25 Years Later - The Goal That Shook Long Island
It was, simply put, the single biggest day of my childhood. I was eight years old when the Islanders
played their very first game, and I was just past sixteen on the 24th day of May in 1980.
As I look back at something that happened a quarter-century ago, the memories are many - the overtime
goal by Potvin in Game One coming with one second left on a power play being the first.
The fever pitch that enveloped the Island as the team built a 3-1 lead, and lost game five, to set up a
nationally televised game 6. It was the first US network telecast of the NHL in five years and Tim Ryan
and Dan Kelly were at the microphones.
I remember taping that game, on 8-track tapes, no less - and I've heard Bob Lawrence's voice in my
ears, over and over again - "Henning at his own blue line, shoots it up ice for Tonelli. Tonelli on the off
wing...comes in front, the shot to Nystrom... SCORE. Islanders win the Stanley Cup, Islanders win the
Stanley Cup, Islanders win the Stanley Cup.... Bobby Nystrom, with the goal from John Tonelli....and the
Islanders have won the Stanley Cup."
Over the years, I've gotten to meet many of my childhood heroes. Last spring, in South Florida, I caught
up for a few minutes with Bill Torrey. "Thanks, Bill, for making my childhood." It was nothing less than
7:11 of overtime. 5:40pm in the afternoon. Seven years, 352 days, seventeen hours and thirty-minutes,
later. The Cup!