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Maple Leafs Polish Off Canadiens, Move into NHL Finals

Apr. 4, 1963 - The Toronto Maple Leafs, sparked by young Dave Keon, blasted Montreal, 5-0, tonight and swept into the finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The victory nailed down the best-of-7 semifinal series for the Leafs in the fifth ∂game. Keon, a 23-year-old center, scored 2 goals and assisted another as the Leafs stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and took it from there against the demoralized Canadiens. The Leafs, defending Cup champions and winner of the NHL regular season title, will play the winner of the Chicago-Detroit semifinal in the Cup finals. It was the second shutout of the series for Toronto's 38-year-old goalie, Johnny Bower, who had never scored a shutout in playoff competition before this year. Bower turned back 35 shots to only 27 for Montreal's masked netminder, Jacques Plante. The punchless Habs scored only six goals in the five games. Keon put the Leafs off and running at 6:56 of the first period on a power play when he drilled in a low shot with Montreal’s Terry Harper in the penalty box. Dick Duff and Ron Stewart ran it up to 3-0 before the period was over. Keon scored again in the middle period, and Kent Douglas (pictured #19) completed the scoring while the Leafs had a two-man advantage midway through the final period.


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