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Flyers Halloween Hockey

Some of the strangest and most memorable games in Flyers history have been played on Halloween

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer /

It seems fitting that the Orange and Black have historically been driven by the spirit of Halloween in their final game of the month of October. Some of the strangest and most memorable games in team history have been played on Halloween.

Along the way, there have been plenty of treats, as the Flyers have gone 10-5 with three ties, including six games in which the Flyers scored six or more goals. There have a few tricks, too, and not just the hat tricks scored by Simon Nolet (1971) and Kevin Dineen (1993) or a six-point game recorded by Clarke (1976).

For instance, two of the highest-scoring wins in franchise history -- 9-1 over the Minnesota North Stars in 1976 and 9-6 over the Chicago Blackhawks in 1993 -- took place on Halloween. So did losses of 8-4 to the Vancouver Canucks in 1981 and 7-4 to the Hartford Whalers in 1987.

In the meantime, it was Halloween 1971 that Flyers goaltender Doug Favell became the first goalie in the NHL to sport a painted mask, debuting a mask entirely spray-painted in Flyers orange in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. In 2001, Flyers forward Jeremy Roenick dressed as Bobby Clarke for Halloween, sporting a curly blond wig, a Clarke jersey and a pair of Cooperalls for pregame warmups before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 Below is a history of some of the stranger and more enduring Halloween happenings for the Flyers. The team last played a Halloween-night game in 2009. However, for many years, there has been a Halloween-themed night and costume contest at the last Wells Fargo Center game before Halloween.

1971: Trailing the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens by a 2-0 count at the second intermission, the Flyers thrilled a crowd of 14,626 at the Spectrum by exploding for five third period goals and skating off with a 5-3 victory. Simon Nolet did most of the damage against Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden (26 saves on 30 shots), recording a hat trick and assisting on a Bill Lesuk goal. Jim Johnson also scored for the victorious Flyers.

1976: The Flyers celebrate Halloween with a 9-1 romp at the Spectrum over the Minnesota North Stars. Bobby Clarke leads the way, racking up six points with shorthanded and even strength goals as well as four assists.

1982: Overcoming an early 1-0 deficit, the Flyers pushed back in the second period for two goals by Brian Propp (7th and 8th of the season) and one by Tim Kerr (7th) for a 3-2 road win against the Winnipeg Jets.

1984: Pelle Lindbergh yielded a penalty shot goal to Buffalo's John Tucker, bookended by a pair of goals by Dave Andreychuk. However, the Flyers battled back for a 3-3 road tie on the strength of two goals by Brian Propp and a game-tier late in the third period by Brad McCrimmon.

1987: This one was more trick than treat, as the Flyers went down to a 7-4 road loss to the Hartford Whalers in a penalty-filled game that saw the Flyers lead, 3-3, at one point. Philly even got a rare goal from defensive defenseman Brad Marsh as well as tallies from Dave Poulin, Mark Howe and Pelle Eklund. The game-winning goal for the Whalers came via a penalty shot tally against Ron Hextall by Dave Tippett (who later played for the Flyers).

1993: Team captain Kevin Dineen enjoyed the best offensive game of his Flyers' career, shredding the host Chicago Blackhawks for four goals and an assist in a 9-6 win for Philadelphia. The hat-trick (plus one) was the fourth of the Flyers portion of Dineen's NHL career. The Flyers also received multi-point efforts from Dineen's linemates Rod Brind'Amour (one goal, three assists) and Josef Beranek (three assists). The top line trio of Eric Lindros (one goal, one assist), Mark Recchi (one goal, two assists) and rookie Mikael Renberg (two assists) also had a big game.
1995: The Legion of Doom struck for two early goals, as both John LeClair and Eric Lindros tallied power play in the first period. However, the Tampa Bay Lightning later battled back for a 2-2 tie at the Spectrum.

2001: Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher recorded a 27-save shutout (the eighth of his NHL career) in a 3-0 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mark Recchi (one goal, one assist), John LeClair (one goal), Jeremy Roenick (two assists) and Dan McGillis (power play goal) supplied the goal support. Boucher, who blanked the Washington Capitals on Oct. 30 became the first goaltender in Flyers franchise history to record shutouts on back-to-back calendar days within a season.

2009: The Flyers skated to a 6-1 home Halloween matinee romp over the Carolina Hurricanes, strafing former -- and future, later the same season -- Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton for six goals on 28 shots. Ray Emery stops 29 of 30 shots to earn the win. Braydon Coburn enjoys a two-goal game, while Matt Carle (one goal, one assist), James van Riesmdyk, Scott Hartnell and rookie David Laliberte score once apiece. 

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