Friday, April 28, 2017

1993-94 Boston Bruins Ted Donato Jersey

After playing his high school hockey at Catholic Memorial School in Boston from 1983-84 to 1986-87, left winger Ted Donato had the thrill of being drafted in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the hometown Boston Bruins.

Donato stayed close to home when joined the Harvard Crimson for the 1987-88 season. He had a fine freshman season with 26 points in 28 games as well as playing for the United States at the 1988 World Junior Championships, scoring 5 points in 7 games for the Americans.

During his sophomore season, Donato scored 14 goals but elevated his point total to 51 in 34 games thanks to 37 assists, nearly three times as many as he had as a freshman. Donato also got to lift the Beanpot trophy when Harvard won the 1989 Beanpot Tournament, which takes place annually among the four Boston based colleges and universities, Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College and Boston University

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Harvard won the Beanpot in 1989, a thrill for the Boston native Donato

Harvard had an excellent 27-3-0 record that season to win the ECAC regular season championship and an NCAA berth. In the national playoffs, the Crimson defeated the Lake Superior State Lakers 9 goals to 4 in the Quarterfinals and then defeated the Michigan State Spartans 4-3 in overtime to advance the NCAA title game, a true classic where they would win their first, and to date only, national championship with another 4-3 win in overtime against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, overcoming the fact they were playing in front of thousands of Minnesota's fans in St. Paul at the Civic Center. Following the tournament, Donato was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

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Donato being interviewed after being named the Most 
Outstanding Player following Harvard's 1989 NCAA championship

After his 1989-90 season was limited to just 16 games, Donato returned for his senior season as one of the captains of the Crimson. He responded with an excellent season in 1990-91, averaging two points per game with 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points in 28 games, good for second on the team.

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Donato captained the Crimson in 1990-91

As many elite young players did when given the opportunity during this era, when Donato's college career concluded, he joined the United States National Team to play a full season of games in preparation for the Olympics. In the 52 games leading up to the Games, Donato had 11 goals and 33 assists playing a schedule of exhibition games against US  colleges, minor league pro teams and other national teams at times, particularly the Canadian National Team.

During the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, Donato had 4 goals and 7 points in 8 games played.

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Donato played for the United States on five occasions

With the Olympics concluded, Donato made his NHL debut with the Bruins, playing in 10 regular season games, which included scoring his first NHL goal. He then played in all 15 of Boston's playoff games, contributing 7 points.

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Donato during his 10 game NHL debut in 1992, wearing #46

He then played in 82 of Boston's 84 games in 1992-93, with 15 goals and 35 points. He followed that by setting a career high in points during the 1993-94 season with 22 goals and 54 points, playing in all 84 of the Bruins games, as this was the era of the neutral site games, which bumped the schedule from the usual 82 up to 84 games for both the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.

With the 1994-95 season delayed by labor issues, Donato made his way to Finland and kept in game shape by playing 14 games for TuTo Turku in the SM-Liiga. While in Finland, Donato contributed 10 points and 47 penalty minutes, nearly five times more than he would have in three times as many games when he returned to Boston after the lockout ended! Back with the Bruins, Donato would have 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points with just 10 penalty minutes in 47 games.

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Donato played with TuTo Turku in Finland during the 1994-95 lockout

Donato would take a run at setting a new personal high in goal in each of the next two seasons. He would have his second and third 20 goal seasons with 23 goals and and 49 points in 1995-96 and then set a career high with 25 goals in 1996-97 on his way to 51 points despite being limited to 67 games that season. He was healthy in time to play for the United States once more, this time at the 1987 World Championships, where he tied for the team lead with 4 goals and 6 points in 8 games.

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Donato after the Bruins move to the Fleet Center,
which came with a new set of jerseys

His numbers regressed in 1997-98 to 16 goals and 39 points, and then after a slow start to the 1998-99 season, scoring just one goal and 4 points in 14 games, Donato was traded to the New York Islanders in early November of 1998. He would play just 55 games with the Islanders, scoring 18 points, before a trade in late March saw him crossing the border into Canada to join the Ottawa Senators for the final 13 games of the season. All the upheaval did not do his game any favors, and his combined season stats were 11 goals and 27 points in 82 games.

