1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks season

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1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks
Division 3rd Western
1972–73 record 37–35–6
Goals for 259
Goals against 250
Team information
Coach Terry Slater
Team leaders
1973–74>

Offseason[edit]

The WHA awarded a franchise to Los Angeles and it was originally called the "Los Angeles Aces," while the San Francisco franchise was called the Sharks. However, when funding fell through and the San Francisco franchise was then moved to Quebec to become the Nordiques, the Los Angeles group took the name Sharks and created the stylized menacing shark logo. The team colors of red and black were based on the original nickname "aces", being that the two colors in a deck of cards are red and black.

Regular season[edit]

The Sharks hung around the .500 mark for much of the season. The Winnipeg Jets, led by Bobby Hull, were clearly the class of the WHA's Western Division. Four teams (the Houston Aeros, Minnesota Fighting Saints, Alberta Oilers, and Sharks staged a season long see-saw battle for 2nd through 5th place, with only the top four making the playoffs (The Chicago Cougars finished in a distant 6th place).

The Sharks strength was their defense, which ranked 3rd in the league. Bart Crashley, Gerry Odrowski, and Jim Watson anchored the blue line. George Gardner (GAA 3.30) was a capable #1 goalie for the first half of the season, while 32 year old rookie Russ Gillow (2.91 GAA) took over the top spot for most of the second half. In fact, Gillow was second in the WHA to Gerry Cheevers in GAA.

The offense had quality but lacked depth. It was led by 43 goal scorer Gary Veneruzzo while Alton White was 2nd on the team in goals with 20. Veneruzzo also led the team in points with 73, followed by playmaking center J.P. LeBlanc (19 goals and 50 assists for 69 points), and defenseman Bart Crashley, who anchored the power play and chipped in 18 goals and 27 assists.

Sharks special teams were solid, ranking 4th in the league in power play and 5th in penalty killing.

Ultimately, the Sharks went 6–3–1 in their last 10 games, including winning their last two to climb from 5th place to 3rd.

Final standings[edit]

Western Division
GP W L T GF GA PIM Pts
Winnipeg Jets 78 43 31 4 285 249 757 90
Houston Aeros 78 39 35 4 284 269 1363 82
Los Angeles Sharks 78 37 35 6 259 250 1477 80
Minnesota Fighting Saints 78 38 37 3 250 269 843 79
Alberta Oilers 78 38 37 3 269 256 1134 79
Chicago Cougars 78 26 50 2 245 295 811 54


Game log[edit]

