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Sunday, March 03, 2019

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 3rd

The reopening of the Coliseum has allowed me to re-tell some favorite stories through the It Happened at the Coliseum series.  

For me, this is the oldest of those memories I have seen in person-- otherwise known as the night I thought Bob Cook was the best player that ever lived -- and the night 46 years ago I walked into a building that I never wanted to leave.

[That building now seats 13,917, despite what Bob Cook's former teammate in Rochester (Don Cherry) suggested last night.]

Here's how I presented it back in 2015...

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 3rd

42 years ago tonight (1973) -  Bob Cook recorded his only hat trick as an Islander as the Isles walloped the Vancouver Canucks 9-3 for their ninth win of season (9-52-5).

For one special night, Bob Cook was the greatest player I had ever seen

The game dotted the early days of the Isles’ record book as Cook became the first rookie to score three goals in a game while fellow frosh Dave Hudson added five points (1 goal, 4 assists).  While both records have been tied multiple times since, both Cook and Hudson still hold their place in the Islander record book.

The Isles handed out 3,000 youth hockey sticks to young fans that night.  One of the recipients was me – at the first NHL game I ever attended.

Billy Smith recorded the win; Ed Dyck allowed the first seven goals for Vancouver.

I’m not sure that I knew it at the time, but the win prevented the Isles from tying the then-NHL record of 53 losses, set by California in 1970-71.  (The Isles would lose their next six games, enroute to a 60-loss campaign.)

The box score:
Vancouver Canucks 3 @ New York Islanders 9

 First Period

1 - NYI : Cook 7 (Hudson, Crisp) (EV) 4:08
2 - VAN : Lever 11 (Lemieux, Lalonde) (EV) 4:25
3 - NYI : Cameron 16 (Westfall, Spencer) (EV) 6:25
4 - NYI : Cook 8 (Lefley, Hudson) (EV) 13:52

Penalties - NYI - Hart ( (maj)) 12:00 ; VAN - Lever ( (maj)) 12:00 ; VAN - Wilkins 17:29 ;

Second Period

5 - NYI : Cameron 17 (Henning, Mikkelson) (EV) 1:11
6 - NYI : Cook 9 (Hudson) (EV) 3:03
7 - NYI : Harris 21 (Gagnon, Stewart Ra) (EV) 11:43
8 - NYI : Hudson 10 (Westfall, Gagnon) (PP) 14:59

Penalties - VAN - Tallon 13:26 ; VAN - Guevremont 14:59 ; NYI - Smith B 19:46 ;

Third Period

9 - NYI : Stewart Ra 3 (Gagnon) (EV) 6:24
10 - VAN : Boudrias 22 (Tannahill) (EV) 10:52
11 - NYI : Westfall 13 (Hudson, Miller) (PP) 11:21
12 - VAN : Schmautz 32 (Boudrias) (EV) 13:36

Penalties - VAN - Kearns 11:15 ; NYI - Miller ( (maj)) 11:34 ; VAN - Lever ( (maj)) 11:34 ; NYI - Hart 17:37 ;

Also on this date: (1981) Mike Bossy scored four goals, giving him 61 goals on the season as the Isles played a wild 8-8 tie with Edmonton.

The Isles led 3-0, trailed 4-3, led 6-4 and then trailed 8-6 before goals by Bossy and Anders Kallur tied the game for good.

The Isles had only ten shots on goal in the final 40 minutes but scored five times

Edmonton got a pair of goals from Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri but couldn’t find a way to hold off the Stanley Cup Champs. 

The teams would meet in the second round of the playoffs about a month and a half later and then in the Cup Final in both 1983 and 1984.

It was the first of two 8-8 ties in Islander history. The November 23, 1981 tie with Minnesota also Happened at the Coliseum.

All-time, the Isles have played ten March 3rd games at the Coliseum and finish with a 5-3-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 

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