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1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks season

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72-73LASharks
1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks
Division 3rd Western
1972–73 record 37–35–6
Goals for 259
Goals against 250
Team information
Coach Terry Slater
Team leaders
1973–74>
Contents:
Regular seasonPlayoffsPlayer statsAwards and records - Transactions
Draft picksFarm teamsSee alsoReferences


OffseasonEdit

The WHA awarded a franchise to Los Angeles and it was originally called the "Los Angeles Aces," while the San Fransicso franchise was called the Sharks. However, when funding fell through and the San Francisco franchise was then moved to Quebec to become the Nordiques, the Los Angeles group took the name Sharks and created the stylized menacing shark logo. The team colors of red and black were based on the original nickname "aces", being that the two colors in a deck of cards are red and black.

Regular seasonEdit

The Sharks hung around the .500 mark for much of the season. The Winnipeg Jets, led by Bobby Hull, were clearly the class of the WHA's Western Division. Four teams (the Houston Aeros, Minnesota Fighting Saints, Alberta Oilers, and Sharks staged a season long see-saw battle for 2nd through 5th place, with only the top four making the playoffs (The Chicago Cougars finished in a distant 6th place).

The Sharks strength was their defense, which ranked 3rd in the league. Bart Crashley, Gerry Odrowski, and Jim Watson anchored the blue line. George Gardner (GAA 3.30) was a capable #1 goalie for the first half of the season, while 32 year old rookie Russ Gillow (2.91 GAA) took over the top spot for most of the second half. In fact, Gillow was second in the WHA to Gerry Cheevers in GAA.

The offense had quality but lacked depth. It was led by 43 goal scorer Gary Veneruzzo while Alton White was 2nd on the team in goals with 20. Veneruzzo also led the team in points with 73, followed by playmaking center J.P. LeBlanc (19 goals and 50 assists for 69 points), and defenseman Bart Crashley, who anchored the power play and chipped in 18 goals and 27 assists.

Sharks special teams were solid, ranking 4th in the league in power play and 5th in penalty killing.

Ultimately, the Sharks went 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, including winning their last two to climb from 5th place to 3rd.

Final standingsEdit

Western Division
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
Winnipeg Jets 78 43 31 4 285 249 757 90
Houston Aeros 78 39 35 4 284 269 1363 82
Los Angeles Sharks 78 37 35 6 259 250 1477 80
Minnesota Fighting Saints 78 38 37 3 250 269 843 79
Alberta Oilers 78 38 37 3 269 256 1134 79
Chicago Cougars 78 26 50 2 245 295 811 54

