Feb. 1, 1964 - “Montreal goal scored by Robert Rousseau.” The announcement on the public address system in the Montreal Forum seemed to get monotonous after Rousseau’s third goal — but the fans loved it. They let out a loud howl of delight when he scored the fourth, and then littered the ice with debris when he scored the fifth. The spectacular display by the gritty little right winger was the talk of the Canadiens’ 9-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings tonight.
“I’m very happy about it,” said Rousseau (left) afterward as Maurice (Rocket) Richard and Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion (right) arrived in the dressing room to congratulate him warmly. Both the Rocket, now retired, and teammate Geoffrion, idle with an injury, have scored five goals in a single NHL game. “I’m happy for him,” beamed Geoffrion. “He’s so young. He’s eager. I thought sure he would do it after he scored the fourth.”
Rousseau, 23, a native of Montreal, credits his newfound success to a book he read on positive thinking. He scored the winning goal last Wednesday when the Habs beat Toronto, 2-1, to take over first place. Up to tonight, he had never scored more than two goals in a game. “I didn’t do anything different tonight,” he said. “I didn’t even think about scoring a lot of goals, even after I got three. I just kept trying and shooting when I had the chance.” He said the fourth goal on a slapshot from the blue line was his best of the night. “I didn’t pick any place in the net. I just let it go.”
The fifth goal, at the 1:46 mark of the third period, was a bit of a freak. It got past Detroit goalie Roger Crozier — a last-minute replacement for Terry Sawchuk — when Rousseau tried to center it. After that, Rousseau took four more shifts on the ice, handling the puck 1- times, but only got one shot on net.
Syd Howe of the Detroit Wings is the only player in NHL history to have scored a double hat trick — six goals. Howe did it against the New York Rangers on Feb. 3, 1944.