Skip to main content
Short Shifts

#TBT: 1975 Black Hawks battle Sesame Street stars

Tony Esposito among group that took on Big Bird, Cookie Monster @NHLdotcom

Some good fortune in scheduling 42 years ago turned into a Christmas memory straight out of a storybook for Tony Esposito and three of the his Black Hawks teammates.

In this footage from the Chicago Film Archives, Esposito, Pat Stapleton, Gerry Pinder and Ray McCray are seen playing a game with life-sized Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Ernie, Bert and Cookie Monster at Chicago Stadium.

Watch: Youtube Video

Esposito told that the Black Hawks had their Christmas party on Dec. 21, 1975 and the Sesame Street crew was in town for its holiday show. Everyone thought it would be fun for a few of the players to take on Big Bird and his pals in a friendly contest.

Esposito says his kids were on hand and got a big kick out of the whole thing and he still has a photo from the Chicago Tribune that was taken during the game. Though Esposito recalled Big Bird wasn't much of a goalie, around the 40 second mark, Snuffy's feathered friend establishes himself as quite the bruiser.

Cookie Monster was pretty excited to make a save, though everyone in the game should've been thankful he didn't mistake it for a cookie and gobble it up.

The Black Hawks played a game that night, and it turns out the gang from Sesame Street didn't take too much out of them. They beat the New York Islanders 5-2 after enjoying a holiday moment to last a lifetime.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.