August 23, 2008

Greatest Photos In Hockey History
#12 Bill Barilko's Last Goal

In the 1951 finals, the Leafs were facing their eternal rivals the Montreal Canadiens, and with this goal pictured above Bill Barilko became the unlikely hero.

Toronto scored with just 32 second left to force game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals into overtime. Toronto led the series 3 games to 1, and were looking to clinch the championship.

At 2:53 of the first overtime period, Barilko became a national hero. He hadn't recorded a single point in the series prior to then, but he fired a desperation shot as he crossed the blue line. He had so much effort into his shot he actually fell forward to ice after releasing the puck. The puck somehow found its way past Montreal goalie Gerry McNeil, and the Cup was Toronto's. Barilko was the unlikely hero who won the Cup.

Unfortunately Barilko didn't get to enjoy the Cup victory or his new national hero status for very long. During the off-season he and friend Dr. Henry Hudson flew to northern Ontario on a fishing trip. The plane crashed and the wreckage wasn't found for 15 years. In the wreckage of that plane lies the legend of Bill Barilko.


Anonymous said...

Actually the plane was discovered 11 years after the crash, the year the leafs won their first Stanley Cup since Barilko's death

yhoti said...

A few years ago was looking through some old hockey books and found this picture in one book and in another the same picture from the other side. You can see the flash in the top right of this photo and the other photo showed the flash from this camera. It was interesting to see them together.