Site hosted by Build your free website today!

By George Walters, Sabres History Correspondant
Saturday, June 19, 1999

It was another hot and steamy night at Memorial Auditorium, as 15,863 sweltering fans wearing clothes more fitting for the beach than a hockey game cheered their team on. They had witnessed a fog game 2 nights before and a bat circling the premises, so they came prepared for anything on this night.

As happened in each of the previous 3 games of this Stanley Cup final series, the Philadelphia Flyers scored first. Andre Dupont scored from 25 feet in front of Gerry Desjardins at the 11:28 mark of the first period. Desjardins, who had been struggling the puck and with his mental attitude in this series admitted that he played it poorly.

"I didn't challenge Dupont," said Desjardins, who asked to be relieved in game 3 when he allowed 3 goals on 6 shots,. "and I probably made the first move on him."

The Sabre fans were probably thinking that Desjardins was going to have another bad game. But it was not to be the case on this night. Desjardins made two spectacular saves on Bill Barber after that goal, and stopped Barber yet again in the beginning of the second period from point-blank range.

The Sabres were given a power play opportunity when Saleski went to the box for interference. The Sabres couldn't register a shot on goal. At that point, it was Buffalos's 17th man advantage and they had connected only once. Why does all this sound so familiar?

Two minutes later, Dupont went for charging, and during the first minute of that advantage, the Sabres failed to put a shot on Bernie Parent and the crowd was getting mighty testy. Rick Dudley and Ed Van Impe of the Flyers got into a scuffle and went off for roughing. It was then 4-on-4 and it opened up the ice for the Sabres. Jerry Korab, playing left point on the power play, threw the puck over to Rene Robert at the other point. Robert pushed it back to King Kong Korab and the big gorilla put a low shot on Parent and it found the corner of the net. Parent thought that it may have hit a teammate's stick and was deflected in.

The tie was short-lived, as less than a minute later Rick MacLeash passed over to Ross Lonsberry and he skated all the way in, made a move on Desjardins to send the goalie sprawling and flipped it in on the short side. Lonsberry got called for cross-checking later in the period and the Sabres took advantage of it. The French Connection made it's presence known as Robert made a nifty pass to Gil Perreault, and the swift NO. 11, who was skating in front of Parent, flicked his sixth goal of the playoffs and tied the contest at 2-2.

Now the Sabres had momentum. Still in the second period, Jim Schoenfield passed over to Jim Lorentz, who shot the puck off the boards in the Philly zone to Dudley, who was breaking hard down the on the right side. Gary Dornhoefer went after the puck, but Dudley won the battle for control and got a backhander on Parent, which the All-Star goalie made the save. But the rebound came right out to Lorentz, and "Bat Man" put the puck in the net. It was his first goal of the SCF and it was against a man he teamed with for two years with the Niagara Falls Flyers in the juniors.

"I was coming in late," Lorentz said. "The defensemen were watching the men in the corners, so they let me in alone. It was a fast rebound. Parent didn't see me. It happened before he knew it. Sometimes you will get lucky like that. I had an open net on the stick side."

The scored remained 3-2 until late in the game. The Flyers pulled Parent in favor of an extra attacker, and Lonsberry got a breakaway on Desjardins. But the Sabres goalie made the big stop and it led to Danny Gare scoring an empty netter with only 32 seconds remaining to seal the Flyers fate and even the series at 2 wins apiece.

Desjardins said during a post game interview that he felt he was still battling the puck during the pre-game warmups.

"I was fighting the puck," he said, "but I felt I had to work my way out of it. I felt they needed me in this game. Roger Crozier played real well Tuesday, but he has this pancreatitis, you know, and what if he continues to play and gets sick and I'm still in a slump? What if it happens in the second period of the seventh game? The worst part was in the dressing room after the warmup, sitting and thinking about it. I knew I had to come out of it. I still was fighting the puck in the final period, but in the second period, I felt I was playing better.

"This tending goal is a rough job, you know. I think if I had to do it all over, I wouldn't be a goaltender. But-I've had my bad game. I should be all right for the rest of the series."

The three stars in the Sabres second Stanley Cup finals victory were Jerry Korab, Bill Barber and Rick Dudley. Now the Sabres were going to Philadelphia for game 5 and hoping that they would crack the Spectrum jinx. They had never won there in 15 attempts in five years (including the first 2 losses in this series).

(Source: Article written by Dick Johnston, News staff reporter, in the BUFFALO NEWS, printed on May 26, 1975.)