Today in hockey History: Maple Leaf Gardens Hosts First Game

Maple Leafs Gardens

Normally we’d be in the midst of starting up another hockey season now, but we’re in a different world. Last Word on Hockey is still going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for November 12th, featuring Maple Leaf Gardens.

Today in Hockey History

Maple Leaf Gardens Hosts First NHL Game

1931: The Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks play the first game at the newly-minted arena. Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe manages to get the arena built in an astonishing five months. The arena also gets done in the middle of the Great Depresion.

Chicago beats Toronto, 2-1, but the Leafs do win the Stanley Cup that season. Toronto plays at the hallowed barn until 1999 when they move into the Air Canada Centre.

Other Notable Events

1942: Bep Guidolin becomes the youngest player in NHL history when he plays for the Boston Bruins in a 3-1 loss to Toronto. Guidolin  plays 10 seasons with Boston, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago. He scores 107 goals in 519 games before going into coaching. He coaches the Bruins, Kansas City Scouts and Edmonton Oilers.

1983: Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky gets his 20th career hat trick in a 7-3 win over Detroit. The victory gives the Oilers a team-record eighth straight win.

1988: Esa Tikkanen sets a league record for fastest two shorthanded goals in Edmonton’s 6-2 victory over Toronto. The Finnish forward scores his pair in 12 seconds to break Pep Kelly‘s record of 16 seconds in 1940. Tikkanen completes his hat trick later in the game.

2005: The Atlanta Thrashers set a team-record for most goals in a game with a 9-0 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes. Ilya Kovalchuk scores twice for Atlanta to end Carolina’s nine-game winning streak. The loss is the worst loss for the Canes since moving from Hartford in 1997.

2009: Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun makes 40 saves through overtime and four more in the shootout in a 1-0 win over Boston. Cory Stillman ends it for the Panthers in the shootout. It’s Vokoun’s third shutout in four games aftter a 1-7-1 start.

2016: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is the first netminder to win his first 10 starts to begin a season. Price stops 25 shots in the Habs 5-0 win over the Red Wings. It’s Price’s 13th straight victory dating back from the end of the last season.

2018: Henrik Lundqvist ties Jacques Plante for seventh place on the all-time NHL wins list when he makes 25 saves. The New York Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 win for Lundqvist’s 437th win.

Happy Birthday to You

1938: Denis DeJordy

1949: Ron Lapointe

1957: Tony Currie

1962: Mark Hunter

1987: Bryan Little

1992: Adam Larsson

1993: Tomas Hertl

1998: Elias Pettersson

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