On April 16, 1954 at Olympia Stadium, the Red Wings and Montreal Canadians battled to a 1-1 tie score at the end of regulation of the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
These two teams were bitter enemies and during the 1950’s it was the greatest rivalry in the NHL as the leagues two greatest players Gordie Howe and Maurice “Rocket” Richard led their teams in battle. From the 1949-50 season through the 1959-60 campaign, the Wings won four Stanley Cups and the Habs six.
With the crowd on their feet as the overtime period started the Old Red Barn was rocking.
Who would rise to the occasion and score the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime of the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final and be forever remembered in hockey history? Any kid growing up on the ice ponds in North America fantasized about this very situation.
As it turned out, the hero would not be any of the big guns. Not Lindsay, not Howe, not Richard, not Boom Boom Geoffrion.
It would be a tough little bastard from Humboldt Saskatchewan who stood just 5’ 6” and weighed 160 pounds soaking wet. His nickname was “Mighty Mouse” after the popular cartoon character of the day. Leswick, along with Marty Pavelich and Glen Skov formed the checking line that had to face the best lines in hockey.
Four minutes into the overtime, Detroit’s Glen Skov raced across the Montreal blue line and shot the puck off the boards behind the net.
The puck took a long bounce out to little Tony Leswick who lifted a weak and lazy shot towards the Montreal net where future Hall of Fame Montreal defenseman Doug Harvey attempted to knock the puck down with his glove.
At the 4:20 mark, all hell would break loose.
When Harvey swiped at the puck it deflected off his glove and somehow flew past net minder Gerry McNeil who had replaced Jacques Plante between the pipes.
Pandemonium broke out at the Olympia and the Wing players rushed out to lift up their hero, Tony Leswick to celebrate the Stanley Cup Championship. The stunned and bitter Canadiens refused to shake hands with the Wings and skated off the ice.
2 replies on “The Fluke Goal That Won a Stanley Cup“
It was a different time and era. The Canadians were the Yankees of Hockey. I was surprised to hear the Canadians did not shake hands after the game. I never heard of this. At the time it was not very sportsmanlike not to shake hands. Win or lose you swallow your pride and shake the winning teams hands. I know of Goalie Billy Smith being like that. He would skate off the ice right away after a win or lost series never shaking hands wit the other team. But then he was a strange character. It was his nature.
Gerry Cheevers was the same as Smith
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