By: Evan Michael | Follow Me On Twitter @00EvanMichael
“It’s been a beautiful ride. It’s just awesome. You have to remember to be grateful.”
That’s how Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender (class of ’84) Bernie Parent described his award-winning — and Cup-winning — career during the NHL Awards ceremony in 2017 — a career that began in Boston when he debuted for the Bruins way back during the 1965-66 season.
And on April 3rd, 1966, during the last game of his rookie season, Parent led the B’s to victory over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. In doing so, Parent became the first EVER Bruins goaltender to win a game –as a rookie– on his birthday.
And with today being April 3rd, members of the Parent family have been celebrating Bernie’s B-day week with some wonderful posts and pictures online from his B-spoked and storied playing past, making this both a momentous and celebratory OTDIBH feature!
— Kim Parent (@ParentKim) April 1, 2020
Of course, Parent would go on to celebrate an even bigger milestone years later as one of the best goaltenders in Philadelphia Flyers history (not to mention NHL history where he’s ranked No. 63 on the “All-Time” list according to the Hockey News): winning the Stanley Cup.
And he did it against his former club in Black N’ Gold. From an article written for Philadelphia Magazine in 2008:
It’s May 19, 1974, game six of his first Stanley Cup finals, and he’s nine seconds away from shutting out the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum. Nine seconds away from Philadelphia’s first hockey championship and his own immortality. There’s a face-off at the opposite end of the ice from Parent’s net, leaving Boston almost no hope of breaking the 1-0 shutout and forcing overtime — until the puck ends up on the stick of Bobby Orr, the Bruins’ fearsome sniper. Parent didn’t see Orr blast a shot the length of the rink, just wide of the Flyers goal, because Parent was staring up at the clock, watching time run out (SEE BELOW).
“I didn’t know where the puck was, man!” he says. “If his shot is on net, it’s a goal. Who knows what happens then. Maybe we don’t win a championship. It just shows you how the universe works — you believe, you believe, you believe! The question is, is there a power that takes over? My answer is, absolutely yes!”
Philadelphia Magazine – “Legends: Bernie Parent Has A Secret”
How’s this for a powerful takeaway: all great careers have to start somewhere. And the Bruins can be quite historically happy and proud that hockey legend Bernie Parent’s began in Boston!
Stay tuned to the Black N’ Gold blog for more OTDIBH (On This Day In Bruins History) articles as our break from hockey continues into the Spring — but hopefully not all Summer!