Monday, January 23, 2012
Starting his career with his hometown Owen Sound Orphans in 1940, Gord Henry signed to play goal for the Philadelphia Falcons of the Eastern Amateur Hockey League for two seasons, beginning in 1943-44. He also appeared in three games for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League during the 1944-45 season.
The following season you never knew where Henry would surface next, as he played 16 games for Hershey in the AHL and 4 for the Baltimore Clippers and one each for the Falcons as well as the New York Rovers, all in the EAHL and four different clubs in all before ending his season with 3 playoff games for the Bears.
He spent the majority of his 1946-47 season with the Boston Olympics of the EAHL, seeing action in 43 games, winning 21. He again returned to Hershey at the end of the season, playing in 5 games before going 8-3 in the postseason with 5 shutouts and a 1.45 goals against average as the Bears won the Calder Cup as AHL champions for the first of eight times in team history.
The 1946-47 Hershey Bears
The Hershey Bears receiving the 1947 Calder Cup with Henry on the far right
With the championship on his resume, he became the dominant goaltender for Hershey for the next eight seasons, beginning with 68 appearances in 1947-48, winning 25. The following season he would again appear in 66 games for the Bears, winning 28 times. The Bears would return to the Calder Cup Finals that season after sweeping Indianapolis and Cleveland before taking the Providence Reds to a seventh game. Henry finished the postseason with a 7-4 record.
He would also make his NHL debut with with the Boston Bruins for a single, memorable game on this date in 1949 as he became only the 6th goaltender in league history to record a shutout in his first ever game, blanking the Montreal Canadiens 3-0.
Henry under attack by Maurice Richard of Montreal
He continued to be the mainstay in goal for Hershey in 1949-50 as well as making two more starts for the Bruins, dropping both contests despite a 2.50 goals against average.
Henry would set a career highs in 1950-51 as he appeared in 70 games, winning 38. Despite not playing any regular season games for Boston that season, he was called upon to make two starts in the playoffs for the Bruins.
Nearly equaling his stats from the previous season, he won 35 games from 68 starts in 1951-52. In 1952-53, the reliable Henry was again in goal for 64 games, winning 31 while leading the AHL in appearances for the third straight season and fourth time in his career, with the first being in 1949. Once again, the Bruins came calling during the postseason, as Henry saw action in 3 playoff games for Boston.
Milt Schmidt and Henry while with the Bruins
For the seventh consecutive season, Henry appeared in over 60 games with 63 and won 30 or more for the fourth consecutive season, totaling 33.
In 1954-55, he once more led the Bears in games played, but was limited to just 23 after being forced to miss the remainder of the season following a car accident in mid January, which ended his career with Hershey.
For the 1955-56 season he returned home to Owen Sound, playing 20 games with the Mercurys in senior hockey. His final game would come in 1956-57 with the Philadelphia Ramblers of the Eastern Hockey League before he retired from play.
Unusually, Henry would play in more NHL playoff games, five, than he would NHL regular season games, having appeared in just three, but memorably winning the first by shutout, only the 6th goaltender to do so.
Today's featured jersey is a 1949-50 Boston Bruins Gord Henry Jersey. In honor of the Bruins 25th anniversary in 1948-49, they would adopt a new logo, the spoked "B". The "B" was flanked by the numbers 24 and 49. For 1949-50, the "B" would change from a yellow curved font to a black block font, creating a new version of the logo which would remain unchanged for 45 years until a the logo would be updated with black outlines around the yellow spokes as part of a new set of jerseys adopted for their move from their long time home Boston Garden to the new Fleet Center.
Today's featured jersey would remain in use for just two seasons until the sleeves gained an extra yellow stripe and black sleeve ends.
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions
Today's video segment in on the Hershey Bears and their long time home, Hershey Park Arena.