By Brett Peruzzi, Managing Editor
BOSTON – It’s considered by many hockey fans to be the most famous goal ever. And it produced an iconic photo, that has been reproduced countless times and was made into a poster that is still selling more than five decades later.
On Mother’s Day, May 10, 1970, it was forty seconds into overtime for game four of the Stanley Cup finals, with the Bruins having won the first three games and this one tied at 3-3. Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr slipped the puck past St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall after receiving a pass from teammate Derek “Turk” Sanderson, and soared into history. Immediately after scoring the game and Stanley Cup-winning goal, Blues defenseman Noel Picard tripped Orr with his stick. It sent the 22-year-old flying into the air, arms outstretched as he hurtled through the air above the ice of Boston Garden.
By the time he landed, his teammates were starting to pile on top of him in an ecstatic embrace as the fans let out a victory roar that seemingly could have raised the roof off the building. It was the Bruins’ first Stanley Cup win in 29 years and the first time they had made it to the finals since 1958.
The famous photo was captured by Boston Record-American photographer Ray Lussier, who moved into position after another photographer gave up his rinkside seat to get a beer at the concession stand. In 1996 the goal, whose fame Orr credits to the photo, was named the greatest moment in NHL history.
Orr, who played ten seasons with the Bruins after signing with the team at age 18, is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He is the only defenseman to have won the NHL scoring title, and holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenseman. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 when he was 31 years old, the youngest player to be inducted at that time.
Today, Orr’s famous goal is immortalized outside the Boston Garden with a bronze statue capturing his historic flight to an overtime Stanley Cup victory.
You can watch a video of the final seconds of the game featuring Orr’s goal here: