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Sunday, March 15, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 15th

36 years ago tonight (1979)- Bryan Trottier scored three goals and Denis Potvin added two goals and as assist as the Isles pounded Toronto 6-2.  It was Trottier’s fifth career hat trick.
The win pushed the Islanders into a first place tie with Montreal in the President’s Trophy race.

“It’s fun scoring goals”, Trottier told Newsday’s Pat Calabria.  “Nothing in this league comes early, so when I can get a hat trick, I’ll enjoy it, especially if we win.”

Here are some highlights from Channel 4's News that night.  The announcer is Larry Sacknoff.

Billy Smith earned the win in nets; he also fought Toronto’s Lanny McDonald, who 10 ½ months earlier had eliminated the Islanders with an overtime goal.  Smith received 7 penalty minutes for the altercation, upping his total to 52 – just 8 shy of Andy Brown’s then-NHL record for goaltenders. Smith would finish the season with a franchise-record 54 PIMs that still stands today. (Ron Hextall holds the NHL record today, with 113 minutes.)

Here's the video of that Smith-McDonald tussle, with Tim Ryan on the call.

Potvin’s second goal was a shorthanded goal, one of his franchise record 10 SH goals for a defenseman.  No other Islander defenseman has ever scored more than three.

Also on this date: (1975) – Bob Nystrom and Ed Westfall sandwiched first period goals around a Phil Esposito tally as the Isles defeated Boston 3-1.  Jude Drouin added an empty-net goal for the final margin. The win raised the Isles’ record to 29-24-17 while denying the Bruins an opportunity to be the first team in the NHL to reach 100 ponts.

All-time, the Isles have played seven March 15th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 6-1-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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