It All Happened in 20 Seconds Flat

It All Happened in 20 Seconds Flat A.M. Sportstalk Podcast

On February 25th, 1971, the Boston Bruins faced off against the Vancouver Canucks at the Boston Garden, and achieved one of the greatest feats in NHL history

The teams had played 9 days previously in Vancouver, with the expansion Canucks getting a last minute goal to win it, 5-4. The Bruins were still riding high, carrying a record of 43-10-7 into the match, while the expansion Vancouver squad was just trying to tread water, at 18-35-6.

Bucyk (#9) putting it past goalie Dunc Wilson

It was a close match through 2 periods, as the teams battled to a 2-2 tie, with goalie Dunc Wilson making some amazing stops on the ultra-talented Bruins offense. Boston would get on the powerplay early in the 3rd, and would soon take advantage, as Johnny “Pie” McKenzie skated to the top of the right face off circle and flipped the puck over to leftwinger John Bucyk, who popped the biscuit in the basket to give the B’s a 3-2 lead.

Westphal scores 8 seconds later

The onslaught continued, as only 8 seconds later, Eddie Westphal snared a rebound off a Ted Green shot and snuck it past sprawling goalie Wilson on the left for his 20th goal of the season. While the announcers were still discussing Westphal’s lighting of the lamp , Ted Green wasted no time, as he skated up to the top of the right faceoff circle and slapped one past the now rattled netminder to make it 5-2 Bruins! 

Ted Green slapper for 3rd goal in 20 seconds!

The Boston Garden crowd went bananas, as the Bruins had just broken the National Hockey League record for fastest goals scored, netting 3 in just 20 seconds, beating out Bill Mosienko’s trifecta that was accomplished in just 21 ticks of the clock in 1952. The fact that he did it all by himself has to mean something, and his record still stands as the fastest hat trick in NHL history. 

Bill Mosienko’s record 3 goals in 21 seconds still stands as the fastest hat-trick in NHL History.

The Bruins would win 8-3, with Bobby Orr even getting into a scrap with Rosaire Paiement with 1 minute to go, after the two had already tangoed toe to toe in the 1st. This capped a wild night which saw 18 penalties called, which was not uncommon for the rough and tumble era of 1970s hockey. 

Orr and Rosaire Paiement scuffling in the last minute.

This was just one of the many highlights of the amazing 1970-71 season for the B’s, as the team wound up with 57 wins and 121 points. Center Phil Esposito set the record for most goals scored in a season up to that point, tallying 76 in 78 games played, while also helping on 76 assists, for an amazing 152 points.

Unfortunately, the Bruins would run into their old nemesis the Montreal Canadiens in the quarter finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, who beat them in 7 games, led by a hot young goalie fresh out of college named Ken Dryden. Still, this was one of the finest regular seasons in NHL history, and Boston would get redemption the next season, beating their other rival, the New York Rangers in 6 games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston fans of that era will never forget how Bobby Orr and the big bad Bruins captivated the city in the late 60s and early 70s, riding the coattails of the Impossible Dream Red Sox of 1967 while bringing home two Stanley Cups.

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