1945 Stanley Cup Finals

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1945 Stanley Cup Finals
1234567 Total
Toronto Maple Leafs 121300*2 4
Detroit Red Wings 000521*1 3
* – Denotes overtime period(s)
Location(s)Detroit: Olympia Stadium (1, 2, 5, 7)
Toronto: Maple Leaf Gardens (3, 4, 6)
CoachesToronto: Hap Day
Detroit: Jack Adams
CaptainsToronto: Bob Davidson
Detroit: Sid Abel
DatesApril 6 – April 22
Series-winning goalBabe Pratt (12:14, third)

The 1945 Stanley Cup Finals was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs won the series by four games to three--although not before they blew a 3-0 lead to the Red Wings, who nearly served them a taste of their own medicine.

Paths to the Finals[edit]

Toronto beat the defending champion Montreal Canadiens in six games to advance to the Final. Detroit defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games to reach the Final.

Game summaries[edit]

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. Fittingly enough, the Red Wings did the coming back this time, as their offense finally caught fire.

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.

Game seven[edit]

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.

Toronto won series 4–3

Toronto Maple Leafs 1945 Stanley Cup champions[edit]



1 Frank McCool

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)

Engraving Notes

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.

See also[edit]


References and notes[edit]

  • Diamond, Dan (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Toronto: Total Sports Canada. ISBN 978-1-892129-07-9.
Preceded by
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Montreal Canadiens