1970-71 to 1980-81: The Ontario Hockey League's Decade Of Offense
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1970-71 to 1980-81: The Ontario Hockey League's Decade Of Offense

Most Ontario Hockey League scoring records were set during just one decade. Those records remain untouched today.

In the years from 1970-71 to 1980-81, the offensive landscape of the Ontario Hockey League was changed forever. Starting with Marcel Dionne of the St. Catherines Black Hawks in 1970-71, the single season points record progressed five times before settling in at a mark that still stands today.

Now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Marcel Dionne broke the points record in 1970-71 with 143 points in just 46 games with St. Catherines. The previous record of 139 had stood nearly twenty years since 1951-52 when Ken Laufman of the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters contributed 139 points in 54 games.

Two years later, Blake Dunlop of the Ottawa 67`s would shatter Dionne`s mark with 159 points. However, Dunlop would take 62 games to do it in 1972-73. Dunlop would go on to play parts of eleven seasons in the National Hockey League with the Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings.

It took another two years until the record was broken again. This time Bruce Boudreau of the Toronto Marlboros added 6 points (165) to the total while playing seven more games (69) than Dunlop. Boudreau played twenty seasons of professional hockey after graduating from the OHL. He is currently the coach of the Washington Capitals of the NHL and was inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame in 2009.

Boudreau’s record didn`t last long. Mike Kaszycki of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds had 170 points in 66 games the following season, 1975-76. Mike went on to play 226 regular season NHL games with the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs. He would achieve scoring success one more time in 1981-82, leading the AHL in scoring while playing for the New Brunswick Hawks. His 118 points that season paled in comparison to that of his final season in the OHL.

Because of the 1977-78 season, much of the ink is starting to fade in the OHL record books. Bobby Smith blew away the points record with 192 in 61 games with the Ottawa 67’s. His 123 assists that season also still stand today as an OHL record. A certain rookie named Wayne Gretzky also set the record for most points by a first year player in 1977-78 with 182 while playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Over a 15 year NHL career with the Minnesota North Stars and Montreal Canadiens, Smith contributed 1036 points in 1077 games.

To close the books on OHL offensive records, Ernie Godden of the Windsor Spitfires would score 87 goals in the 1980-81 season. This record stands pretty untouchable today and was only really challenged back in 1985-86 when Ray Sheppard of the Cornwall Royals netted 81 in 63 games.

The closest Smith’s 192 points mark came to being challenged was in 1982-83 when Doug Gilmour of the Cornwall Royals totalled 177. Since, no player has come closer than 30 points away. Why? The game has changed. Scores of 10-7 and 9-8 are rare. Goalies are much better trained. Star players rarely play a full schedule because of other commitments. More players on the bench means less ice time. Things may change in the future and these records may be broken. For now, the offensive records of the 1970’s are quite safe.

 

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