Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maple Leafs Flag Down Blues Two Late Goals Help Toronto Tie 4-4 after Hull's Hat Trick

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maple Leafs Flag Down Blues Two Late Goals Help Toronto Tie 4-4 after Hull's Hat Trick

Article excerpt

The Blues' sellout crowd of 17,602 threw their victory party a little too early Tuesday night at The Arena.

With 12 minutes 2 seconds remaining in the game, the delirious fans littered the ice with souvenir rally flags and caps in celebration of Brett Hull's hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The goals were Nos. 34-36 for Hull.

Unfortunately for the Blues, the game was far from over. The Maple Leafs had more than enough time to organize their own rally and party.

Mark Greig and Doug Gilmour scored goals in a 47-second span late in the period, tying the game 4-4 and sending the fans home with flagging spirits.

In Hull's estimation, the ill-advised and ill-timed celebration probably hurt the Blues.

"Do you know what I thought changed the game?" Hull asked later. "After I got the third goal, all that stuff was thrown on the ice.

"I don't care who you are, when you're down two goals with (12) minutes left, and all of a sudden you have 15 minutes to sit there before the puck's dropped, you get yourself motivated to go back out there."

It actually took only about five minutes to clean up the mess. But Hull said it seemed like 20 to the Blues.

"We sat there (saying), `Let's get going,' " he said. "They got themselves fired up."

Hull likened the shower of flying projectiles to something other than a National Hockey League game.

"It almost feels like you're in a Roller Derby," he said.

But then Hull absolved the fans.

"You can't blame them," he said. "It's a big goal. They're excited and happy to be there, (but) if we could get them to refrain from doing that. . . . If they want to throw them after the game, whatever. It's kind of dangerous."

The rally flags resembled spears flying down toward the ice.

"I covered my face coming off the ice," Brendan Shanahan said. "With pointy objects, you never know. …

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