On this day in 1985, the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks to advance to Stanley Cup Final
6 months ago
On this day in 1985, the Edmonton Oilers would play game six in the Norris Division Final against the Chicago Black Hawks. Jari Kurri would score four goals, helping the Oilers win 8-2, advancing to the 1985 Stanley Cup Final against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Heading into game six of the Clarence Campbell Conference Final, the boys in orange and blue were only worried about one thing; the shortened ice of the Chicago Stadium. A mere 15 feet shorter than the ice back home in Edmonton meant there was a higher chance for Edmonton to slip offside. They had lost both games while playing there during the series, but tonight it was all hands on deck, as a barnburner would be in the midst.
Edmonton would steal the first two games of the series, kicking it off with an 11-2 blowout followed by a 7-3 decision. When the Black Hawks returned home for the next two games, they would come out on top winning game three 5-2 and game four 8-5. The series would be tied when the contest was back at Northlands, but the Oilers would steal it with a 10-5 victory. They were heading back to Chicago for game six, where they’d fallen short of success both times previously.
Jari Kurri would open the scoring just over five minutes into the first period burying one past Black Hawks netminder Murray Bannerman. Mark Messier would follow in his footprints nearing the end of the first period, giving the Oilers a 2-0 lead heading into the second.
The Oilers would get lucky when Curt Fraser would receive a double minor penalty for roughing early in the second period, which gave the Oilers and Messier a power play opportunity that resulted in a smooth 3-0 lead. Kurri and Messier seemed to be sharing goals when Kurri got another into the Chicago net. Lee Foglin would join the two forwards in goal-scoring just over a minute after Kurri, giving the Oilers a comfortable 5-0 lead. With four minutes left in the second period, Paul Coffey would get caught on a slash sending him to the sin bin and allowing the Black Hawks to get one past Grant Fuhr.
Kurri, already on quite the roll, wouldn’t allow it. With a pass from Wayne Gretzky, the duo managed to soar past the Black Hawks, and Kurri scored a short-handed goal on the breakaway to lead the game 6-0.
Moving into the third, Chicago couldn’t answer a single goal, but Al Secord and Ken Yaremchuk would come to the rescue and finally find the back of the Oilers’ net, making the score 6-2. Unfortunately for the Black Hawks, Glenn Anderson would see his first of the game heading into the end of the third. Within the contest’s final minutes, Kurri would set a new record, scoring his fourth goal of the game, giving Edmonton the go-ahead to wrap their hands around the Clarence Conference Trophy with an 8-2 victory in the Windy City. With their triumph over the Hawks, the Oilers would be set to defend their title and play the Philadelphia Flyers in their third consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
Kurri’s four goals would shatter two NHL records, surpassing Newsey Lalonde’s (Montreal Canadiens) previous 11-goal record for most goals in a series with 12. He would also break the record for most hat-tricks in a playoff series and would join Doug Bentley (1944) as the second player to record back-to-back hat-tricks.
Gretzky would take a backseat role in the game six blowout against Chicago. Instead of scoring the goals; he fed them over to Kurri all night, receiving an assist on all four goals he had that evening. The Oilers would kill all 17 minutes of penalties and would dominate over the Black Hawks with their power plays.
The Oilers would go on to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in a five game battle, winning themselves their second Stanley Cup amongst their fans in Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky would later be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player throughout the playoffs.
Aleena Aksenchuk is an intern with Oilersnation and the Nation Network. She can be found on twitter at @A_Aksenchuk8
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