On This Date in Sports February 26, 1947: All About the Bentleys

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

The New York Rangers have no answer for the Bentley brothers as they are beaten by the Chicago Black Hawks 9-7 at Madison Square Garden. The brothers Bentley combine for seven goals in the win. Doug Bentley scores four goals and gets up two assists, while brother Max Bentley scores three goals and assists on another. Both Bentley Brothers Doug and Max would be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, playing the bulk of their careers in Chicago. 

The years following World War II were not kind to the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks. Both teams settled to the back of the pack in the NHL and would often be the bottom two teams, missing the playoffs in the six-team league. Fans of the Black Hawks were able to enjoy the Bentley Brothers, who were a beacon of light in Chicago during an era of gloomy times. Both Doug and Max Bentley had Hall of Fame careers while playing on the same line. 

The Bentley brothers were from a large family in Delisle, Saskatchewan. Their father Bill was born in England and became a speed skating champion before settling down in Delisle, where he served as mayor. There were 13 children in the family, all of whom were athletes, with the six boys playing hockey. Max and Doug Bentley were the two best, as both had lengthy NHL careers. Reg Bentley briefly joined them in 1943. Reg played 11 games with the Black Hawks, playing on the same line as his brothers, to become the first siblings to comprise one line. 

While the Black Hawks were wallowing in last place, the 1946/47 season was good for the Bentley brothers. Max won the NHL scoring title with 29 goals and 43 assists, while Doug finished sixth with 21 goals and 34 assists. In their magical ten-point night in New York, Doug Bentley got the scoring started with a goal in the middle of the first period. Chicago and New York traded goals over the next ten minutes before  Max Bentley scored on the power play before the first intermission, taking a feed from Doug. 

Holding a 3-2 lead as the second period started, the Black Hawks got a pair of power-play goals from Doug Bentley in the first minute of the second period. Max scored his second goal three minutes later, allowing Chicago to build a 6-2 lead. The Rangers got back in the game with goals by Grant Warwick and Bryan Hextall. However, Bill Mosienko scored to make it a three-goal lead through two periods. 

Doug Bentley scored his fourth goal as the third period began to stretch, the Black Hawks lead to 8-4. The Rangers would make a run and scored the next three goals, with Warwick completing his hat trick. With a once four-goal lead down to one, Max Bentley completed the hat trick with 67 seconds left to secure a 9-7 win. With the win, the last-place Black Hawks improved to 17-27-4 while the Rangers slipped to 20-24-6.