Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today in Hockey History

1973 - 1st WHA championship, New England Whalers beat Winnipeg Jets, 4 games to 1 and win the Avco World Trophy.

This was the culmination of the first WHA regular season and playoffs. The 2 best teams in the regular season were the Whalers, who won the Eastern division with 94 points and the Winnipeg Jets who won the Western Division with 90 points.

The playoffs saw the Whalers lose only 2 games on the way to the WHA Finals series and the Jets lost only one. The Whalers disposed of the Ottawa Nationals 4-1 and then the Cleveland Crusaders 4-1 while the Jets whipped Minnesota Fighting Saints 4-1 and romped over the Houston Aeros with a sweep 4-0.

The finals continued a trend as the Whalers took the series and the Avco World Trophy 4 games to 1. The 5th and deciding game was a 9-6 win for the Whalers with Larry Pleau getting a hat trick for the champs.

The Jets had come into the playoffs with 3 of the leagues top 10 scorers in Bobby Hull, Norm Beaudin and Chris Bordeleau. The Whalers had Tom Webster and Terry Caffery in the top ten of the leading point getters.

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