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On this date in Flyers history: Rick MacLeish hat trick sends franchise to second-straight Stanley Cup Finals in 1975

News, notes, and other musings from the history of the Orange and Black.

Islanders v Flyers Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

While the Flyers spent May 12th on the verge of writing history, on May 13th they nearly found themselves on the wrong side of it.

Back in 1975 the Flyers raced to a 3-0 series lead against the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Semifinals with a trip to back-to-back finals looking like a sure thing. But the Islanders rallied off three-straight wins to push the series to a deciding game seven back at the Spectrum.

But while the Flyers would be on the verge of their own historic comeback some 35 years later in Boston, the 1975 team wasn’t intent on being any part of a collapse.

Gary Dornhoefer scored just 19 seconds into the decisive game seven, and Rick MacLeish scored a hat trick as the Flyers skated off with a 4-1 to close out the pesky Islanders and move on to their second-straight Stanley Cup Finals. They would go on to win their second-straight Stanley Cup by virtue of a 4-2 series win over the Buffalo Sabres, one that wouldn’t have been possible had it been for the collapse they avoided in game seven back on May 13th.

Loose pucks

Also on May 13th in franchise history...Reggie Leach scored twice (goals No. 17 and 18 of his playoffs) but the Flyers fall 3-2 in game three of the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals to Montreal, staring down a 3-0 series deficit in the process...they’d get swept by the Canadiens after a 5-3 loss in game four...also in the losing column was a frustrating 4-3 overtime loss in game one of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals to the Islanders, a game in which the Flyers blew multiple leads on the way to dropping the all-important opener in the series...and the final loss for the Flyers today? Kris Versteeg was born on this date in 1986...


*Shouts to hockeyreference.com, nhl.com, and Flyers.nhl.com for help with this trip down memory lane*