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Posted: April 5th, 2013 @ 12:06pm
Today's installment in a daily series that recalls the story of the 1962-63 Kingston Frontenacs, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their Eastern Professional Hockey League championship season:
Fifty years ago today, Friday, April 5, 1963
Although Hull-Ottawa Canadiens' defence is strengthened by the return of Jacques Laperriere from Montreal, the team's offence wasn't similarly inspired as the Canadiens lost 1-0 to the Sudbury Wolves.
Playing in Sudbury, "the free-wheeling Wolves stole the show from Frank Mario's struggling Habitants on sheer determination," Ron Covell wrote in the Ottawa Citizen.
As a result, the upstart Wolves, who finished third during the regular season, well behind the second-place Canadiens, take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five semifinal series. Though they finished the season five games under .500, Sudbury's win was the 10th this season over Hull-Ottawa, and the sixth in their last eight meetings.
Laperriere's return was short-lived. He was on the ice for less than two minutes when a long Sudbury shot took a skip on the ice and hit him solidly in the right ankle. Team officials fear the ankle is fractured.
The Wolves managed just 24 shots on goal, but the Canadens mustered just 23 shots on Sudbury goaltender Gerry Cheevers, who nonetheless had to make a few difficult saves to collect his first shutout of the season.
"The turning point came in the first few minutes, when assistant playing coach Bill Carter missed on a breakaway on a perfect pass from Keith McCreary," Covell wrote. "Cheevers came up with a perfect save on Carter's point-blank drive.
"In the third period the Habs tried to increase their attack but Cheevers was exceptional. The 24-year-old netminder stole goal and goal again from the Habs."
Paul Andrea scored the only goal of the game, beating Cesare Maniago just 37 seconds into the second period. It came after a perfect pass from Dave McComb, who faked taking a slapshot and then relayed the puck to Andrea, who was standing at the open side of the Hull-Ottawa goal.
The third game of the series will be played Saturday night in Ottawa.
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