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Saturday, October 18, 2014

It Happened at the Coliseum … on OCTOBER 18th

13 years ago tonight (2001):  Rookie Radek Martinek scored his first NHL goal, in overtime, as the Islanders improved to 6-0-0-1 on the season with a 2-1 victory over Carolina.  The 13 points in seven games marked the best start in club history, beating the 6-1-0 1982-83 squad.

Peter Botte wrote in the Daily News: “The 2001-02 Islanders are 9.4 seconds from being 7-0, which has to be the most incredible sentence written about them since the Cup years, if not ever.”

The Islanders, who had defeated the Canes 4-0 in Carolina the previous night jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a first period goal by Mark Parrish.  Future-Isle Josef Vasicek (who was born in the same town as Martinek and would later perish in the Lokomotiv plane crash) tied the game in the third period, setting the stage for Martinek’s heroics.

Martinek, who at the time spoke virtually no English, needed Roman Hamrlik to describe the pass he converted from  ShawnBates into a practically open cage. "It was not that hard to hit the open net," Martinek said through Hamrlik. "I'm going to remember this forever.”  Fans in the building will also forever remember Martinek being named the Game’s #1 Star and then skating onto the ice and not knowing what to do.

Also on this date: (1978): Chico Resch and Los Angeles’ Rogatien Vachon battled to a scoreless tie. Meanwhile, about 20 miles away, Reggie Jackson hit three home runs to lead the Yankees to the World Championship.

All-time, the Isles have played eight October 18th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 3-3-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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