Paths to the Final
For the first time, two rookie goalies met in a Stanley Cup last round. 18-year-old Harry Lumley was in net for the Wings and the Leafs had 26-year-old Frank McCool replacing Turk Broda, who was doing army service.
McCool, whose surname belied his jumpy demeanor, had been discharged from the army himself with stomach ulcers, but despite his medical condition, he would win the Calder Memorial Trophy. And he didn't allow second-place Detroit, who'd gone 8–1–1 against third-place Toronto that season, a goal until just past the two-minute mark of the fourth game. His three-in-a-row zeroes were a postseason record that was not tied for 58 years, and TO sat on the brink of a four-game sweep.
After game three, Motown veteran Mud Bruneteau said:
“The Leafs can't be that good, we’ll have to win four straight.”
They almost did, despite a hat trick by 19-year-old Leaf face-off man Ted Kennedy, Detroit won game four. In a bizarre near-reversal of 1942, the Wings also won the next two games, both on Lumley shutouts, to force a Game seven at the Detroit Olympia. Toronto hadn't been able to take the Cup at Maple Leaf Gardens.
The Maple Leafs won the Cup in game seven against the Red Wings by a final score of 2–1, but after the game, the Detroit crowd chanted, "We want Lumley!" and the dejected goalie was brought back to the ice from the dressing room while Toronto celebrated. Lumley would go on to a Hockey Hall of Fame career and McCool would play just 22 more games in the NHL, as January 1946 brought Broda back.
This was the first time in the history of game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals that the home team did not win. The home team didn't lose a game seven final again until Montreal beat Chicago in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals.
Hap Day almost had to eat his words of a few years back when he said of the Leafs' comeback of 1942: "There will never be another experience like this." Toronto won the first three games as McCool had three consecutive shutouts, but Detroit stormed back to win the next three and it looked as though Detroit would accomplish what Toronto did in 1942. But Babe Pratt 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.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4–3.
Toronto Maple Leafs 1945 Stanley Cup Champions
- 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 (Ass't Trainer), Kerry Day (Mascot)
Ted Kennedy was engraved on the orginial ring was TEEDER KEENDEY in 1945. He was engraved as Ted Kennedy on the later 2 versions of 1945 Stanley Cup engravings.
- Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books, 12, 50. ISBN 1–55168–261–3.
- NHL (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Dan Diamond & Associates.
- Falla, Jack, ed.. Quest for the Cup: A History of the Stanley Cup Finals 1893–2001. Key Porter Books, 75. ISBN.
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Stanley Cup Champions