Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3 1920: Canadiens Fire 16 into Quebec’s Net

newsy_lalonde-1919 Newsy Lalonde records four goals in a 16-3 win over the Quebec 03/03/1920.

A 16-3 score sounds like a preliminary IIHF match between Canada and Japan, but on March 3 1920 the Montreal Canadiens set an NHL record with 16 goals against the Quebec Bulldogs. The 13 goal differential also stands as a franchise record in Montreal.

Now to be fair the Bulldogs, despite the presence of scoring leader Joe Malone, were the basement dwellers of the league and would be playing their last season in Quebec before moving to Hamilton.

In the first half of the 1919-20 season, the Bulldogs surrendered 81 goals in a dozen games. Including the March 3 game, they allowed another 96 in the final twelve, wining just four games all season.

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To add salt to the wound, Quebec would face the Canadiens that Wednesday evening with goaltender Frank Brophy playing with a strained ligament in his thigh.

So with their goalie’s mobility limited, the already weak defended Bulldogs were at the mercy of the defending NHL champions and their top-ranked scorers.

The lone injury for Montreal that night was defenseman Bert Corbeau, who took ill just before game time and had to be helped onto the train afterwards.

The game was pretty much over after the first period by which time Montreal had a 4-0 lead. Didier Pitre already had three goals in the first period, and Odie Cleghorn had the other.

Seven Goals in a Period

The second period would see another Canadiens benchmark. Newsy Lalonde would score three goals, rearguard Harry Cameron would score the first two of his record setting four goals and Cleghorn and Amos Arbour added singles to give Montreal a team record seven goals in the period. That record has been matched six other times, the most recent in 1987.

Four Habs Score Three or More Goals

Lalonde scored his fourth goal in the third period, and Cleghorn became the third Canadiens player to record three or more goals that evening.

Arbour notched his second of the night and Cameron’s third and fourth goals set a team record for Habs defensemen that has only been equaled once since (Sprague Cleghorn – 1922).

To date, no other NHL team has had a game in which four players recorded three or more goals.

imageOdie Cleghorn

Malone managed to get  one of his league leading 39 goals that night for Quebec, but on that March night he would have needed a whole team of Malones to match the Canadiens.

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