Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Maple Leafs Five Rookie Scorers in One Game

On February 6, against the Islanders, the Maple Leafs did something that hadn't been done in the NHl in over 30 years. They had five different rookies score a goal in the same game (Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Hyman, Soshnikov). The last time that happened was March 31, 1984 when the Calgary Flames did it against the Minnesota North Stars. The five Flame rookies were Tim Hunter (with two), Richard Kromm, Al Macinnis, Dan Quinn and Carey Wilson.
Toronto's previous record was four different rookies scoring in the same game, and it had been almost 70 years since that last happened. On October 23, 1948 Maple Leaf rookies Fleming MacKell, Frank Mathers, Les Costello and Bob Dawes scored in a 6-1 victory over Chicago. The crazy thing is, not one of these four would play more than 15 regular season games with the Leafs that season, and collectively that year they scored a grand total of FIVE goals (Costello had 2). The fact that all four scored on October 23 is amazing.
In addition to those four rookies, the 1948/49 Leafs would dress nine additional first year players; Tod Sloan, Ray Timgren, Ray Ceresino, Al Buchanan, Chuck Blair, Ray Hannigan, John McCormack, Stan Kemp, Harry Taylor. Perhaps expectedly, with all the youth on the squad, the Leafs finished that season in fourth place with a record of 22-25-13. Unexpectedly however, they caught fire in the post-season and would knock off second place Boston four games to one then swept first place Detroit to win the Stanley Cup. MacKell contributed greatly to the playoff run with two goals and six points in the nine games but the rest of the rookies saw limited action.
The goals scored by Mathers and Ceresino would stand to be the only ones of their NHL careers, while Dawes added only one additional goal the following years. MacKell went on to have a real nice NHL career with 149 goals, 369 points in 665 games played.

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