At the Penguins' mandatory practice Saturday morning, Coach Marc Boileau ordered both his goaltenders-Inness and Bob Johnson—out of their nets and had his players shoot at the empty cages for almost 10 minutes. " Resch has them all psyched out," Boileau said. "We averaged more than four goals per game all year, but Resch has given us only four goals in three games. No goalie should be able to do that to us."
As the teams prepared to square away that night, Larouche set the situation in perfect perspective. "One team will choke," he said. "The other team will win." From the start it was a wild game, exactly the type of hockey that the deliberate Islanders wanted to avoid. Less than three minutes into the game, Bob Paradise of the Penguins and Clark Gilles of the Islanders, two genuine heavyweights, dropped their gloves and boxed three quick rounds. Then, late in the period, Kelly, responding to the organist's rendition of Anchors Aweigh, fought with Dave Lewis in another heavyweight matchup. But no one could beat Resch, although Apps hit the post and bounced a shot off his mask and over the net.
Resch was Larouche's particular target in the next two periods. Once Resch gloved a Larouche deflection at the goalmouth; another time he dived out of his net and poke-checked the puck off Larouche's stick just as the rookie was ready to roll it into the vacated net. And, oh yes, Jean Pronovost also hit the post. Then it happened. Marshall, one of the few Islander veterans, broke up the clearing play, wheeled to the inside, heard Westfall yelling "Bert! Bert!" and then slid the puck to him and watched Westfall toy with Inness. "What could I do," the goaltender said later. "He kept moving in from the side. I stayed as long as I could, then I had to move with him. The instant I did, he put it past me. Westfall's an old pro. He never panicked."
And he didn't hit the goalpost, either.