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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


      Mike:
      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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