Friday, November 4, 2011

Close, but no Cigar!

On Wednesday night, Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul recorded his first hat trick for the Blue & White. All three goals were scored in the middle frame against New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.

If Lupul had been successful in notching one more tally, he would have equalled an achievement set by Leaf left winger Harvey "Busher" Jackson seventy-seven-years-ago. On November 20, 1934, Jackson became the last Toronto player to score four goals in one period.

In a wild contest against the St. Louis Eagles, Jackson accomplished this feat by beating goalie Bill Beveridge four-times in the third period..

The Leafs entered the final period trailing St. Louis by a score of 2-1. With his team down by a goal, Jackson went to work early to pull the Leafs even. At the 80-second mark, Jackson's shot found the back of the St. Louis goal.

Harvey "Busher" Jackson
At 5:45, Jackson's back-hand shot gave Toronto a one goal advantage. It was the first lead for the Maple Leafs in the game.

Jackson completed his hat trick midway through the period, with Charlie Conacher and Nick Metz gaining assists. On the play, Beveridge "was drawn out of the cage by a melee in front of the net." With the goalie out of position, Metz passed the puck to Conacher. Following a pass from Conacher, Jackson flipped the puck into the net.

As the game was winding down, Jackson continued with his hot streak. Two St. Louis players, Bill Cowley and Irv Frew, were in the penalty box when Jackson struck for his fourth goal of the game. Earning assists on the power play goal were Conacher and Harold "Baldy" Cotton.

Fireworks in this game wasn't limited to Jackson's exploits. Police intervention was required in the second period "to calm the players" after several fights erupted. The first fight-card featured a battle between Cotton and St. Louis player Scotty Bowman (we know what you are thinking!). Charlie Conacher, who appeared to be a dominating force in this contest, entered the fisticuffs to help out his teammate.

The main bout cast Leaf defenceman Red Horner against Desse Roche. Following their exchange on the ice, the two combatants continued their physical tussle in the penalty box.

It will be interesting to see if any other Maple Leaf comes close to matching or breaking Jackson's four goal period in 1934.

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