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Friday, February 27, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 27th

36 years ago tonight (1979) – Clark Gillies recorded his first hat trick in over two years, and to make it more special it came against Montreal Canadien legend Ken Dryden as the Isles pounded the three-time champions 7-3.  “It was a bad defeat; a poor game for us”, Dryden told Newsday’s Tim Moriarty.

Mike Bossy assisted on all three Gillies goals and finished with four assists in all as he extended his point streak to 12 games.  (The 4 assists also tied the club record at the time; Bossy holds the club record with a 6 assist game in 1981.)

The game was tied 1-1 after twenty minutes but Denis Potvin scored a power play just 1:25 into the middle period to give the Isles the lead  Gillies and Bobby Nystrom sandwiched goals around a Mario Tremblay tally to give the Isles a 4-2 lead after two periods.

The Isles blew the game open in the third, on a pair of goals by Gillies and one by Billy Harris. Gillies’ second goal of the period completed his hat trick with 1:19 to play.  Rejean Houle added a goal for Montreal in the final minute.

The game came one day after Al Arbour ceded control of practice to Bert Marshall.  “I don’t know what he was trying to do, but I’ll say one thing.  He looked pretty grumpy from where I was standing”, Gillies told Newsday’s Pat Calabria.  Arbour’s grumpiness was due to the Isles performance the preceding night at Madison Square Garden, when they were held without a shot in a period for the first time in their history. That same game had produced a memorable injury to the Rangers’ Ulf Nilsson – an injury that inspired a chant that is heard in the Garden today.

See the Potvin hit on Nilsson below:

The 7 goals matches the most goals that the Islanders have ever scored against Montreal.

Also on this date: (2007) On the day the Islanders announced that they had acquired Ryan Smyth, Jason Blake scored a first period hat trick and Trent Hunter scored a pair of goals, including one in overtime, as the Isles beat Philadelphia 6-5. 
Listen to Howie's first comment!  Billy Jaffe joins him on the call.

All-time, the Isles have played eleven February 27th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 5-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  The 12th and final February 27th home game is tonight –as the Isles host Calgary at 7:00. Make sure you’re there, because after tonight, there are only 10 regular season games remaining.

Note from Eric:

Recently, I was approached by @Islesblog to participate in a project for charity based on the "It Happened" theme.

The result is these gorgeous T-shirts and hoodies:

and now they can be yours.

Please visit http://teespring.com/IslesBlogIHATC to order.

Check out http://nyislesblog.com/articles/it-happened-at-the-coliseum-shirts-now-available for more on the campaign.

 All proceeds benefit one of my favorite charities: Make-A-Wish® Metro New York.

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