As told to: Steve MatthesIn 1988-89, playing in only 68 games, I scored 49 goals.
I actually scored the 50th twice. The first time, in Philadelphia, our defenceman shot the puck, it hit the goalie, hit me in the chest and went in. The ref said that I directed it in with my body. I didn’t see the puck. The shot came, I turned to see where the rebound was, it hit me and went in.
The second time was the last game of the season and I needed two goals for 50. Again we’re in Philadelphia and I scored in the second period for 49. I also hit the post in that period. The game went to overtime and it didn’t mean anything for us. We couldn’t move up or down in the standings but Philadelphia could move up if they won and so they pulled their goalie.
I remember Mario saying, “he’s got 49 goals.”
I was on the ice for a faceoff with Mario Lemieux with a minute to go and the coach pulled me off the ice. I remember Mario saying, “he’s got 49 goals.” And our coach, Gene Ubriaco, said that this is a team game and didn’t put me out there. Of course Mario eventually went down the ice and scored into the empty net. I can’t be sure but I’m fairly positive Mario would’ve deked their entire team and sent it over to me to put in.
I was sitting on the bench in that last game with an empty net. There was disappointment because I knew that I had a good chance of scoring 50. I had Gene coaching me later on in my career and I reminded him every second.
Remember the year I could have had 50, Gene?
This is an excerpt from the Pulp Hockey Podcast with Rob Brown. Head on over to http://www.pulphockey.com/ to listen to the whole thing or subscribe to the show on iTunes/Stitcher
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