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The Monday Night Miracle

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The Monday Night Miracle
1 2 3 Total
Calgary Flames 0 4 1 5
St. Louis Blues 0 1 4 6
Date May 12, 1986
Arena St. Louis Arena
City St. Louis, Missouri
MVP {{{MVP}}}
Attendance 17,801[1]

</onlyinclude> Monday Night Miracle is a term used to describe the National Hockey League playoff game between the Calgary Flames and the St. Louis Blues that occurred on May 12, 1986. The game's notability stems from the Blues' ability to overcome a three goal deficit with 12 minutes remaining in the third period, and their subsequent game-winning goal in overtime scored by Doug Wickenheiser.

Before the Game Edit

The St. Louis Blues finished the 1985-86 NHL season in third place in the Norris Division. The Blues defeated the Minnesota North Stars in the Norris Division Semifinals, then pulled out a four games to three series win against the Toronto Maple Leafs to earn the Norris Division Title. Winning their first two playoff series brought the Blues to the Campbell Conference Finals where they faced the Calgary Flames. At stake was a berth to the Stanley Cup Finals for the team that won four games in this playoff series. The teams split the first four games of the series, with the Flames winning Game 5 at home on May 10 to push St. Louis to the brink of elimination. This set the stage for Game 6 two days later on the Blues' home ice at the St. Louis Arena.

Monday Night Miracle Edit

Ken Wilson had the announcing duties for the local St. Louis television broadcast of the game (the Blues regular television broadcaster, Dan Kelly, was calling the series on CTV), and he watched Calgary build a four to one lead. St. Louis scored their second goal of the game with about 15 seconds remaining in a five on three powerplay goal by Doug Wickenheiser, only to have that momentum temporary stifled as Joe Mullen answered by scoring Calgary's fifth goal of the game. The Blues subsequently found themselves trailing five to two at home with 12 minutes remaining in the third period. The Blues began their rally in earnest when Brian Sutter scored off a deflection off Calgary goalie Mike Vernon, and the 5-3 score carried down to eight minutes remaining in game. Greg Paslawski was the next Blues player to score, making the score 5-4. In the midst of an electric atmosphere and impending sense of an upset, broadcaster Wilson commented on the Blues:

The St. Louis Blues have been in this game what they have been all season and throughout the playoffs; an underdog. They've called this club a lunch-bucket team. They're blue-collar, hard workers. They don't have the talent of other teams; they know it.
Ken Wilson, May 12, 1986[2]

Unfortunately for the Blues, the clock dipped under two minutes remaining in the game as they still searched for the game-tying goal. With only 1:17 remaining in the game, the Blues shot the puck behind Calgary's net from the neutral zone. As Calgary defenseman Jamie Macoun brought the puck from behind the net, he didn't notice that Paslawski was right behind him. Stealing the puck at the side of net, Paslawski flinged a quick shot from a terrible angle that caught goalie Mike Vernon off guard. The puck went in the net, and with near-pandemonium in the Arena, the Blues burned the remaining time on the clock to force overtime.

Overtime Edit

Overtime quickly became another heart-racing experience in itself, as players like Calgary's Al MacInnis and the Blues' Doug Wickenheiser took shots at the net. Calgary then came within inches of winning when Joe Mullen took a slapshot from just inside the blueline that hit off the goalpost. A short time after that near-miss, and with future Blues franchise player Brett Hull watching from the press box as a member of the Calgary Flames, announcer Wilson called what many consider the greatest moment in St. Louis Blues history[1]:

Here's Ramage, for Federko too far, Federko steals the puck from Reinheart, over to Hunter who shoots, blocked, Wickenheiser scores! Doug Wickenheiser! The Blues pull it off and it's unbelievable!
Ken Wilson, May 12, 1986[2]

The goal came after seven minutes and thirty seconds had already passed in the overtime period.[1] It is considered to be one of the most memorable victories in Blues history.[1][2]

Aftermath Edit

Wickenheiser's overtime goal set off the crowd at the Arena, a mass of cheering and celebration that continued well after both teams had left the ice. St. Louis couldn't rest on their laurels though, as they still faced an uphill battle by having to play Game 7 on Calgary's home ice, the Olympic Saddledome, two days later. The Blues made things interesting, but lost Game 7 by the score of 2-1.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Broeg (2000) p. 178
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Monday Night Miracle. YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-03-29.
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