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Donato was traded from Boston to the New York Islanders

With the Senators season over, Donato was available to join the United States for the 1997 World Championships, where he led the Americans in scoring with 2 goals and 8 points in 6 games.

Donato was on the move again for the 1999-00 season, this time across the continent as he was dealt to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He would play in 81 games that season, scoring 11 goals on his way to 30 points.

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Donato played one season with the Mighty Ducks

Donato signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars for the 2000-01 season. There, he saw action in 65 games, scoring 25 points.

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For the 2001-02 season, Donato signed as a free agent with the Islanders in mid-January of 2002, but eventually only played one game with New York and another with their top American Hockey League affiliate, the first season Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

He was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings on January 28th and was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. There, he played 36 games with a fine 18 goals and 43 points. He did see action in two games for Los Angeles but was waived once more, this time being claimed by the St. Louis Blues on March 19th in time to play two games for the Blues. In all, Donato played in five cities that season but failed to register a point in just five NHL games.

Despite his unsettled professional season, Donato was able to participate in the 2002 World Championships for the US, contributing a goal and 4 points in 7 games in his final international competition, which was enough to tie for second in team scoring.

Looking to revive his NHL career, Donato signed as a free agent once again, this time with the New York Rangers for the 2002-03 season. He would play in 49 games in Manhattan in a defensive role, as he only scored 2 goals and an assist. He was able to demonstrate the offensive part of his game with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL, scoring 8 goals and 20 points in 18 games.

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Donato played one season with the Rangers

He returned home for the 2003-04 season, signing with the Bruins where his NHL career began. Playing the same checking role as he had with the Rangers, he did manage 6 goals and 11 points in 63 games with Boston. During the season he also saw action in 15 games for the Providence Bruins scoring 12 points in the AHL. Donato was back in Boston for the playoffs, playing the final two games of his career in the postseason.

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Donato returned home to Boston for his final season of play

His final NHL totals were 796 games played with 150 goals and 197 assists for 347 points, the majority of those with the Bruins.

Donato may have retired as a player, but he was never out of hockey, as in the summer following his final NHL season, he accepted the head coaching position at Harvard and just finished his 13th season guiding the Crimson with a Frozen Four appearance.

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Donato got to lift the Beanpot again as the head coach of Harvard

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Boston Bruins Ted Donato jersey from the season when he set a career high with 54 points.

This classic Bruins style first arrived on the scene in 1974-75 when Boston removed the colored shoulders from their black road jerseys. In 1976-77, the secondary logos were added to the shoulders and names on the back arrived the following season. This style remained in use through the 1994-95 season, their final one at the historic Boston Garden.

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 photo Boston Bruins 1993-94 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996-97 Boston Bruins Ted Donato jersey from the season the NHL first introduced third jerseys. Five teams, Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks, would all debut alternate jerseys. While the Kings and Mighty Ducks jerseys would last no more than six games, the would be worn for 10 seasons through the 2005-06 season (not counting the 2004-05 season which was cancelled).

 photo Boston Bruins 1996-97 F jersey.jpg
 photo Boston Bruins 1996-97 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2000-01 Dallas Stars Ted Donato jersey worn during his only season with the Stars.

This jersey was introduced as the Stars third jersey in 1997-98 and became the team's primary road jersey two seasons later after being worn during the 1999 playoffs as Dallas would go on to win the Stanley Cup. This jersey style would remain in use through the 2005-06 season until the Stars got a new set of jerseys with the arrival of the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08.

This jersey was based on the design of the 1994-1997 NHL All-Star jerseys and was a perfect fit for Dallas and easily one of our favorite jerseys in league history. An instant "gotta have it" at first sight.

