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October 01, 2014

Merlyn Phillips

On March 22, 1984, Bryan Trottier scored a goal 5 seconds into an Isles game in Boston.

Trottier became the second player in modern NHL history to score :05 into play. Doug Smail did so for Winnipeg in 1981 and Buffalo's Alex Mogilny would join them in the record book in 1991. For the past two decades, those three players have had the record book to themselves.

The NHL, however, is in the midst of digitizing old records and in doing so, they found a goal by a guy named Merlyn Phillips nearly 88 years after it happened. Phillips, playing for the Montreal Maroons, scored 5 seconds into a game in Chicago on December 29, 1926.

How awesome is that?!

Though not too many people today remember him, Merlyn "Bill" Phillips was a pretty good player back in his day. Described as a speedy skater and tricky stickhandler, Phillips played 278 games for the Maroons; he finished his NHL career with the NY Americans in the 1932-33 season.

In his rookie season, 1926, Phillips led the entire league in goal scoring during the Stanley Cup playoffs and helped the Maroons win the Stanley Cup. Yet with 51 goals in 278 career games Phillips was not a noted goal scorer.

The former Soo Greyhound legend was lauded for his defensive play, particularly his stick checking ability. He was noted for his poke-checking.

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