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Stanley Cup Flashbacks: 1945: Leafs Almost Blow Lead, Wings Almost Get Redemption

The year is 1945. Despite a thinned roster due to World War II enrollments, the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Barely.

Flashback to 1942. The Detroit Red Wings have a 3 games to 0 lead on the Leafs. Somehow, the Leafs scratch and claw their way back, winning an unthinkable 4 consecutive games in the Stanley Cup finals to win the Stanley Cup 4 games to 3.

In 1945, the exact same scenario, with roles reversed, almost happened.

This time it was the Toronto Maple Leafs that got out to a 3-0 lead to open the finals, never surrendering even a single goal. War time goalie Ulcers McCool shuts the door with 3 of his 5 playoff shutouts that season!

But the Wings storm back, taking the next three games, setting up the decisive game seven to be played at the Olympia in Detroit.

The comeback would fall just short. The Leafs would win a narrow one, 2-1 over Detroit, thanks to Babe Pratt's winning goal at 12:14 of the 3rd period.

Young Teeder Kennedy leads the way with 7 goals, including 4 in the final series. He would go on to become a Stanley Cup playoff legend.


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