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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on JANUARY 7th

21 years ago tonight (1994) – Pierre Turgeon scored two goals and added an assist while Tom Kurvers and Steve Thomas each added three helpers as the Isles defeated Calgary 6-2.  22-year-old Jamie McLennan earned the victory in his NHL debut.

McLennan Islanders
McLennan would wear the Fisherman jersey later in his Isles career
McLennan was recalled to give Ron Hextall a break; Hextall had started 20 straight games –a franchise record that stands today.  McLennan told Newsday’s Jim Smith: “"I was getting butterflies. I was excited just to get a chance to play. {The win} is a tribute to the team. They played as one."

However, the man later called “Noodles” was not the only Islander to make his NHL debut that night. Dan Plante and Jason Simon also debuted, as did a player who would eventually become a huge fan favorite, Ziggy Palffy.  

Palffy played 5 games that season and didn't score; in the fifth game, he had a great attempt on a penalty shot for what would have been his first NHL goal.  Gary Thorne & Bill Clement on the call

None of the new arrivals figured in the scoring, although Simon did record 25 penalty minutes with a fight and two misconducts.  He would play only three more games for the Isles and one other NHL game (for Phoenix in 1996-97).

Assistant coach Lorne Henning ran the bench as Al Arbour served the first game of a 5-game suspension imposed when Mick Vukota left the players bench in a game with New Jersey a few days earlier.  Vukota was hit with a 10-game suspension.

Here's a bit of video from Vukota getting suspended.  Do you recognize the voice doing the highlight?  It's ESPN's Steve Levy.

Also on this date: (2003) – Dave Scatchard recorded his first career hat trick as the Isles beat Pittsburgh 6-3.  Scatchard played 659 NHL games -- his only 2 NHL hat tricks came in a 5 week period.

All-time, the Isles have played nine January 7th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-4-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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