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Friday, January 02, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 2nd

1 year ago tonight (2014) – One day after being left off the United States Olympic Team, Kyle Okposo did his best to prove the Team USA coaching staff wrong, as he scored the game winning goal in overtime as the Islanders won their third straight game, defeating the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks 3-2.  Thomas Vanek and Casey Cizikas also scored for the Islanders, who built a 2-0 lead late in the second period only to have the Hawks score twice to even the game.

Before the game, Howie had one of his classic rants on the snub...

Less than three hours later, Howie called Okposo's winning goal:

It was Okposo’s 4th career overtime goal, tying the club record then already shared by Mike Bossy, Pat LaFontaine, Pierre Turgeon and John Tavares (Tavares broke the tie to become the all-time leader earlier this season). He became the first Islander since to record a goal and an assist in three consecutive games since Michael Grabner did it from March 18-22, 2011.

Okposo and Tavares savored the chemistry that led to the winning goal. "Johnny had some time, and I saw both guys [go] to him. I was hoping the puck would come to me and it popped right on my stick, and I got it over his glove this time…I'm going to keep playing well and keep trying to get this team to where we need to be,"  Okposo said.

Tavares added, "It was fitting to see Kyle put that one in. I think he sent a message with that one…"It's two points for us, and it shows we can compete with top-level teams."

Okposo's snub had Islander fans feeling different ways-- as detailed in The Skinny 1 year ago: 

The Isles have come a long way in the last year -- just read the 1 year ago Skinny to understand:


Also on this date: (1982) - Bob Bourne scored the winning goal with 4:08 to play as the Isles opened 1982 with a 5-3 win over Chicago.  The win started a 14-game home winning streak and a season-ending 23-game home unbeaten streak (21-0-2).

Also on this date: (1986) – Mike Bossy hits the empty-net to cement a 7-5 win over Boston.  It was Bossy’s 500th NHL goal.  Bossy reached the mark in 647 games, breaking Phil Esposito’s record of 803 games. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux would later beat Bossy’s 500 goal record, but Bossy stands alone as the player who scored more goals per game than any player in NHL history.

This NHL Network feature includes Jiggs McDonald's call of the historic goal:

All-time, the Isles have played fifteen January 2nd games at the Coliseum and finish with a 9-6-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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