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Today In Flyers History: October 29

Bridgman Hat Trick Sparks Win vs. Pittsburgh: October 29, 1981

by @NHLFlyers /

Chosen by the Flyers with the first overall pick of the 1975 NHL Draft - the only time in franchise history the team has chosen first - Mel Bridgman went on to become a tough, two-way center who served as the team's captain at the end of the 1970s until the early 1980s.

Bridgman lacked top-end spend but was sturdy on his feet and had underrated hands. He reached the 22-goal mark six times in his NHL career and 50 or more points nine times. His career highs were a combined 33 goals and 89 points in a 1981-82 season split between the Flyers and Calgary Flames.

On October 29, 1981, Bridgman compiled the first and only hat trick of his Flyers' career in a 6-4 win at the Spectrum against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The game featured a line brawl at 11:17 of the first period immediately after Bridgman scored his first goal of the game. He later added one tally apiece in the second and third periods. Ken Linseman collected four assists in the game, while goaltender Rick St. Croix (17 saves on 21 shots) stopped enough pucks to earn the win in goal.

Bridgman's six-plus season stay with the Flyers would soon come to an end. On November 11, 1981, the Flyers captain was traded to Calgary in exchange for the Flames' captain, defenseman Brad Marsh.


October 29: Through the Years

  • 1977: The visiting Flyers whip the St. Louis Blues, 7-3. Reggie Leach leads the attack with two goals, while Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish, Don Saleski, Bob Dailey and Bob "the Hound" Kelly add one goal apiece. Bernie Parent stops 26 of 29 shots to earn the win.


  • 1986: Top-pairing defenseman Brad McCrimmon's season-long contract holdout comes to an end as the Flyers sign him to a one-year contract extension. He dresses for his first game of the season one night later.


  • 1995: All three members of the Legion of Doom -- John LeClair, Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg -- score once apiece in a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators at the Spectrum. Philly also gets goals from Brent Fedyk (power play) and Shjon Podein (shorthanded). Earlier in the day, the Flyers place left winger Gilbert Dionne on waivers.


  • 2002: Keith Primeau's fourth and fifth goals of the young season lift the Flyers to a 2-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators. The first goal is scored on the opening shift of the game. Roman Cechmanek earns the win, stopping 29 of 39 shots. Only a Jason Spezza power play goal gets past the Czech netminder.


  • 2011: With the score tied 1-1 after two periods, the Flyers explode for four unanswered goals in the third period in route to a 5-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes. Top line trio Jaromir Jagr (two goals), Claude Giroux (one goal, three assists) and Scott Hartnell (one goal, two assists) does most of the damage, while Max Talbot chips in a shorthanded goal.


 October 29: Flyers Birthday

  • One of the NHL's best penalty killers and faceoff men of his era, hard-nosed shutdown center Joel Otto was born Oct. 29, 1961 in Elk River, Minnesota.
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