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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It Happened at the Coliseum … on APRIL 28th

22 years ago tonight (1993) Dale Hunter had just given away the game and the series.  Then he gave away his dignity. Perhaps NBC’s Keith Jones, who played in the game, said it best in an interview this week when he noted “and about 20 seconds later he hit (Pierre) Turgeon from behind”. The Isles eliminated the Caps in 6 games; they never had another happy handshake on Coliseum ice.

Hunter ironically had given the Caps a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Steve Thomas tied it before the first period was over.  Benoit Hogue and Brad Dalgarno scored in the middle session to make it 3-1 Isles.  Travis Green appeared to put the game out of reach at 9:58 of the third, and when Turgeon scored off the Hunter giveaway 1:31 later all that Hunter could do was attack a man celebrating the series-clinching goal.

Turgeon suffered an upper-body injury, only in those days they called it a separated shoulder. He would not play again until game 7 vs. Pittsburgh.  Hunter was ejected and later suspended for 21 games by a rookie commissioner named Gary Bettman -- it was the longest suspension in NHL history at the time, other than a lifetime ban given to Boston’s Billy Coutu in 1927.

The Caps would score two late goals to make the score respectable but the Isles clinched their first playoff series since 1987 (also vs. Washington) and their first on Coliseum ice since clinching their 19th consecutive series win (in 1984 vs Montreal).

Here are some highlights, with Jiggs and Eddie:

And here's some local news coverage, from ABC (Scott Clark),  NBC (Len Berman), CBS (Rock Rote), as well as Dan Patrick (SportsCenter).

Also on this date: (1979) Denis Potvin beat John Davidson for the overtime goal at 8:02 of the extra session as the Isles beat the Rangers, 4-3, evening their series at 1 game each. It was one of two overtime goals for Potvin; the other came in game 1 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final in Philadelphia.

Those Rangers made a famous commercial along the way...

Also on this date: (1981) The Isles of the Cup Era had so many weapons. John Tonelli scored twice as the Isles rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits for a 5-2 win over the Rangers in game 1 of the Stanley Cup semi-finals. Duane Sutter, Mike McEwen and Billy Carroll had the other goals for the Champs.

Al Albert was in the studio and brother Marv Albert had the live coverage from the Coliseum for Channel 4; Channel 7 coverage is also included.

Also on this date: (1984) Trailing 2 games to 0, the Isles got a pair of goals from Greg Gilbert as they raced to a 5-0 lead, and defeated Montreal 5-2.  The 5 goals were scored against a rookie netminder named Steve Penney, who had blanked the Isles in game 1 of the series and beaten them again in game 2.

Here are the highlights:

Also on this date: (2002) Prior to Sunday, the last time the Isles had won a game 6 to force a game 7 was in 2002.  Their 5-3 win over Toronto evened the series at 3 games each.  Mariusz Czerkawski scored twice for the Isles; Kip Miller had a goal and 2 assists. Eric Cairns was involved in a well-remembered brawl in the game’s final minute.

Here are some highlights from Hockey Night:

And here are two fights, including one that made Eric Cairns a Coliseum legend.  Here's Howie and Joe:

All-time, the Isles have played no regular season and six playoff games on April 28th at the Coliseum; they have compiled a 6-0 playoff record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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