Sharp eyed readers will notice the bottom points of the star on the front of the jersey are clipped, as the bottom couple of inches of the jersey were folded upwards and sewn down to shorten the length of the jersey at Donato's request.

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 photo Dallas Stars 2000-01 B jersey.jpg

In today's video section, Donato scores on a breakaway against the New Jersey Devils.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Koningsdag (King's Day) in The Netherlands - 1992 Netherlands National Team Frank Janssen Jersey

Today is Koningsdag, or "King's Day" in the Netherlands, which is often referred to as "Holland", when the country celebrates the birthday of the king of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander.

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The tradition started on August 31, 1885 on the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, who later became Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after Queen Juiliana took the throne, the holiday became known as Koninginnedag, or Queen's Day, and was celebrated on her birthday of April 30th.

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Queen Wilhelmina

When Queen Beatrix, succeeded her mother Queen Juliana in 1980, she decided to keep the holiday on April 30th as a tribute to her mother, despite Queen Beatrix's birthday being on January 31st, which comes at a time of year that is far less suited weather-wise for a national holiday that includes many outdoor events.

When Queen Beatrix abdicated on Koninginnedag in 2013 at the age of 75, her son Willem-Alexander became the first King of the Netherlands since the observance of the national holiday, the name was changed from Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) to Koningsdag (King's Day) and the date adjusted slightly from April 30th to now April 27th, Willem-Alexander's birthday.

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King Willem-Alexander

One of the main outdoor events which Queen's Day is known for it the tradition of "free market", where everyone is allowed to sell items on the streets without having to pay taxes on their sales, with the sales in Amsterdam attracting the most visitors. While some sale areas are becoming more commercialized, others are more of a social event and the one in Vondelpark is officially reserved for children.

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An example of the Free Market sales on King's Day

Other activities are games for children and outdoor concerts as many people dress in the color orange, the color of William I, Prince of Orange, the founder of the Dutch royal family, The House of Orange.

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A scene of the oranjegekte, or "Orange Madness"

Orange is also the color worn by Dutch national sports teams, such as it's successful soccer team despite the colors of it's flag being red, white and blue.

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The Netherlands national soccer team in their traditional orange shirts

Not only do people dress in orange, but there are also orange costumes, drinks and food. The night before King's Day is also celebrated in some larger cities, such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hauge, and called King's Night, which began as a successful response to rowdyism in the 1990's.

Rather than continue the old tradition of citizens visiting the Queen at Soestdijk Palace, now Queen Beatrix started a new tradition in 1981 where the monarch picks a location to visit each year to meet citizens, view local dances and demonstrations of traditional crafts. This year Willem-Alexander will visit Tiburg in the south of the country, his fourth such visit since ascending to the throne.

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King Willem-Alexander and family during a King's Day visit

The Netherlands National Team first played in 1935 and is currently ranked 27th in the world, competing at the IIHF World Championship Division I Group B level, now the third highest level of international hockey. Their highest ranking came in 1953, when they were ranked 7th and since 2000 their highest ranking has been 22nd.

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They participated sparingly during their early days, finishing 14th and last their first time out in 1935 after going 0-6 and being outscored 34-0 before returning in 1939 (improving to 11th out of 13 and scoring their first goals in their 2-1 over Finland) and then not until 1950, the long gap primarily due to the outbreak of World War II which interrupted the World Championships from 1940 through 1946.

In 1950 they placed 8th before four straight appearances in the B Pool from 1951 to 1955. They returned to the international scene next in 1961 and 1963 (now assigned to the C Pool), before finally becoming regular participants in 1967, still in the C Pool.

In 1973, they placed second in the C Pool with a 5-2 record and outscoring their opponents 52-21 while hosting the tournament to earn a promotion to the B Pool, where they stayed for four tournaments prior to a one year demotion to the C Pool. They won the C Pool their first time out in 1978 with a 6-1 mark and a staggering 74-17 goal differential to immediately return to the B Pool Group 2, which they won their first year back up with a 4-0 record, which earned them the right to compete in the Olympic hockey tournament for the only time, the 1980 Games. While in Lake Placid, they posted a record of 1-3-1 thanks to a win over Poland and a tie with Japan.

