History was made on this date in 1982, when referee Kerry Fraser awarded two penalty shots in the same period – both to the Vancouver Canucks.
Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka both scored on goaltender Gilles Gilbert in what would end as a 4-4 tie against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Fraser (@kfraserthecall) took to Twitter to share some memories.
I remember like it was yesterday.
The first call was easy when Jim Schoenfeld grabbed the puck in his goal crease.
The second came with 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Nucks net empty, Stanley Steamer intercepted and end zone pass and steamed in on a breakaway. Reid Larson gave chase and chopped Stan down in the act of shooting! While the easy path would’ve been to assess a minor for slashing, that would be not only less courageous but unjust & wrong!
Without hesitation, I pointed to center ice.
Stan Smyl was injured on the play [after sliding into the goal post] and had to be helped off the ice by the trainer. Under the rules, any player on the ice at time of the infraction could take the shot for an injured player. Head coach Harry Neale selected Hlinka.
Afterward, Neale admitted to telling Hlinka if he didn’t score to continue skating out of Joe Louis back to Czechoslovakia!
The excitement wasn’t over for Fraser as he left the building.
At end of game all hell rained down on me.
As a Detroit police officer was escorting me to exit, he said, “Oh no, not this guy.” A man was blocking my path through turnstiles, who was known for previous incidents with other refs.
I told the cop to hang back and let me go through alone. The guy was taking his glasses off as I approached. Setting my ref bag in front of him, I said, “You’ve taken your glasses off for a purpose, now either you and me go at it or get the **** out of my way — or I’ll go overtop of you. Buddy stepped aside and put his glasses on. Cop was in shock!
Two penalty shots in one period against the same team — an NHL first! The only other ref to assess two penalty shots in one game but against the same team was Clarence Campbell.
Fraser refereed the game alongside linesmen Mark Pare and Leon Stickle.
Fraser’s tweets lightly edited for clarity.