Regular season schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 L October 13, 1972 2–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 0–1–0
2 W October 15, 1972 5–1 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 1–1–0
3 W October 17, 1972 5–1 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 2–1–0
4 W October 19, 1972 4–2 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 3–1–0
5 L October 22, 1972 2–4 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 3–2–0
6 L October 25, 1972 5–8 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 3–3–0
7 L October 27, 1972 4–5 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 3–4–0
8 W October 28, 1972 4–3 OT @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 4–4–0
9 W October 31, 1972 4–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 5–4–0
10 T November 2, 1972 1–1 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 5–4–1
11 W November 4, 1972 3–2 OT @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 6–4–1
12 W November 5, 1972 4–0 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 7–4–1
13 W November 8, 1972 2–1 New York Raiders (1972–73) 8–4–1
14 L November 9, 1972 2–7 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 8–5–1
15 L November 11, 1972 3–5 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 8–6–1
16 L November 12, 1972 2–5 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 8–7–1
17 L November 14, 1972 0–8 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 8–8–1
18 W November 15, 1972 6–4 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 9–8–1
19 L November 17, 1972 1–5 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 9–9–1
20 L November 19, 1972 3–4 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 9–10–1
21 L November 21, 1972 2–5 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 9–11–1
22 L November 23, 1972 3–4 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 9–12–1
23 L November 24, 1972 2–3 OT @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 9–13–1
24 W November 26, 1972 6–2 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 10–13–1
25 L November 28, 1972 3–4 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 10–14–1
26 W November 30, 1972 6–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 11–14–1
27 W December 1, 1972 5–3 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 12–14–1
28 W December 2, 1972 4–2 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 13–14–1
29 W December 8, 1972 4–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 14–14–1
30 W December 10, 1972 5–3 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 15–14–1
31 T December 12, 1972 3–3 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 15–14–2
32 L December 14, 1972 2–5 New England Whalers (1972–73) 15–15–2
33 T December 17, 1972 4–4 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 15–15–3
34 L December 19, 1972 5–7 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 15–16–3
35 T December 21, 1972 4–4 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 15–16–4
36 L December 23, 1972 1–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 15–17–4
37 W December 24, 1972 5–3 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 16–17–4
38 L December 28, 1972 2–4 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 16–18–4
39 W December 29, 1972 5–2 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 17–18–4
40 L December 31, 1972 1–3 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 17–19–4
41 W January 9, 1973 4–3 OT @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 18–19–4
42 W January 10, 1973 8–5 @ Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 19–19–4
43 L January 12, 1973 1–2 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 19–20–4
44 L January 13, 1973 1–4 Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 19–21–4
45 W January 15, 1973 4–3 @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 20–21–4
46 L January 16, 1973 5–6 OT @ Alberta Oilers (1972–73) 20–22–4
47 L January 19, 1973 1–4 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 20–23–4
48 W January 21, 1973 3–2 Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 21–23–4
49 L January 26, 1973 4–5 OT New York Raiders (1972–73) 21–24–4
50 W January 28, 1973 9–2 New York Raiders (1972–73) 22–24–4
51 W January 30, 1973 5–2 @ Houston Aeros (1972–73) 23–24–4
52 W February 2, 1973 3–1 New England Whalers (1972–73) 24–24–4
53 W February 4, 1973 4–3 New England Whalers (1972–73) 25–24–4
54 W February 8, 1973 3–1 Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 26–24–4
55 L February 10, 1973 5–6 OT Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 26–25–4
56 L February 11, 1973 0–3 Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 26–26–4
57 L February 13, 1973 1–6 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 26–27–4
58 L February 15, 1973 5–6 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 26–28–4
59 T February 16, 1973 2–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 26–28–5
60 W February 18, 1973 4–1 @ Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 27–28–5
61 W February 20, 1973 4–2 @ Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 28–28–5
62 L February 24, 1973 3–5 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 28–29–5
63 W February 25, 1973 4–2 Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 29–29–5
64 W March 1, 1973 4–1 @ Minnesota Fighting Saints (1972–73) 30–29–5
65 L March 2, 1973 1–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 30–30–5
66 L March 4, 1973 1–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1972–73) 30–31–5
67 W March 6, 1973 3–2 OT Quebec Nordiques (1972–73) 31–31–5
68 L March 7, 1973 1–3 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 31–32–5
69 W March 9, 1973 5–1 Houston Aeros (1972–73) 32–32–5
70 W March 11, 1973 4–2 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 33–32–5
71 L March 13, 1973 1–3 Ottawa Nationals (1972–73) 33–33–5
72 W March 15, 1973 6–2 @ New York Raiders (1972–73) 34–33–5
73 W March 17, 1973 2–0 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 35–33–5
74 T March 19, 1973 5–5 @ Cleveland Crusaders (1972–73) 35–33–6
75 L March 20, 1973 1–4 @ New England Whalers (1972–73) 35–34–6
76 L March 23, 1973 3–7 Philadelphia Blazers (1972–73) 35–35–6
77 W March 25, 1973 1–0 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 36–35–6
78 W March 27, 1973 4–1 Chicago Cougars (1972–73) 37–35–6

[1]

Playoffs[edit]

The Sharks' 3rd place finish enabled them to avoid a first round matchup with Bobby Hull's powerful Winnipeg Jets and earned them a series with the 2nd place Houston Aeros, who finished 2 points ahead of the Sharks in the standings.

After opening in Houston with an uninspired 7–2 loss, the Sharks bounced back to win game two by a 4–2 score. Heading back to L.A. with a split, the Sharks won a thrilling game three by a score of 3–2; goalie Russ Gillow made several spectacular saves to preserve the win. The turning point was game four. The clubs battled through regulation tied at 2; if the Sharks scored the next goal, they would have a commanding 3–1 series lead but if Houston scored, the series would be tied going back to Houston. Winger Murray Hall scored for Houston, and the Sharks didn't win another game, losing game five 6–3 and game six, 3–2. After the series, coach Terry Slater was criticized for starting George Gardner in games 1 and 5 despite the fact Gillow played better the second half of the season. Gardner was pulled in game 1 (a 7–2 loss) and did not play well in game 5 (a 6–3 loss). Garnder's GAA for the series was 5.69 while Gillow's was 2.91. Slater stated he wanted the veteran Gardner to start game 1 over the rookie Gillow.