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Canada (in red) vs the Netherlands (white) during the 1980 Olympics

Their B Pool championship in 1979 also gained them entry into the top level of the World Championships for 1981, but they were relegated back to the B Pool after finding the going too tough when they were placed in a group with the Soviet Union, Canada and Finland and lost all three Consolation Round games against the United States, Finland and West Germany.

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The Netherlands (in orange) in action against Kazakhstan

Over the next 17 tournaments, the Netherlands competed in the B Pool, with three relegations to the C Pool, where they successfully returned to the B Pool on their first try each time in 1983, 1989 and 1999.

In 2001, they remained in the newly renamed Division I, where they defended their place each time out until the new structure introduced in 2012 saw them placed in the lower half of Division I, still referred to as Division I Group B, but now requiring the Netherlands to rise up through Group A to reach the Top Division for the first time since 1981.

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The 2012 Netherlands National Team

For three years they were able to defend their place in Division I Group B, but a sixth place finish in 2015 dropped them to Division II Group A for 2016, where they dominated with 4 regulation wins and an overtime win to earn an immediate promotion back to Division I Group B, which is currently taking place this week in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Ron Berteling holds the record for the most games played for the national team with 213 while  Jack de Heer has scored the most points with 210. Berteling has been awarded the Frans Henrichs Trophy as the MVP of the Dutch League, while de Heer has a trophy named for him which is given to the leading scorer of the Dutch Super Liga.

The Netherlands currently has 3,700 registered senior players and 1,200 junior players and 26 indoor rinks.

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The Dutch enjoying their Group G Olympic Pre-Qualification
tournament victory in 2012

Today's featured jersey is a 1992 Netherlands National Team Frank Janssen jersey. Despite their national flag being red, white and blue, the Netherlands traditionally wears orange in international competition, as it is the color of the Dutch royal family.

This attractive jersey was made by the Tackla company of Finland from 1989 to 1993 in a pair of distinct variations, with the earlier ones read "Holland" while the later ones were changed to "Nederland".

Janssen, a right wing, had a long career, spent almost entirely with the Nijmegen Tigers in the Dutch Eredivisie, the top hockey league in the Netherlands, playing from 1983-84 to 2001-02. He has since made sporadic appearances with Nijemegen Devils in 2010-11 (4 games), 2011-12 (6) and 2012-13 (5) while an assistant coach for the club took the place of the Tigers in 2007.

He played for the national team on nine times, seven in the World Championships B Pool, once in the C Pool, and again in an Olympic qualification tournament in 2000 with his finest tournament being the 1992 World Championships when he scored 3 goals and 6 points in 7 games.

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Netherlands 1992 jersey photo Netherlands 1992 B.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1995 Netherlands National Team jerseyThis jersey was also made by the Tackla company of Finland, only with Reebok branding on the shoulders in 1994 and 1995 until a different manufacturer took over in 1996.

1994 Netherlands jersey, 1994 Netherlands jersey

photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2008 Netherlands National Team Ivy van den Huevel jersey as worn in the 2008 IIHF Division I Group A World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria as well as the IIHF Group C Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament in Narva, Estonia in November 2008.

The main crest, striping, name, numbers and even the IIHF logo on the back are all dye-sublimated, with the name on a nameplate which was then sewn on, while the sponsorship patch on the back is printed on a patch which was then sewn onto the jersey. The pair of sponsorship patches on the arms are embroidered patches which were then sewn on.

This very attractive jersey in the traditional Dutch color of orange features a striking main logo and some basic, yet effective striping and contrasting blue accent colors for an overall excellent look.

