Marshall Johnston Tracer

The fondest memory Johnston had as a coach was his first win behind the bench. It came in perhaps the most unlikely of places, the hallowed shrine of hockey, the Forum in Montreal. “Gilles Meloche stopped about 50 shots that night,” said Johnston, recalling the Seals improbable 4-3 win on March 2, 1974. The Seals were outshot 41-25 but received excellent goaltending from Gilles Meloche and timely scoring.

“The players gave me a plaque which I still have with all their names on it.”

-From the book “Shorthanded”, by Brad Kurtzberg

Further info on that night from sealshockey.com: “Hilliard Graves had a goal and 2 assists to lead the Seals to an upset win at the Forum in Montreal. Gary Croteau added a goal and an assist for the Seals. Gilles Meloche made 38 saves. The Seals ended a 24 game road losing streak. They would never defeat the Habs again in their remaining 12 games (0-11-1).”

The Seals were awful and consistent at it. There really is not a modern day equivalent in the game of hockey. A lot of good hockey players and good hockey executives passed through Oakland and didn’t make a damn bit of difference because they never had a good owner.

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