  • Sharks 2 at Aeros 7
  • Sharks 4 at Aeros 2
  • Aeros 2 at Sharks 3
  • Aeros 3 at Sharks 2 (OT)
  • Sharks 3 at Aeros 6
  • Aeros 3 at Sharks 2

Player stats[edit]

Regular season
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Veneruzzo, GaryGary Veneruzzo W 78 43 30 73 34 0 13 0 5
LeBlanc, J.P.J.P. LeBlanc C 77 19 50 69 49 0 2 1 3
Crashley, BartBart Crashley D 70 18 27 45 10 0 7 0 0
Szura, JoeJoe Szura C 73 13 32 45 25 0 3 0 0
White, AltonAlton White RW 57 20 17 37 22 0 2 0 0
Serviss, TomTom Serviss C 73 11 26 37 32 0 0 3 0
Odrowski, GerryGerry Odrowski D 78 6 31 37 89 0 0 1 0
Byers, MikeMike Byers RW 56 19 17 36 20 0 2 0 0
Gilmore, TomTom Gilmore LW 71 17 18 35 191 0 6 0 0
Heiskala, EarlEarl Heiskala LW 70 12 17 29 150 0 2 0 0
Niekamp, JimJim Niekamp D 78 7 22 29 155 0 0 1 0
Young, BillBill Young LW 50 14 12 26 46 0 6 0 0
Slater, PeterPeter Slater RW 73 12 12 24 87 0 3 0 0
MacSweyn, RalphRalph MacSweyn D 78 0 23 23 39 0 0 0 0
McCaskill, TedTed McCaskill C 73 11 11 22 150 0 0 2 0
Watson, JimJim Watson D 75 5 15 20 123 0 1 0 0
Sutherland, SteveSteve Sutherland LW 44 11 6 17 98 0 0 0 0
Speck, FredFred Speck C 28 3 13 16 22 0 0 0 0
Hyndman, MikeMike Hyndman RW 19 8 7 15 11 0 1 0 0
MacNeil, BernieBernie MacNeil LW 42 4 7 11 48 0 0 0 0
Jones, BobBob Jones LW 20 2 7 9 8 0 1 0 0
Heggedal, HowieHowie Heggedal LW 8 2 1 3 0 0 1 0 0
Krupicka, JardaJarda Krupicka RW 6 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
Mavety, LarryLarry Mavety D 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner G 49 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow G 38 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0
Jakubo, MikeMike Jakubo C 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Perreault, BobBob Perreault G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Zrymiak, JerryJerry Zrymiak D 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner 2713 49 19 22 4 149 3.30 1
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow 1982 38 17 13 2 96 2.91 2
Perreault, BobBob Perreault 60 1 1 0 0 2 2.00 0
Team: 4755 78 37 35 6 247 3.12 3
Playoffs
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Speck, FredFred Speck C 6 3 2 5 2 1 0 0
McCaskill, TedTed McCaskill C 6 2 3 5 12 0 0 0
LeBlanc, J.P.J.P. LeBlanc C 6 0 5 5 2 0 0 0
Gilmore, TomTom Gilmore LW 5 1 3 4 2 0 0 0
Veneruzzo, GaryGary Veneruzzo W 6 3 0 3 4 1 0 1
Niekamp, JimJim Niekamp D 6 2 1 3 10 0 0 0
MacSweyn, RalphRalph MacSweyn D 6 1 2 3 4 0 0 0
Odrowski, GerryGerry Odrowski D 6 1 2 3 6 0 0 1
Hyndman, MikeMike Hyndman RW 6 0 3 3 17 0 0 0
Heiskala, EarlEarl Heiskala LW 5 1 1 2 4 1 0 0
Crashley, BartBart Crashley D 6 0 2 2 2 0 0 0
Sutherland, SteveSteve Sutherland LW 6 0 2 2 8 0 0 0
White, AltonAlton White RW 6 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
Zrymiak, JerryJerry Zrymiak D 2 1 0 1 2 0 0 0
Watson, JimJim Watson D 4 0 1 1 2 0 0 0
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow G 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Heggedal, HowieHowie Heggedal LW 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MacNeil, BernieBernie MacNeil LW 3 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Serviss, TomTom Serviss C 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slater, PeterPeter Slater RW 6 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Szura, JoeJoe Szura C 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Gardner, GeorgeGeorge Gardner 116 3 1 2 11 5.69 0
Gillow, RussRuss Gillow 247 5 1 2 12 2.91 0
Team: 363 6 2 4 23 3.80 0

[2]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals
      MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts;

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

3rd round, 8th pick (32nd overall pick) – Robert Klein, D – Kamloops

Farm teams[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1972–73 Los Angeles Sharks Games". Hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  2. ^ "1972-73 Los Angeles Sharks Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 

External links[edit]