Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gaye Stewart, 2nd in the Scoring Race

Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel currently sits second in the NHL in scoring. As many have noted, no Maple Leaf has won a scoring title since Gordie Drillon in 1937/38. Obviously Kessel isn't going to win it this year as he sits 15 behind Sidney Crosby but if he were to hold on to second place it would be the highest Leaf finish in scoring in almost 70 years.

In 1945/46 Gaye Stewart finished second overall to Chicago's Max Bentley, nine points behind and two points ahead of Toe Blake and Clint Smith. Bentley had held the lead for most of the season but the race for second was wide open right up to the last few days of the season. Below is how the scoring race stood with two weeks remaining in the 1945/46 campaign (Goals, Assists, Points)

March 5
Max Bentley    31 22 53
Gaye Stewart   32 13 45
Bill Mosienko   17 28 45
Clint Smith        21 20 43
Toe Blake         24 16 40

Gaye Stewart was eight back of Bentley, tied with Bill Mosienko in points. The next few days played out as follows:

March 6
Bentley   1A
Stewart  1G
Blake     3A
Smith     1G 1A
Mosienko  0

March 9
Stewart   0
Blake      0

March 10
Bentley 1A
Stewart   0
Blake   1G
Smith  1 G
Mosienko 1A

March 12
Max Bentley    31 24 55
Gaye Stewart   33 13 46
Bill Mosienko   17 29 46
Toe Blake        25 19 44
Clint Smith       23 21 44

One goal in three games for Stewart was just enough to keep him tied for second with Mosienko. Toe Blake and Clint Smith tightened up the race for second with four and three points each.

March 13
Bentley 1G 2A
Smith    1G 1A
Mosienko 1A

March 14
Stewart  0
Bentley 3A
Blake 1G 1A
Smith 1G 1A
Mosienko 1G

March 15
Max Bentley   32 29 61
Bill Mosienko  18 30 48
Clint Smith       25 23 48
Gaye Stewart   33 13 46
Toe Blake        26 20 46

Max Bentley pretty much wrapped up the scoring race with six points in two games and Stewart was passed in the scoring ladder. Four guys now sat within two points of each other for second place.

March 16
Stewart 1G 1A
Bentley 0
Blake 1G 1A
Smith 0
Mosienko 0

March 17
Stewart 3G  1A
Bentley 0
Blake 2G
Smith 1G 1A
Mosienko 0

Stewart made a terrific push in the final two games with six points to jump into second spot alone. His four goals also locked up the goal scoring title, the last one ever won by a Maple Leaf player. Final scoring leaders for 1945/46.

Bentley 31 30 61
Stewart 37 15 52
Blake 29 21 50
Smith 26 24 50
Mosienko 18 30 48

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