Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Flyers, Rangers, 40 Years Since the Last Game Seven

Dorhoefer Puts Flyers In Cup Finals read the Associated Press headline in May 6, 1974. This game was the last time the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers played a game seven, until this evening. After sweeping the Atlanta Flames, the victory put the Flyers into their first ever Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins. The Rangers had beaten Montreal in six games before bowing out almost 40 years ago today.

In 1973/74 Gary Dornhoefer was a 30 year old veteran among up and coming stars Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber and Rick MacLeish. In this seventh game the Rangers Bill Fairbairn opened the scoring before MacLeish tied it at one with just over five minutes remaining in the first period. The goal was amazingly the 11th in 11 playoff games for MacLeish who would end up with 13 in 17 games overall. Orest Kindrachuk put the Flyers ahead for good early in the second before Dornhoefer made it 3-1. Steve Vickers made it 3-1 early in the third ahead of Dornhoefer's eventual game-winner nine minutes into the final frame. Pete Stemkowski made it a tense final five minutes for Philly but Conn Smythe Trophy winner Bernie Parent shut the door for the Flyers who out-shot New York and Eddie Giacomin by 46 to 34.

The Flyers would of course go on to beat Boston 4 games to 2 to take their first Cup. Dornhoefer played four more seasons in Philadelphia before retiring in 1978 with 202 career goals in 725 games. He moved into broadcasting and was a colour commentator for Hockey Night in Canada from 1978 to 1986.

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