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Our Black Hawks are world champs!
This is the story from the Chicago Tribune exactly as it appeared that day.
Detroit--The Black Hawks wear the mark of world champions tonight; with Chicago fandom it's forevermore.
The 1960-61 champions, considered the best team ever to represent Chicago in the National Hockey league, whipped the Detroit Red Wings, 5 to 1, in the sixth game of the Stanley cup finals.
It is the culmination of five years of rebuilding a team which this year broke all club records to get into the playoffs, where it eliminated Montreal in the semi-finals, 4 games to 2, and repeated the same timetable against a determined, rough but unpolished Detroit club in the finals.
The Long Drought Ends
It is the first time in 23 years that the Hawks have snared the Stanley cup, and the first world title for any Chicago team since 1947 when the Cardinals won the National Football league crown. The only other time the Hawks captured the cup was in 1934, and members of that team along with players of the historic 1938 squad were on hand tonight to cheer, congratulate and celebrate with their latest counterparts.
And heading this multiple generation of stars was Glenn Hall, aptly named Mr. Goalie. Tonight he was Mr. Hockey. This quiet, calm, nerveless knight of the nets twice reached back into the goal to steal scores from the Wings in a second period that bred frustration in the enemy.
Add to this the tying goal by Reg Fleming, scored with sheer audacity while the Hawks were shorthanded, and which placed Reg The Horse on a pedestal as the No. 2 hero. Then came everybody else--the other scorers, Ab McDonald, Eric Nesterenko, Jack Evans, and Ken Wharram. And don't forget Pierre Pilote, the smallest defenseman in the league, who was the blueline stalwart thruout the season and hit all-star heights in the playoffs.
Pilote Tops Scorers
Pilote picked up an assist tonight to bring his playoff total to 15 points--on three goals and 12 assists. That is the best playoff record of all players.
And what about Stan Mikita, the clutch man of the series; Bobby Hull, the dynamic blond bomber who reached hockey maturity in the big series with powerful drives and unsuspected defensive abilities that smothered Detroit's all-time great, Gordie Howe. The veterans Tom Sloan and Ron Murphy and Ed Litzenberger, who, as captain, received the Stanley cup right in the middle of the ice tonight; accepting on behalf of his mates from Clarence Campbell, league president.
Those are names that now will be linked with the stars of yore--March, Gottselig, Gardiner, Seibert, Karakas, Romnes, Thompson, Conacher, Coture, Voss, Shill, Wiebe, Jenkins, Trudel, and other heroes of two other successful cup teams.
But It's '61 Hawks Night
But tonight the kids took over; tonight they would not be bulldozed, bluffed, or pushed around by a Red Wing team that has lost only eight times in 24 games to the Chicagoans on Detroit ice. The Wings were pushing to extend the series to a final game in Chicago, which would have been played Tuesday. But now, there won't be any hockey in Chicago Stadium until next October.
The kids played all the hockey tonight; played it without Murray Balfour, injured right wing, and Dolly St. Laurent, ailing defenseman; played it with the help of two kids, Wayne Hicks and Wayne Hillman, and veteran Al Arbour, who had waited patiently and anxiously for the chance to play.
The Moment of Truth
And they met the Red Wings headon, in their own lair before 14,328 partisan fans. And when McDonald scored the goal that gave the Hawks a 2 to 1 lead, the normal noises of an exciting hockey game subsided. Nesterenko's goal, which made it 3 to 1, brought about an almost hush in Olympia Stadium. And at that moment, everybody knew, for sure, that they were watching the world champions putting the finishing touch to an obstinate foe, which suddenly almost tipped its hat in salute. The game was over.
But before that, the Wings were rougher than usual, with Howie Young and Pete Goegan doing most of the heavy checking. But, unlike the two previous games here, which were won by the Wings, the Hawks kept coming and dishing it out. Elmer Vasko and Evans twice sent Hombre Young spinning on his tail.
Detroit's only goal, and the first goal of the game, came at 15:24 of the first period, with only 10 seconds left to an interference penalty against Arbour. Goalie Hall had already smothered three Detroit drives, when Howe hammered a 40 foot powerplay drive from direct center. Bruce MacGregor was on Hall's left, and Parker MacDonald at his right when Howe's shot hit his pads and dropped to his feet. MacDonald slammed home the rebound before Hall could drop to cover.
The Horse Gallops
Then came Fleming's great effort. Rookie Hicks went off for hooking Goegan near the Detroit net, leaving the Hawks shorthanded. Out came the penalty killers, Fleming and Earl Balfour. They broke up one rush, and Detroit came again.
Fleming took the puck away from Len Lunde deep on the Hawks' right boards. Reg poled the puck to the other end of the ice, a normal defensive maneuver, then trailed it. Goegan picked it up deep in his own right corner and started out. Fleming poke-checked the puck away from him, swerved to the left and rode it home. Hank Bassen, in the nets in place of Terry Sawchuk, wasn't ready for company.
Hall Does It Again
Then came Hall's first ultra-catch. The Hawks were still shorthanded after Fleming's goal, and the infuriated Red Wings stormed back. Goegan, carrying on the left, let go with one from the blue line. It was high and hard, and Hall, his skates slipping out from under him, reached up and deep into the net for a left handed catch.
About three minutes later, the still bitter Wings swallowed another pill. Sloan drew a penalty for hooking Marcel Pronovost and Detroit swept in on Hall with now or never determination. This time it was Howe's shot. It came from deep right wing, and, like Goegan's, also was high and hard. But Hall maintained his feet and the puck caromed off his right arm, over his extended left and headed into the net. Hall again reached into the goal and caught the puck before it hit and ice or touched the net.
Those two catches by Hall doused a lot of fire in the Wings, and when McDonald gave the Hawks a 2 to 1 lead, there was just a bit of smoke left. The goal was engineered by Mikita's pass to Hull, who took the puck on Mikita's right on the fly.
Last 3 Goals Easy
Hull swept behind the defense and hooked sharply and carried laterally across the goal crease. Bassen, stepping out in the crease, made the stop, but Hull bowled him over and out into left wing. McDonald, on the left side, leaped over the goalie, circled the net and slapped the puck home. It had sat there in the crease unattended, as tho waiting for him.
That was the game. The three goals in the last period came off panic driven mistakes by the Wings. They no longer were the players who, as one observer pointed out, "played better hockey than they know how" during the series.
Hawks in Select Group
The goals by Nesterenko, Evans and Wharram were either break-thrus or the result of defensemen giving up the chase. Goalie Bassen looked as tho he could have autographed Wharram's shot as it went past him. And that was his last effort.
After the center ice cheers, congratulations and presentations, the Hawks headed for the airport and home, but were forced to return to the hotel because of the bad flying weather. The team plane tentatively is scheduled to leave at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, depending upon the weather.
This was only the fourth time in National Hockey league history that a team which finished third during the season went on the win the Stanley cup title.