In a moment later immortalized in time by a statue that stood for many years at the Spectrum and now stands in the walkway between the Wells Fargo Center and Xfinity Live!, Gary Dornhoefer completed an improbable end-to-end rush to score winning goal at 8:35 of sudden-death overtime of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals.
Dornhoefer rushed down the left slot, eluding Barry Gibbs' pokecheck attempt, pulled the puck from his forehand to his backhand as he cut in front and deposited the puck past goaltender Cesare Maniago just before Tom Reid could upend him.
"I don't even know how I scored. I just remember getting the puck at center ice, and fortunately it stayed right with me. You could try that play again a hundred times and it wouldn't work," Dornhoefer told the Philadelphia Bulletin in the victorious locker room.
The 3-2 win gave the Flyers a commanding three games to one lead in the series. Rick MacLeish scored twice in regulation. The Flyers closed out the series in Game 6, winning 4-1 in Minnesota. It was the first playoff series win in the six-season history of the team.
Whenever asked about the statue dedicated to the famous play, Dornhoefer responded with modesty and self-deprecating humor.
"I think it was more the significance of the goal in finally winning a playoff series more than any personal honor," he said in Jim Jackson's Walking Together Forever. "Besides, I've always said you know what pigeons do to those statues! You can't get too caught up in that."
April 10: Through the Years
- 1985: En route to a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers earn a 5-4 overtime win to open their Patrick Division Semifinal series with the New York Rangers. Mark Howe scores the winning goal in a game that sees the Flyers lead 3-0 (Ron Sutter, Todd Bergen and Brad McCrimmon), yield the next three goals, re-take the lead on a third-period Tim Kerr tally and then give up the tying goal with just 26 seconds left in regulation.
- 1989: Trailing the Washington Capitals 4-1 in the third period of Game 4 of the Wales Conference quarterfinals at the Spectrum, the Flyers roar back for goals by Mark Howe (second of the series), Brian Propp (third) and, with 53 seconds left in regulation, Kjell Samuelsson (second). At 1:18 of overtime, Murray Craven (second goal of the series) completes the comeback with the game winner. Back in the first period, Ilkka Sinisalo scored his second goal of the series to provide a short-lived 1-0 lead. The victory gives the Flyers a commanding three games to one lead in the series but they will go on to lose in an overtime Game 7.
- 1993: The Flyers blank the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens, 4-0. Rookie goaltender Tommy Soderstrom (5th shutout) turns back all 24 shots he sees, while rookie center Eric Lindros (41st goal, two assists), Josef Beranek (14th), Vycheslav Butsayev (2nd) and Pelle Eklund (10th) supply the offense.
- 1996: John LeClair's two goals give him 50 for the season and cap off a 5-1 road win over the New Jersey Devils. Rod Brind'Amour notches his 25th in the same game, and John Druce (11th and 12th) also scores twice. LeClair finishes the night with three points.
April 10: Flyers Birthdays
- Depth center Steve Washburn was born on April 10, 1975 in Ottawa.
- Right winger Gordie Williams was born on April 10, 1960 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.