Monday, June 25, 2012

Howe it is Done

When Gary Bettman presented the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown, it marked the end to another post-season. Two of hockey's other grand trophies, the Memorial Cup and Calder Cup, had already been handed out.

Long departed from the list of championship silverware is the Avco Cup, which went to the last team standing in the World Hockey Association.

On May 19, 1974, the Houston  Aeros won the Avco Cup by defeating the Chicago Cougars 6 to 2. What makes this WHA final stand-out is one of the participants - Gordie Howe.

Still playing the game at 46, Howe was joined in Texas by his two sons, Mark and Marty. All three were in their first season suiting-up for Houston. While Gordie and Marty played together on a forward line, Mark patrolled the Aeros blue line.

Showing he still had gas left in the tank, Gordie Howe contributed four assists in the final contest versus Chicago. He collected helpers on two goals scored by Murray Hall and singles on tallies by Andre Hinse and Gord Labossiere.

In the dressing room, Howe was asked to compare winning the Avco Cup to winning the Stanley Cup. During his career in the National Hockey League, Howe captured four Stanley Cups with Detroit.

"This one probably means a little more, because of the three of us," said Howe, making reference to sharing the experience with Mark and Marty.

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