The Rangers had high hopes when they drafted Don Murdoch in the first
round, 6th overall in the 1976 NHL draft. It didn't take long for him to
prove that he was the right choice.
In the first game of the 1976-77 season, Murdoch scored two goals in
the Rangers 6-5 win over the Minnesota North Stars at Madison Square
Garden. Less than a week later he would torment that very same team, and
make a bit of NHL history in the process.
On October 12th, 1976 lighting struck in Minnesota during a rematch
with the North Stars. Murdoch did not play at all during the first period
in which the Rangers scored four times, but tallied three times in the
second and two times in the third. Getting that historic fifth goal with
just five seconds to go in the game. He was mobbed by his teammates
especially by Phil Esposito who helped set up the goal. The Rangers won
"I never had this many in a game in juniors or anywhere," he
said of his big night.
"But you have to give the team credit, not just me."
The last rookie to score five in a game was Maple Leaf Howie Meeker.
Meeker himself admitted that two of his goals were "tainted"
deflecting off defensemen and into the net. All five of Murdoch's goals
were classified as "pure markers" and highlight reel material.
Meeker was the first to accomplish this feat; Murdoch was the second
and last player to do it. No one else has done it since.
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