Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
This week in 1979, the Edmonton Oilers played their final game in the World Hockey Association.
Those 1978-79 Oilers placed first in the league with a 48-30-2 record scoring 340 goals and allowing 266. Edmonton was led by an 18-year-old Wayne Gretzky who put up 43 goals and 104 points in 72 games that year as wiley veterans in Bill Flett, Ace Baily, Blair MacDonald, Paul Shmyr and Al Hamilton helped chip in too.
Edmonton had become one of the league’s founding franchises in 1972 as Bill Hunter and Charles Allard brought pro hockey to the city.
IN 78-79, it was the only year that the Oilers had made it to the Avco Cup, the league’s championship, as Edmonton squared up against the Winnipeg Jets. To get there, the Oilers beat the New England Whalers in seven games.
And while the Oilers gave it their best go, the Jets ended up winning the cup in six games. It marked the final games of the World Hockey Association, and game six was played 41 years ago yesterday.
In that fateful game six, Edmonton fell 7-3 but the final goal in the league’s history went to none other than 21-year-old Dave Semenko, who already was making his name as a top-tier heavyweight.
Edmonton, of course, joined the NHL in the subsequent year as they embarked on their dynasty through the ’80’s.
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