revenge of sorts — Howe scored against Richard’s club, the Canadiens, tonight at the Olympia, but the Canadiens beat Howe and the Red Wings on the memorable occasion, 5-4. Jean Beliveau got two goals 70 seconds apart to break a 1-1 second-period tie and set up linemate Bernie Geoffrion for another in the third period. Montreal outshot Detroit, 45-29, and if not for some excellent work by goalie Terry Sawchuk, it would have been worse. Afterward, Howe explained the play that brought down the house of 14,749 fans — the largest crowd this season — in typical style. “Bill Gadsby threw it to Bruce [MacGregor], and Bruce threw it to me, and I threw it in. Then five guys hit me.” It came during a power play at 11:04 of the third period with Detroit behind, 5-3. MacGregor was at the left boards and fired the puck over to the goal mouth. Howe, flying in right wing, banged it past goalie Gump Worsley. “It takes some of the joy away when you lose the game,” Howe said. But this was his second straight milestone goal in a defeat — he got his 500th against Worsley when Gump was at New York, and the Rangers won that game. “I’m glad I got it,” Howe said. “This should help the club. They have been out there looking for me.” Montreal coach Toe Blake moved in to congratulate Howe and said, “I wish I could have played center for you.” Someone said, “Long time coming, eh Gordie?” Howe answered, “Yeah. Eighteen years.” Your first thought when you scored? “Get another one.” Howe said he promised the puck to former Wing general manager Jack Adams, his discoverer, and that the stick would go to his oldest sons, Marty, 9, and 8-year-old Mark.


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