Pete Babando was a pretty solid hockey player for most of his National Hockey League career. However had he not scored one goal on April 23, 1950, he would most likely have vanished from memory as the years passed by. Instead, he is forever immortalized in hockey lore.
On that date the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings faced-off for the Stanley Cup. It was winner-take-all as the series was tied at 3 games a piece heading into the deciding 7th game. At the end of regulation time, the score matched the series as the teams were tied at 3. One of the all time classic games in NHL history, the game went into overtime but nothing was settled. A second overtime period was needed to decide the Stanley Cup championship.
After surviving a flurry of an attack by the Rangers where they almost scored, the Wings headed back up ice into the Rangers' zone. George Gee made a short pass to Babando, who also scored earlier in the game, who backhanded the puck on the net. Somehow, the puck eluded a screened Chuck Rayner, the Ranger goalie. At 8:30 of the second overtime period, the game was over and the Red Wings had won the Stanley Cup. In the process Pete Babando went from an otherwise unheard of skater to celebrated hero.
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