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Netherlands 2008 jersey photo Netherlands2008B.jpg

First up in the video section today, classic footage of the Netherlands versus Canada in the 1980 Olympics. The Netherlands are not wearing their expected orange color, but white jerseys with blue trim.

More classic footage, including a brief interviews with record holding national team players Berteling and de Heer from 1983, as the Netherlands takes on Hungary.

From the recent 2010 Division 1 Group A World Championships in Tilburg, the host Dutch take on Japan.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The New York Islanders Come Back From a Three Game Deficit - 1974-75 New York Islanders Ed Westfall Jersey

Created in an effort to block the rival World Hockey Association from placing a team on Long Island, the New York Islanders were added to the National Hockey League for the 1972-73 season. As one would expect, the expansion Islanders were overmatched in their first season, going 12-60-6 and finishing dead last in the NHL by 18 points. They were led in scoring by Billy Harris with 28 goals and 50 points in 78 games. They were backstopped by the duo of Gerry Desjardins, claimed from the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1972 Expansion Draft, and Billy Smith, who was claimed in the same Expansion Draft from the Los Angeles Kings, who brought just 5 games of NHL experience and took his lumps with a 7-24-3 record. Desjardins had less to write home about thanks to his 5-35-3 record.

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Billy Smith

The Islanders parlayed their last place finish into Denis Potvin, the first overall selection in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft, who would go on to patrol the ice for New York for the next 15 seasons and led the team in scoring with 17 goals and 54 points in 77 games on his way to being named the Calder Trophy winner as NHL Rookie of the Year.

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Denis Potvin

Despite the arrival of Potvin, the Islanders improved marginally in 1973-74 to a 19-41-18 record for 56 points, second worst in the NHL and ahead of only the California Golden Seals 36 points, as the Golden Seals roster was raided unmercifully by the upstart WHA.

Normally the Islanders would have selected second overall, but during the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft, the expansion clubs, the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts, were granted the first two picks, pushing the Islanders down to fourth behind California. New York used its pick to select Clark Gillies, who would prove to be the only future Hall of Famer chosen in the first round of the draft. The Islanders second round pick was another home run, and another future Hall of Famer, Bryan Trottier.

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Clark Gillies

While Trottier would spend another year in junior hockey, Gillies would make the Islanders 1974-75 roster out of training camp. Other new additions to the lineup for that seasons were undrafted free agent goalie Glen "Chico" Resch, who replaced Desjardins as Smith's partner after appearing in 2 games in 1973-74. Bob Bourne arrived via trade and would be a regular in the Islanders lineup for the next dozen years.

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Bob Bourne

Also arriving during the season were veterans J. P. Parise and Jude Drouin in separate trades with the Minnesota North Stars.

Potvin again led the club in scoring, only now with 21 goals and 76 points. The improved roster saw Harris' point total climb to 25 goals and 62 points. Bob Nystrom also saw his point total climb to 27 goals and 55 points, up from 41 the year before, and veteran Ed Westfall also saw an increase from 42 to 55 points as well. After Garry Howatt's 48 points (an increase of 31!) was rookie Gillies with 25 goals and 47 points. Drouin and Parise, playing in just a half a season with the Islanders, had 32 and 30 points, a pace which would have had them among the top four had they played a full season.

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Billy Harris attacking the Penguins goal

Smith led the team with 58 games played and had his first winning season, with a 21-18-17 record and a 2.78 goals against, down from 4.16 two seasons earlier. Resch, meanwhile, also had a winning record at 12-7-5 and an even better 2.47 goals against.

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Chico Resch

All of this added up to a 33-25-22 record (22 ties!) to finish tied for second with the New York Rangers in the Patrick Division and their first ever playoff berth.

The Islanders were paired with the Rangers in the best-of-three Preliminary Round and won Game 1 in stunning fashion, scoring 3 third period goals to win 3-2. The Rangers hammered the Islanders 8-3 in Game 2, forcing a deciding Game 3. The Islanders scored once in the first (Gillies) and twice in the second (both coming from Potvin) only to have the Rangers score 3 in the third to force a winner-take-all overtime. The former North Stars wasted little time, as Drouin fed Parise in front of the Rangers goal for an easy tap in after just 11 seconds of overtime. Of note, the road team won all three games of the series.

