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Monday, January 05, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 5th

35 years ago tonight (1980) – Wayne Merrick scored two goals against his former mates; his second goal, on the power play, broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period as the Islanders defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-1.

“Banana Line”-mate John Tonelli assisted on both of Merrick’s tallies.  It was his first points in nine games prompting Tonelli to tell the New York Times’ John Radosta: “Tonight was do-or-die for me…I’m not a fancy guy.  I just have to put pressure on the defensemen.”  Mike Bossy completed the scoring with a last minute power play goal.

The lone Blues goal was scored by Brian Sutter.  Future Islander broadcaster Joe Micheletti assisted on the tally.  

It was the first meeting of Brian and Duane in the NHL; in fact Duane noted that “Believe it or not, we’ve never played against each other, except back on the farm”.
6 Sutter brothers played in the NHL (A 7th brother, Gary, did not pursue a professional hockey career)

Billy Mac Millian manned the Islander bench, with Al Arbour having been stricken by the flu.  It is still Arbour’s win, though – one of the 739 he recorded in his two main stints with the Isles.

With the win, the Isles improved to 15-16-6 on the season.

Also on this date: (1999) – Robert Reichel scored 39 seconds into the game but the Isles failed to convert on eight power plays in a 1-1 tie with Chicago.

All-time, the Isles have played eight January 5th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 2-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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