Game logEdit

Regular season schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1LOctober 13, 19722–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 0–1–0
2WOctober 15, 19725–1 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 1–1–0
3WOctober 17, 19725–1 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 2–1–0
4WOctober 19, 19724–2 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 3–1–0
5LOctober 22, 19722–4 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 3–2–0
6LOctober 25, 19725–8 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 3–3–0
7LOctober 27, 19724–5 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 3–4–0
8WOctober 28, 19724–3 OT @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 4–4–0
9WOctober 31, 19724–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 5–4–0
10TNovember 2, 19721–1 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 5–4–1
11WNovember 4, 19723–2 OT @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 6–4–1
12WNovember 5, 19724–0 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 7–4–1
13WNovember 8, 19722–1 New York Raiders (1972–73) 8–4–1
14LNovember 9, 19722–7 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 8–5–1
15LNovember 11, 19723–5 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 8–6–1
16LNovember 12, 19722–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 8–7–1
17LNovember 14, 19720–8 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 8–8–1
18WNovember 15, 19726–4 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 9–8–1
19LNovember 17, 19721–5 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 9–9–1
20LNovember 19, 19723–4 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 9–10–1
21LNovember 21, 19722–5 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 9–11–1
22LNovember 23, 19723–4 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 9–12–1
23LNovember 24, 19722–3 OT @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 9–13–1
24WNovember 26, 19726–2 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 10–13–1
25LNovember 28, 19723–4 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 10–14–1
26WNovember 30, 19726–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 11–14–1
27WDecember 1, 19725–3 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 12–14–1
28WDecember 2, 19724–2 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 13–14–1
29WDecember 8, 19724–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 14–14–1
30WDecember 10, 19725–3 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 15–14–1
31TDecember 12, 19723–3 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 15–14–2
32LDecember 14, 19722–5 New England Whalers (1972–73) 15–15–2
33TDecember 17, 19724–4 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 15–15–3
34LDecember 19, 19725–7 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 15–16–3
35TDecember 21, 19724–4 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 15–16–4
36LDecember 23, 19721–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 15–17–4
37WDecember 24, 19725–3 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 16–17–4
38LDecember 28, 19722–4 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 16–18–4
39WDecember 29, 19725–2 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 17–18–4
40LDecember 31, 19721–3 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 17–19–4
41WJanuary 9, 19734–3 OT @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 18–19–4
42WJanuary 10, 19738–5 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 19–19–4
43LJanuary 12, 19731–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 19–20–4
44LJanuary 13, 19731–4 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 19–21–4
45WJanuary 15, 19734–3 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 20–21–4
46LJanuary 16, 19735–6 OT @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 20–22–4
47LJanuary 19, 19731–4 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 20–23–4
48WJanuary 21, 19733–2 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 21–23–4
49LJanuary 26, 19734–5 OT New York Raiders (1972–73) 21–24–4
50WJanuary 28, 19739–2 New York Raiders (1972–73) 22–24–4
51WJanuary 30, 19735–2 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 23–24–4
52WFebruary 2, 19733–1 New England Whalers (1972–73) 24–24–4
53WFebruary 4, 19734–3 New England Whalers (1972–73) 25–24–4
54WFebruary 8, 19733–1 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 26–24–4
55LFebruary 10, 19735–6 OT Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 26–25–4
56LFebruary 11, 19730–3 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 26–26–4
57LFebruary 13, 19731–6 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 26–27–4
58LFebruary 15, 19735–6 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 26–28–4
59TFebruary 16, 19732–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 26–28–5
60WFebruary 18, 19734–1 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 27–28–5
61WFebruary 20, 19734–2 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 28–28–5
62LFebruary 24, 19733–5 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 28–29–5
63WFebruary 25, 19734–2 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 29–29–5
64WMarch 1, 19734–1 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 30–29–5
65LMarch 2, 19731–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 30–30–5
66LMarch 4, 19731–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 30–31–5
67WMarch 6, 19733–2 OT Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 31–31–5
68LMarch 7, 19731–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 31–32–5
69WMarch 9, 19735–1 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 32–32–5
70WMarch 11, 19734–2 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 33–32–5
71LMarch 13, 19731–3 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 33–33–5
72WMarch 15, 19736–2 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 34–33–5
73WMarch 17, 19732–0 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 35–33–5
74TMarch 19, 19735–5 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 35–33–6
75LMarch 20, 19731–4 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 35–34–6
76LMarch 23, 19733–7 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 35–35–6
77WMarch 25, 19731–0 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 36–35–6
78WMarch 27, 19734–1 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 37–35–6

[1]

PlayoffsEdit

The Sharks' 3rd place finish enabled them to avoid a first round matchup with Bobby Hull's powerful Winnipeg Jets and earned them a series with the 2nd place Houston Aeros, who finished 2 points ahead of the Sharks in the standings.

After opening in Houston with an uninspired 7-2 loss, the Sharks bounced back to win game two by a 4-2 score. Heading back to L.A. with a split, the Sharks won a thrilling game three by a score of 3-2; goalie Russ Gillow made several spectacular saves to preserve the win. The turning point was game four. The clubs battled through regulation tied at 2; if the Sharks scored the next goal, they would have a commanding 3-1 series lead but if Houston scored, the series would be tied going back to Houston. Winger Murray Hall scored for Houston, and the Sharks didn't win another game, losing game five 6-3 and game six, 3-2. After the series, coach Terry Slater was criticized for starting George Gardner in games 1 and 5 despite the fact Gillow played better the second half of the season. Gardner was pulled in game 1 (a 7-2 loss) and did not play well in game 5 (a 6-3 loss). Garnder's GAA for the series was 5.69 while Gillow's was 2.91. Slater stated he wanted the veteran Gardner to start game 1 over the rookie Gillow.