The Islanders advanced to face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who finished the season with a record similar to New York at 37-28-15 for 89 points, one more than the Islanders. Pittsburgh advanced by sweeping the St. Louis Blues by scores of 4-3 and 5-3.

Game 1 was held in Pittsburgh and saw the Penguins streak out to a 3-0 lead after 12 minutes. New York scored one in the first and one in the second to close to within 3-2 only to have the Penguins score a shorthanded goal 36 seconds into the third and add an important insurance goal at 4:44, as Parise scored twice afterwards to make the final margin 5-4 for Pittsburgh with Smith taking the loss.

Game 2 was scoreless after one. The Penguins scored two in the second and a third at 14:51 of the third before a goal by Gillies 43 seconds later made the final score 3-1 for Pittsburgh, giving them a 2-0 series advantage.

Game 3, held on Long Island, saw the Penguins leading 3-0 just 3:25 into the second period. Westfall scored in the second followed by Drouin at 1:17 of the third. The Penguins restored a 2 goal lead with a goal at 10:31 for a 4-2 lead. The game was scoreless for the next seven minutes before all hell broke loose. Bert Marshall scored for the Islanders at 17:41, Syl Apps for Pittsburgh at 18:15, Drouin for New York at 19:08 and Lowell MacDonald sealed the game and a 3-0 series lead for Pittsburgh with an empty net goal at 19:48 - four goals in 2:07 to make the final score 6-4 for the Penguins.

The Islanders now had no margin for error or their first playoffs would come to an immediate end. Looking for a change in fortune, the Islanders changed from Smith to Resch in goal for Game 4 in New York. With the game tied at 1-1 after two periods, the Islanders got third period goals from Gillies and Parise 39 seconds apart and Resch made 27 saves for the win to keep the Islanders season alive for one more game.

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The Islanders J. P. Parise looking to score against Pittsburgh's Gary Inness

Game 5 back in Pittsburgh was 2-0 for New York after one period and the teams traded goals in the second for a 3-1 New York lead after two. With a shade under three minutes to play, MacDonald pulled the Penguins back to within 1 at 3-2, but Drouin scored an empty net goal with 30 seconds to play for a 4-2 win for the Islanders despite being outshot 36-19 as Resch won his second in a row.

Game 6 had the Islanders back at home in front of their own fans, who were restless after a scoreless first period. Ralph Stewart opened the scoring for New York at 4:07 of the second and Pierre Larouche countered just 49 seconds later for the Penguins. Howatt put the Islanders back on top at 15:16 and the game did not see another goal until Pittsburgh pulled Gary Inness and Westfall made it 3-1 with 26 seconds to play before Howatt made the final 4-1 with a second empty net goal with a second remaining, giving the Islanders fans one more reason to celebrate their upstarts winning a third straight game to force a Game 7 after being down 3 games to none.

Game 7 took place on this date in 1975 at The Igloo in Pittsburgh. Resch, with the three wins for New York, got the obvious call in goal for the Islanders, while Inness started all seven for the Penguins.

There was no scoring after the first period, but plenty of animosity, as Gillies and Bob Paradise fought at 2:44. Dave Lewis for New York and Dennis Owchar then dropped the gloves at 11:37. There were three other instances where matching minors were handed out.

The second period was even more tense as the game continued scoreless. The Penguins led in shots 14-5 after one and then had an 11-6 advantage in the second, but despite outshooting the Islanders 25-11 after two, could not solve Resch.

The third period saw Howatt take a penalty at 5:48, but New York was able to withstand the Penguins powerplay. Finally, at 14:42, Westfall, an original Islander, got the puck alone in the slot and fired a backhander past Inness for the go ahead goal.

