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36450RE: [hockhist] RE: WHA pre-season games

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  • William Underwood
    Sep 1, 2002
      Did anybody you interviewed say that they ever seriously look at using it
      during the regular season? Interesting...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Murray Greig [mailto:wirepaladin@...]
      Sent: Sunday, September 01, 2002 12:30 AM
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hockhist] RE: WHA pre-season games

      You probably already know this, but perhaps some members of the list aren't
      aware that long before it became fashionable in the minor leagues and
      international competition, the tie-breaking shootout was tried in some of
      the WHA's first exhibition games prior to the 1972-73 season.

      The most bizarre shootut experience took place the very first time it was
      tested, on October 3, in a pre-season game that saw the Houston Aeros edge
      the Minnesota Fighting Saints 7-6. Don Grierson, a journeyman minor leaguer,
      emerged as the hero when he scored the deciding goal after an incredible 18
      penalty shots. The teams were tied 4-4 after regulation, and when they
      failed to break the deadlock in a 10-minute overtime, the shootout was
      ordered. Jim Johnson and Ted Hampson each scored for the Saints in the first
      five-shot round, while Larry Lund and Murray Hall tallied for the Aeros to
      keep the game tied 6-6. The Saints then missed on four consecutive shots and
      the Aeros muffed three before Grierson buried the winner.

      When I interviewed Lund for my book Big Bucks & Blue Pucks, he had very
      vivid memories of that historic evening. "We thought it might never end, but
      what I remember most was that nobody walked out. It wasn't a particularly
      big crowd, but the fans that were there were absolutely mesmerized by the
      shootout," he said.

      Incidentally, the very first WHA games were a pair of all-rookie exhibition
      contests played on September 23, 1972. The New England Whalers beat the
      Philadelphia Blazers 5-3 and the Fighting Saints hammered the Chicago
      Cougars 10-7.

      Murray Greig

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