Decades later, Toronto Maple Leafs fans still excitedly talk about George Armstrong’s dramatic open net goal which clinched the Stanley Cup.
The scene was set in front of a sold- out Maple Leaf Gardens when a little over 53 years ago on May 2rd 1967, Armstrong touched off a wild celebration when in Game 6 of the finals, he scored a late third period open net goal to ice what was a 3-1 Stanley Cup clinching win against their heated rivals the Montreal Canadiens.
In what was Toronto’s last Stanley Cup victory, Leafs’ fans saw Armstrong make history when he scored what was the final goal in the Original Six era which occurred when Montreal pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.
This iconic play, which most Leafs fans have seen on video occurred on a late third period face-off when Allan Stanley got things going by winning the draw and getting the puck back to Red Kelly, who heading up ice passed it off to Bob Pulford, who in turn wheeled it to Armstrong who in the final minute of regulation skated past the center ice line and scored before moments later lifting the Stanley Cup. Armstrong, who was affectionately referred to as “The Chief” had an Irish Canadian father and an Ojibway mother. In what was a storied 21 NHL career with the Leafs, Armstrong, who played from 1950-‘71 won four Stanley Cups.
Despite all his Hall of Fame accomplishments, Armstrong will always be known to Leafs fans for scoring that clinching open net goal to ice what has been their last Stanley Cup win.