Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Johnny Bower The Seamstress gets The Shutout

John Ferguson Battling in Game Two
After Game Two of the 1967 Stanley Cup Finals, Maple Leafs coach Punch Imlach stated the obvious to the Montreal Gazette, "When you have two good netminders you're not taking a chance. Bower usually goes well against Montreal so I played a hunch that he could come through in this game. He came through and so did the rest of the team."
After replacing Terry Sawchuk in Game One with 15 minutes remaining, Bower allowed one goal on eleven shots in Montreal's 6-2 victory. In the second match, Imlach started Bower and he went on to shutout the Habs 3-0.
In the process of shutting out the Canadiens, Bower earned a $100 bonus from his team. Bower was not even aware of the extra money earned for a shutout, arranged by King Clancy. "I haven't heard anything about the bonus plan but I certainly won't argue against it," Bower declared.
Ferguson Causing Trouble Again in Game Two
Once returned home to Toronto the following day Bower was back at Maple Leaf Gardens on the off-day to tend his own repairs on his goal pads. 
"I'm taking them home to make sure they stay hot. Tommy Nayler (Leaf equipment man) sews on my buckles and straps, but I like to do my own patching. That way I can soften the spots where the big rebounds pop off and sew splits in such a way that they don't give bad rebounds," Bower told the Toronto Star.
"There is art to this job, believe me. I wouldn't trust my pads to anyone but Nayler, and then only for minor repairs. The big jobs I do myself."
Bower was stellar in Game Three at The Gardens, turning aside 60 of 62 shots as Leafs prevailed in Double Overtime on Bob Pulford's winner. However, in pre-game warmup for Game Four, Bower injured his thigh stretching to make a save of Larry Hillman's shot. He would not return to play in the final round and Sawchuk was called back into action. After losing the fourth game by a familiar 6-2 score, Sawchuk found his game and guided Toronto to the Cup victory.
Game Two Shutout with his hand-repaired Goal pads

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