1945 Stanley Cup Finals
Paths to the final
This was the first Cup Final in NHL history where both teams started rookie goaltenders. Harry Lumley, who had become the youngest goaltender to play in the league the previous year, was in the Wings' net, while Frank McCool substituted for regular Maple Leafs netminder Turk Broda, who was in Europe with the Canadian army at the time.
In the first three games, which were low-scoring goaltenders' duels, McCool did not allow the Wings a single goal, the first time one team shut out the other for the first three games in Stanley Cup Finals history. In addition, Toronto now stood one win away from sweeping Detroit, as the Red Wings' Mud Bruneteau noted after game three. The last time the two teams had met in the Finals, in 1942, Toronto had beaten Detroit—after going down three games to none, becoming the first professional sports team in North America to win a playoff round in such a fashion.
In game four, the Maple Leafs had a chance to win the Cup on Maple Leaf Gardens ice, but the Red Wings got on the board for the first time in the series when Flash Hollett opened the scoring 8:35 into the game, ending McCool's shutout streak at 193:09 (dating back to the semifinals against Montreal). Four other Detroit players, including rookie Ted Lindsay (who scored what transpired to be the game-winner at 3:20 of the third period), scored to overcome Ted Kennedy's hat trick.
Games five and six were Lumley's time to shine, shutting out the Leafs, including an overtime shutout in the sixth game, and extending the Finals. The series returned to Detroit for a seventh game, the Wings hoping to avenge their "choking" against the Leafs in 1942.
Toronto coach Hap Day almost had to eat his words of a few years back when he said of the Leafs' 1942 comeback from being down 3–0 in games, "There will never be another experience like this." Babe Pratt, however, scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory that saved the Maple Leafs from being victim of a great comeback win by the Red Wings. Lumley left the ice almost immediately after the end of the game, but a Detroit Olympia crowd chant of "We want Lumley!" brought him back. Lumley would go on to a Hockey Hall of Fame career and McCool would play just 22 more games in the NHL, as Broda returned to the Leafs in January 1946.
This was the first time in the history of game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals that the home team did not win. The home team did not lose a game seven final again until the Canadiens beat the Chicago Black Hawks in 1971. This did not happen again until the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Detroit in 2009, and again in 2011 when Boston defeated the Vancouver Canucks.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4–3.
Toronto Maple Leafs 1945 Stanley Cup Champions
- Coaching and administrative staff
- Jack Bickell (Chairman/Owner), Ed Bickle (President/Owner)
- William MacBrien, (Vice President/Owner), John Murdoch (Vice President)
- Conn Smythe (Manager), Frank Selke Sr.(Business Manager/Publicity Director)
- Clarence Hap Day (Coach), Tim Daly (Trainer)
- Archie Campbell (Asst. Trainer)
- Kerry Day (Mascot)
Ted Kennedy's name was engraved on the original ring as TEETER KENNEDY in 1945. He was engraved as Ted Kennedy on the later two versions of the 1945 Stanley Cup engravings.
References and notes
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont.: Fenn Pub. pp 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Stanley Cup Champions