The New York defense, led by Potvin, limited Pittsburgh to just five shots on goal for the third period as New York became the second team to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven game series and first since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs thanks to their 1-0 win in Game 7 on the road.

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An elated Islanders captain Westfall in the
handshake line after New York eliminated the Penguins

Resch finished with 30 saves for the necessary shutout and his fourth consecutive win in goal. The shutout was the first Game 7 shutout on the road in NHL history.

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Resch won Game 7 for the Islanders with a shutout

That was not all for the dramatics though, as the Islanders lost to their next opponent the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 in Game 1 of their Semifinal series, then were defeated 5-4 in overtime and shutout again 1-0 in Game 3. The Islanders stayed alive after a tense 4-3 overtime win in Game 4 at home, cruised to a 5-1 win in Game 5 and had all of the hockey world talking with a 2-1 win to once again come back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the series at 3-3!

Could New York pull off the virtually impossible twice in a row after it had only been done once in 57 years? It was not to be, as the Flyers led 3-1 after one period and Bernie Parent held the Islanders scoreless for the game's final 55 minutes to win 4-1 and end their first, but memorable playoff run.

With a taste of the playoffs, the Islanders made it to Round 3 in both 1976 and 1977, the second round in 1978 and the third round once more in 1979. By now the battle tested team had added additional talent, such as Trottier, scoring star Mike Bossy, John Tonelli, Butch Goring, and US Olympian Ken Morrow going into the 1980 playoffs. The Islanders would defeat those same Flyers to win what would be the first of their four consecutive Stanley Cup championships of their 1980s dynasty.

Today's featured jersey is a 1974-75 New York Islanders Ed Westfall jersey as worn during the Islanders Game 7 shutout of the Penguins to become the first team in 33 years to come from three games down to win a playoff series.

The Islanders debuted in 1972-73 with jerseys identical to today's featured jersey except with orange numbers with white outlines. For their second season, they reversed the colors of the numbers to now white with orange outlines on their road blue jerseys. These jerseys remained in use through the 1976-77 season until the lace up collar changed to a v-neck and the white sleeve ends disappeared.

 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 18 F jersey_1.jpg
 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 18 B jersey_1.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1974-75 New York Islanders Clark Gillies jersey as worn during the Islanders Game 7 shutout of the Penguins to become the first team in 33 years to come from three games down to win a playoff series.

Note that the Islanders spelled the rookie Gillies name wrong on the back of the future Hall of Famer's jersey, leaving out the second "i"!

 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 9 F jersey.jpg
 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 9 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1974-75 New York Islanders Denis Potvin jersey as worn by the Islanders leading scorer during their wins in Game 4 and Game 6 as part of their historic comeback.

The Islanders debuted with this lace-up jersey and wore it through the 1976-77 season, with the only changes being a smaller font for the numbers after their first season of 1972-73 and the loss of the blue outline around the crest for the jersey's final season of 1976-77.

 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 F jersey.jpg
 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 B jersey.jpg

Extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jersey is a 1977-78 Fort Worth Texans Yvon Vautour jersey. Why a Fort Worth Texans jersey from three years after the Islanders playoff victory? Back then, the Islanders recycled their jerseys, handing them down to their minor league affiliate. Names were removed and the crest was swapped to that used by the Texans, leaving game worn jerseys still crested with the Islanders logo from their early days rather scarce.

This particular #14 example was likely worn by Bourne when he was a part of the Islanders dramatic comeback during the 1975 playoffs.

And what of Vautour? He eventually played 17 games for the Islanders in 1979-80 and was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. He would play 204 NHL games with New York, Colorado, the New Jersey Devils and Quebec Nordiques.

 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 14 F jersey.jpg
 photo New York Islanders 1974-75 14 B jersey.jpg

In today's video section, a brief look at the Islanders dramatic come from behind playoff victory over the Penguins, which includes blink-and-you'll-miss-it footage of Westfall's Game 7 series winning goal.


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