The Goal I'll Never Forget

Hall of Famer Doug Bentley recalls the night he scored his 200th National Hockey League goal.

After posting a Max Bentley story a few weeks ago, I figured it’s only fair to do a story on his brother Doug Bentley who also starred for the Chicago Black Hawks on the Pony Line with Max and Bill Mosienko.

Doug is perhaps more underrated than his brother Max when it comes to ranking the all-time hockey players, but Doug was a legend in his own right. He was named to four NHL All-Star Teams in his career and was the NHL scoring champion in points and goals in 1942–43 and again in goals in 1943–44.

Doug ended his NHL career with 543 points in 565 games over thirteen seasons. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964 (Two years before Max was inducted).

For today’s story, we have Doug Bentley talking about the night he scored his 200th NHL goal (a significant accomplishment of his era). He told this story to Blueline Magazine in 1956.

The date was February 23, 1951, and everybody in the Chicago rink was restless.

You couldn’t blame the crowd, of course. Here it was well past the starting time of the game against the New York Rangers, and the club still hadn’t put in an appearance.

I was restless, too. You see, I had scored my 199th goal seven games before and at the time, it seemed there was nothing more in the world I wanted to hit the 200 mark.

Everyone on the team was kidding me as to when and if I would ever get that 200th goal, and the seven games I had played without scoring had seemed like an eternity.

Finally, the Rangers, who had changed from a late train at Buffalo, and had boarded a plane for Chicago, came tearing into the rink behind a police escort. One hour after the listed starting time, we were on our way.

As I look back on the game, maybe it would have been better all around if the Rangers had missed their plane, or something. At the time, they were the hottest team in the league. They hit town flying high on an eight-game streak without a loss, and they poured it into us from the start.

We didn’t have a chance to make the playoffs, while the Rangers, on the other hand, were pointing for third place in the league standings. So they didn’t pull any punches. They knocked us all over the place, scoring seven goals during the game, and we couldn’t get past Chuck Rayner until late in the second period.

Bep Guidolin got one of our three goals, and Metro Prystai got another. And then, in the third period, the moment I’d been waiting for smacked me right in the eye.

We were scrambling around in the New York end of the rink. We slashed away at the puck in front of the net – you know, one of those plays where everybody gets a piece of it. Finally, I let one go and presto! In it went.

It was like a load being lifted from my shoulders. Everybody who had joshed me about not being able to get the 200th goal skated over with a friendly word or pat on the back. As for me, I was the happiest guy in the rink that night, and I guess I’ll never forget it.

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