Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Minnesota Fighting Saints vs The Houston Aero's ** PLAYOFF **

The Minnesota Fighting Saints vs  the Houston Aero's

 In the playoffs the Saints would waste little time in getting past the Edmonton Oilers, as they won their first round series in five games to set up a showdown with the Houston Aeros in the WHA Semifinals.

Looking for extra toughness the Saints signed notorious enforcer Bill "Goldie" Goldthorpe.  Goldthorpe was widely regarded as one of the most infamous hockey goons in minor league hockey, a man once dubbed him the "wildest, meanest, most unpredictable player in hockey." Goldthorpe racked up an amazing 1,132 penalty minutes in just 194 professional games. Bill Goldthrope would rack up 25 penalty minutes over three games against the Aeros, but it would not help the Saints win the series, as the Aeros won the Western Division Championship in six games on the way to winning the AVCO Cup.

In the 1974 WHA semifinals against Houston, controversial forward Bill "Goldie" Goldthorpe played three games for the Fighting Saints, compiling no points and 25 penalty minutes. 

Division Finals (4-2):Houston Aeros over Minnesota Fighting Saints
Game 1April 18Minnesota Fighting Saints5Houston Aeros4(OT)
Game 2April 20Minnesota Fighting Saints2Houston Aeros5
Game 3April 21Houston Aeros1Minnesota Fighting Saints4
Game 4April 28Houston Aeros4Minnesota Fighting Saints1
Game 5April 29Minnesota Fighting Saints4Houston Aeros9
Game 6May 1Houston Aeros3Minnesota Fighting Saints1


Game 6

First Period - 1. Houston, J. Schella 1:08.
Penalties: T. Ball, Min 1:59; T. Taylor, Hou 1:59; L. Lund, Hou 5:32; T. Taylor, Hou (misconduct) 9:29; T. Taylor, Hou (misconduct) 9:29; J. Arbour, Min (major) 9:29; L. Lund, Hou (major) 9:29; B. Goldthorpe, Min (major) 9:29; B. Goldthorpe, Min (game misconduct) 9:29; T. Taylor, Hou (major) 9:29; T. Taylor, Hou (major) 9:29; T. Taylor, Hou 9:29; B. Prentice, Hou 9:29; G. Gallant, Min 9:29; G. Gallant, Min (major) 9:29; G. Gallant, Min (major) 9:29; G. Gallant, Min (misconduct) 9:29; T. Taylor, Hou 9:29.
Second Period - 2. Houston, G. Howe (P. Popiel) 5:28. 3. Minnesota, W. Connelly (M. Walton, M. McMahon) 13:43.
Penalties: J. Johnson, Min 4:20; P. Popiel, Hou 12:02.
Third Period - 4. Houston, G. Labossiere (T. Taylor, M. Hall) 8:31. 5. Houston, F. Hughes (Marty Howe, L. Lund) 10:08.
Penalties: L. Hale, Hou 1:44.
Goaltending: D. McLeod, Hou (60:00 34 shots, 33 saves W). M. Curran, Min (60:00 32 shots, 28 saves L).
Attendance: 17,211.
Houston Coach: Bill Dineen.
Minnesota Coach: Harry Neale.

During the playoffs the Saints' Gord Gallant and Houston's Ted Taylor engaged in one of the longest, bitterest hockey fights in WHA history with Gallant winning a unanimous decision. After the series ended Gallant was the first player in the lineup to shake hands and the first player he met was Taylor, the Aero captain, who still was sporting a black eye.

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