On March 8 in NYR history: One more game for Joe the goalie

NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

What happened on March 8 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1961, team statistician Joe Schaefer had to put on the New York Rangers uniform for the second time and play for the home team. He came into the game to replace Gump Worsley who tore a thigh muscle on a Bobby Hull breakaway.   Worsley was taken off the ice on a stretcher and Schaefer came down from press box to suit up.

The 36-year-old came into the game with the score tied 1-1 and allowed three goals as the Rangers lost to the Black Hawks 4-3.  He made 27 saves in the losing effort in what was his final appearance in an NHL game.  In the mid 1960s the NHL began requiring teams to dress two goalies for every game so the need for someone like Schaefer ended.

In his previous appearance just over one year earlier, he didn’t do too well, giving up five goals in a 5-1 loss to the Black Hawks.  He had replaced Worsley in that one too when the Ranger goalie tore tendons in his hand on Bobby Hull’s skate blade.

Schaefer ended his career with two appearances, two losses and 44 saves on 52 shots. Both games were against the Chicago Black Hawks in relief of Gump Worsley who was injured on a play involving Bobby Hull.  Weird.

Today’s birthdays

21 NHL players were born on March 8. with only two listed as former Rangers.

Brent Fedyk was a left winger born on  this date in 1967 in  Yorkton, Saskatchewan.  He played five years in Detroit and four years in Philadelphia, topping the 20 goal mark three times.  Signed a free agent by the Rangers in 1998 he played one season in New York, scoring four goals in 67 games.

Greg Hickey was born on this date in 1955 in Toronto, Ontario.  He played one game in the NHL, for the Rangers in the 1977-78 season.  He is best known as the younger brother of Pat Hickey and since he did play that one game in New York they joined the list of brothers who played with each other as teammates on the Rangers.

The numbers

The Rangers have played 38 games on March 8 with a pretty good record,  losing only 13 games in regulation.

Games: 38
Regulation wins: 16
Regulation losses: 13
Ties: 5
Overtime wins: 3
Shootout losses: 1
Points percentage: .579

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