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The Richard Riot


By Fred Wallace

Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


This is the 65th anniversary of the Richard Riot in Montreal, among the darkest moments in National Hockey League and Canadian history.

The anniversary this year coincides with the preparation for an undisclosed & hopefully upcoming hockey event in the city of Owen Sound.

The organizers of this potential event are tapping a number of sources to create a tapestry of hockey moments that illustrate Owen Sound's lengthy history in the sport.

My submission to the organizers dealt with the ripple effect & impact of the Richard Riot on an Owen Sound NHL'er, goalie Harry Lumley, and a lingering curiosity I've had with the incident for quite some time.

In 1953-54, netminder Harry Lumley of the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Vezina Trophy as the Leafs allowed the fewest goals against during the regular season.

A year later, Harry Lumley & Detroit's Terry Sawchuk were contending for the Vezina Trophy.

Remarkably, all these years later, 2 mostly reliable hockey web sites have different numbers for Lumley and Sawchuk as it pertains to their respective goal against averages.

Also remarkably, both Hockey DB & relate Lumley had the lower goals against average that season.

The caveat is that in that era, the Vezina wasn't awarded for goals against average but for lowest goals against and that favored Sawchuk, who gave up 1 less goal than Lumley that season.

Which brings us back to the Richard Riot.

The Montreal-Detroit game 65 years ago was halted at the end of the 1st period with Detroit leading 4-1.

What I can never get confirmed is; did Detroit win by forfeit with a 1-0 result and was Terry Sawchuk awarded a shutout for that contest ?

Or was Terry Sawchuk statistically credited for one goal against for that game, a game that was only 1/3rd completed, and if so, how did that, how could that, impact Owen Sound's Harry Lumley ?

I'm Fred Wallace




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