I can tell you where I was on that day...sitting in Section 220, Row V, Seat 3 at the U.S. Air Arena in Landover Maryland attending NHL Game #25 featuring my Washington Capitals versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. See, I even still have the ticket stub to prove it:
We moved recently, and as part of the move I found my stash of Washington Capital ticket stubs from the early 90's. This one ticket stood out to more than any of the others since it represented the one time I was witness to a number of records being broken by one of the greatest players ever to lace up the skates for the Capitals: Peter Bondra!
A little refresher for those who may or may not recognize this name. Peter "Bonzai" Bondra played 17 seasons in the NHL, the first 14 with the Capitals, he also played parts of a season with the Senators and Blackhawks, as well as one season with the Thrashers. He ended his NHL career in 2006 with 503 goals and 892 points.
He is the Capitals franchise leader in points (825), goals (472), Power Play Goals (137), Shorthanded Goals (32), and Game Winning Goals (73) and will be for some time. By comparison, Ovechkin (going into the start of the 2011-12 season) ranks third in points (more than 200 behind Bondra), third in goals (171 behind), second in powerplay goals (39 behind), and third in game winning goals (21 behind) and somewhere near the bottom of the list with shorties (Ovie has 4, which is 28 behind).
Oddly enough, his last base card was issued in 05-06, even though he played 37 games for the Blackhawks in 2006-07 (SHAME on Upper Deck for blowing him off, especially in light of his reaching the 500 goal mark). Would it have been that hard to drop a card in for him in the 06-07 Series 2 release or in any of the 07-08 releases?? ANYWHO...back to my original point of this post...
There I was on February 5, 1994, sitting in Section 220, Row V, Seat 3 at the U.S. Air Arena in Landover Maryland attending NHL Game #25 featuring my Washington Capitals versus the Tampa Bay Lightning...unaware that I was about to witness history!!
On this night, against a hapless Lightning team, Bonzai potted 5 goals in a 6-3 rout. He scored a natural hat trick in 2:09 of the second period (which is still a team record and a long way off from the NHL record of 29 seconds). Further, the time between his first and second goals was 15 seconds, also a team record. With his four goals in a period, he joined a short list of players to accomplish that feat...with names like Lemieux and Gretzky. He added a fifth goal later in the game to finish off the evening. An night to remember forever!!
I have not been able to find any video from that game on the Internet (who knows if it even exists) but would love to see it again...
Thanks for your time!!!
P.S. - Things have gone a little haywire in my live recently and I fell off the blogging wagon as a result. I hope to get back to doing more posts soon!!!