Flyers at 50: Al Hill’s 5-Point Debut

Flyers history 50 

February 14, 1977

It's a wonderful feat for an undrafted rookie to make it to the NHL. It would be icing on the cake if he were to record a point and get on the scoresheet in his first NHL game.

Being called up from Springfield of the AHL, Al Hill was about to make is NHL debut and also Flyers history. 

In his first game in the NHL and as a Flyer, Hill recorded two goals, three assists (and a fight). The 21-year-old had a busy night, as coach Fred Shero juggled Hill in and out of lines due to injuries to both Bill Barber and Paul Holmgren.

The rookie would be a big boost to the Flyers in a 6-4 win at home against the St. Louis Blues. He scored just 36 seconds into the game on a 40-foot slap shot. Later in the period, he would bang home a rebound from a Gary Dornhoefer shot for his second goal. With just three minutes left in the period, he assisted on a Reggie Leach goal, giving him three points in the first 20 minutes of his NHL career. 

In the second period, Hill would tally another assist on a Mel Bridgman goal at 14:19. He would also take on Bob MacMillan of the Blues and record his first fight in the NHL. Unfazed by the challenge, the rookie's historic game was not done just yet.

The Flyers carried a 5-2 lead into the third period. To blow the game open, Hill assisted on a Bobby Clarke goal just 57 seconds in. The Blues would get two late goals on goaltender Wayne Stephenson to make the score look respectable at 6-4, however the night belonged to the Flyers and their unlikely star. 

Hill truly caught lightning in a bottle on this night. His career after that was a line of 221 NHL games, all with Philadelphia, with 40 goals and 55 assists. He would spend most of his time in the AHL, between the Springfield Indians and Maine Mariners, over a 12-year period.