  • Sharks 2 at Aeros 7
  • Sharks 4 at Aeros 2
  • Aeros 2 at Sharks 3
  • Aeros 3 at Sharks 2 (OT)
  • Sharks 3 at Aeros 6
  • Aeros 3 at Sharks 2

Player statsEdit

Regular season
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Veneruzzo, GaryGary Veneruzzo W 78 43 30 73 3401305
LeBlanc, J.P.J.P. LeBlanc C 77 19 50 69 490213
Crashley, BartBart Crashley D 70 18 27 45 100700
Szura, JoeJoe Szura C 73 13 32 45 250300
White, AltonAlton White RW 57 20 17 37 220200
Serviss, TomTom Serviss C 73 11 26 37 320030
Odrowski, GerryGerry Odrowski D 78 6 31 37 890010
Byers, MikeMike Byers RW 56 19 17 36 200200
Gilmore, TomTom Gilmore LW 71 17 18 35 1910600
Heiskala, EarlEarl Heiskala LW 70 12 17 29 1500200
Niekamp, JimJim Niekamp D 78 7 22 29 1550010
Young, BillBill Young LW 50 14 12 26 460600
Slater, PeterPeter Slater RW 73 12 12 24 870300
MacSweyn, RalphRalph MacSweyn D 78 0 23 23 390000
McCaskill, TedTed McCaskill C 73 11 11 22 1500020
Watson, JimJim Watson D 75 5 15 20 1230100
Sutherland, SteveSteve Sutherland LW 44 11 6 17 980000
Speck, FredFred Speck C 28 3 13 16 220000
Hyndman, MikeMike Hyndman RW 19 8 7 15 110100
MacNeil, BernieBernie MacNeil LW 42 4 7 11 480000
Jones, BobBob Jones LW 20 2 7 9 80100
Heggedal, HowieHowie Heggedal LW 8 2 1 3 00100
Krupicka, JardaJarda Krupicka RW 6 1 0 1 20000
Mavety, LarryLarry Mavety D 2 1 0 1 20100
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner G 49 0 1 1 20000
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow G 38 0 0 0 60000
Jakubo, MikeMike Jakubo C 7 0 0 0 00000
Perreault, BobBob Perreault G 1 0 0 0 00000
Zrymiak, JerryJerry Zrymiak D 1 0 0 0 00000
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner 2713 49 19 22 4 149 3.30 1
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow 1982 38 17 13 2 96 2.91 2
Perreault, BobBob Perreault 60 1 1 0 0 2 2.00 0
Team: 4755 78 37 35 6 247 3.12 3
Playoffs
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Speck, FredFred Speck C 6 3 2 5 2100
McCaskill, TedTed McCaskill C 6 2 3 5 12000
LeBlanc, J.P.J.P. LeBlanc C 6 0 5 5 2000
Gilmore, TomTom Gilmore LW 5 1 3 4 2000
Veneruzzo, GaryGary Veneruzzo W 6 3 0 3 4101
Niekamp, JimJim Niekamp D 6 2 1 3 10000
MacSweyn, RalphRalph MacSweyn D 6 1 2 3 4000
Odrowski, GerryGerry Odrowski D 6 1 2 3 6001
Hyndman, MikeMike Hyndman RW 6 0 3 3 17000
Heiskala, EarlEarl Heiskala LW 5 1 1 2 4100
Crashley, BartBart Crashley D 6 0 2 2 2000
Sutherland, SteveSteve Sutherland LW 6 0 2 2 8000
White, AltonAlton White RW 6 1 0 1 0100
Zrymiak, JerryJerry Zrymiak D 2 1 0 1 2000
Watson, JimJim Watson D 4 0 1 1 2000
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner G 3 0 0 0 0000
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow G 5 0 0 0 0000
Heggedal, HowieHowie Heggedal LW 1 0 0 0 0000
MacNeil, BernieBernie MacNeil LW 3 0 0 0 4000
Serviss, TomTom Serviss C 6 0 0 0 0000
Slater, PeterPeter Slater RW 6 0 0 0 2000
Szura, JoeJoe Szura C 2 0 0 0 0000
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner 116 3 1 2 11 5.69 0
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow 247 5 1 2 12 2.91 0
Team: 363 6 2 4 23 3.80 0

[2]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
      MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts;

Awards and recordsEdit

TransactionsEdit

Draft picksEdit

3rd round, 8th pick (32nd overall pick) - Robert Klein, D - Kamloops

Farm teamsEdit

Game AdsEdit


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks Games. Hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-29.
  2. 1972-73 Los Angeles Sharks Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-29.

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