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On February 1, 1964, the Detroit Red Wings came to the Montreal Forum to play the Montreal Canadiens. They started backup rookie goaltender Roger Crozier instead of their regular goalie Terry Sawchuk.
Canadiens' right wing Bobby Rousseau had a terrific night. He scored his first goal at 19:12 of the first period. Then he got his second at 8:44 of the second period and followed up with the hat trick at 14:32 to give the Canadiens a 5-2 lead. In the third period Rousseau scored two quick goals at 0:47 and 1:46. That gave him five goals for the night, a rather unusual occurance in NHL history.
His centre, Henri Richard, got four assists on the night, three of them on Rousseau's goals. This was rather appropriate, since Richard's brother Maurice Richard had also scored five goals in a Canadiens' game.
Rousseau, then 23 years old in his fourth season with the Canadiens, had never scored more than two goals in a game.
Cournoyer's goals were part of a pair of remarkable coincidences. The 1964 Olympics were on, and the coach of Canada's team, Father David Bauer, had asked the Canadiens for the loan of Cournoyer. The Toronto Maple Leafs had loaned Rod Seiling. It was felt that Cournoyer's offensive prowess could spell the difference and give Canada a gold medal. Frank J. Selke, Montreal's general manager, refused.
The Canadiens had loaned a player to the 1960 Olympics team and it was felt that the Olympic team did not give him enough ice time. Canada played the Soviet Union a week later in a game that would decide the gold medal. Canada lost the game 3-2. It is interesting to speculate if Cournoyer had scored two goals in that game, as he did against the Detroit Red Wings, then Canada would have won the gold.
And the player that the Canadiens had lent to the 1960 Olympics team? None other than - you guessed it - Bobby Rousseau!
Roger Crozier seemed to make enough of a good impression on the Red Wings' management so that they let Terry Sawchuk go in the off-season and make Crozier their first-string goalie. He led the Wings to a first place finish in 1964-65 NHL season and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL best rookie - ahead of Canadiens' rookie Yvan Cournoyer, among others.