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Hockey History Part 5: The Last Goal He Ever Scored Won The Leafs The Cup

The past few weeks I've been going back to break down the trade trees of some of the bigger moves in NHL history. But we'll change it up a little bit this week since we just had the anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the 1951 Stanley Cup a couple days ago. The Leafs won that series 4-1 after all 5 games went to overtime. And 2:53 into the overtime period of game 5, it was Bill Barilko with the dagger to win the Cup for the Leafs. 

It was his 4th Cup in 5 years with Toronto. But unfortunately it would be the last goal he scored in his career. Because a few months later, Bill Barilko went on a fishing trip to northern Quebec. The return flight never made it back home and all of the passengers, including Barilko, were missing. 

The Maple Leafs had won 5 Cups over the last 7 sevens before Bill Barilko disappeared. But after that season, they went on an 11-year drought. And throughout those 11 years, Barilko and the rest of the passengers on that plane were still missing. It wasn't until April 22 in game 6 of the '62 Final against Chicago that the Leafs finally won the Cup again. 

And about a month and a half later on June 6, 1962, the wreckage from the crash was finally discovered. 

4 Stanley Cups. The final goal of his career was an OT Cup winner. And his story inspired the absolute jam piece "Fifty-Mission Cap" by The Tragically Hip. 

I'm sure most of you Canadians are already familiar with the story but Bill Barilko is a certified legend that I fear not enough people know about. Which is precisely the reason behind this week's hockey history lesson. 

Previously on Hockey History…

Chris Pronger // Eric Lindros // Teemu Selanne