1977-78 Whalers.jpg
1977–78 New England Whalers
Division 2nd WHA
1977–78 record 44–31–5
Goals for 335
Goals against 269
Team Information
General Manager Jack Kelley
Coach Harry Neale
Captain Rick Ley
Alternate captains Brad Selwood
Tom Webster
Arena Hartford Civic Center
Team Leaders
Goals Gordie Howe (34)
Assists Gordie Howe (62)
Points Gordie Howe (96)
Penalties in minutes Jack Carlson (192)
Wins Al Smith (30)
Goals against average Al Smith (3.22)
<1976–77 1978–79>

The 1977–78 New England Whalers season was the Whalers' 6th season in the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Whalers finished 2nd in the league and lost in the Avco World Trophy Finals to the Winnipeg Jets 4 games to 0.

Off-season[edit | edit source]

The Whalers jerseys were the same design as in the 1974-75 season.

Regular Season[edit | edit source]

Gordie Howe scores his 1000th professional career goal, December 7, 1977.

This season saw the debut of Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty with the Whalers' franchise.

On December 7, 1977, Gordie Howe scored the 1000th goal of his professional career on goalie John Garrett of the Birmingham Bulls.

Final Standings[edit | edit source]

WHA Team GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM
Winnipeg Jets 80 50 28 2 102 381 270 988
New England Whalers 80 44 31 5 93 335 269 1255
Houston Aeros 80 42 34 4 88 296 302 1543
Quebec Nordiques 80 40 37 3 83 349 347 1185
Edmonton Oilers 80 38 39 3 79 309 307 1296
Birmingham Bulls 80 36 41 3 75 287 314 2177
Cincinnati Stingers 80 35 42 3 73 298 332 1701
Indianapolis Racers 80 24 51 5 53 267 353 1189
Soviet All-Stars 8 3 4 1 7 27 36 120
Czechoslovakia All-Stars 8 1 6 1 3 21 40 87

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, PIM = Penalties in Minutes
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.


Game Log[edit | edit source]

Regular Season Results
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 12, 1977 3–0 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 1–0–0
2 W October 15, 1977 5–2 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 2–0–0
3 L October 16, 1977 2–6 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 2–1–0
4 T October 18, 1977 2–2 @ Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 2–1–1
5 W October 19, 1977 6–3 @ Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 3–1–1
6 W October 21, 1977 5–2 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 4–1–1
7 W October 26, 1977 7–1 Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 5–1–1
8 W October 29, 1977 7–2 Houston Aeros (1977–78) 6–1–1
9 W November 1, 1977 6–3 @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 7–1–1
10 W November 4, 1977 4–3 Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 8–1–1
11 W November 6, 1977 5–2 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 9–1–1
12 W November 8, 1977 4–3 @ Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 10–1–1
13 W November 10, 1977 5–3 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 11–1–1
14 W November 12, 1977 5–3 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 12–1–1
15 W November 15, 1977 6–4 @ Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 13–1–1
16 W November 18, 1977 3–2 Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 14–1–1
17 W November 20, 1977 5–4 OT @ Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 15–1–1
18 L November 22, 1977 4–5 @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 15–2–1
19 T November 23, 1977 3–3 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 15–2–2
20 L November 25, 1977 2–6 Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 15–3–2
21 L November 26, 1977 1–3 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 15–4–2
22 T November 30, 1977 3–3 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 15–4–3
23 W December 2, 1977 4–1 Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 16–4–3
24 L December 3, 1977 2–5 Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 16–5–3
25 L December 6, 1977 2–5 @ Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 16–6–3
26 W December 7, 1977 6–3 @ Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 17–6–3
27 W December 9, 1977 2–1 OT @ Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 18–6–3
28 W December 14, 1977 7–2 Soviet All-Stars (1977–78) 19–6–3
29 W December 16, 1977 5–3 Czechoslovakia (1977–78) 20–6–3
30 L December 17, 1977 3–6 Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 20–7–3
31 L December 18, 1977 3–7 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 20–8–3
32 W December 23, 1977 5–3 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 21–8–3
33 W December 27, 1977 8–1 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 22–8–3
34 W December 30, 1977 6–2 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 23–8–3
35 W January 1, 1978 4–3 OT @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 24–8–3
36 L January 4, 1978 4–6 Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 24–9–3
37 L January 6, 1978 3–4 @ Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 24–10–3
38 W January 7, 1978 5–3 Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 25–10–3
39 L January 8, 1978 4–5 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 25–11–3
40 W January 13, 1978 2–0 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 26–11–3
41 L January 14, 1978 4–5 OT Houston Aeros (1977–78) 26–12–3
42 L January 18, 1978 0–1 @ Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 26–13–3
43 T January 20, 1978 4–4 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 26–13–4
44 L January 21, 1978 2–3 @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 26–14–4
45 W January 22, 1978 6–3 Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 27–14–4
46 L January 25, 1978 7–8 OT @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 27–15–4
47 W January 27, 1978 6–2 @ Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 28–15–4
48 W January 28, 1978 3–0 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 29–15–4
49 L January 29, 1978 4–6 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 29–16–4
50 W February 1, 1978 4–3 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 30–16–4
51 L February 3, 1978 3–6 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 30–17–4
52 L February 4, 1978 4–5 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 30–18–4
53 W February 11, 1978 8–7 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 31–18–4
54 W February 14, 1978 5–1 Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 32–18–4
55 L February 16, 1978 1–2 OT Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 32–19–4
56 W February 18, 1978 4–1 @ Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 33–19–4
57 L February 21, 1978 5–6 OT @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 33–20–4
58 L February 22, 1978 2–4 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 33–21–4
59 L February 24, 1978 2–7 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 33–22–4
60 W February 26, 1978 6–5 @ Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 34–22–4
61 L March 1, 1978 3–4 OT Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 34–23–4
62 L March 3, 1978 2–3 OT Houston Aeros (1977–78) 34–24–4
63 L March 4, 1978 2–5 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 34–25–4
64 L March 5, 1978 1–2 @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 34–26–4
65 L March 9, 1978 4–6 @ Houston Aeros (1977–78) 34–27–4
66 W March 10, 1978 5–4 OT @ Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 35–27–4
67 W March 14, 1978 6–0 Birmingham Bulls (1977–78) 36–27–4
68 W March 15, 1978 7–0 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 37–27–4
69 W March 17, 1978 6–2 @ Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 38–27–4
70 L March 18, 1978 3–5 @ Quebec Nordiques (1977–78) 38–28–4
71 W March 21, 1978 6–3 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 39–28–4
72 L March 22, 1978 3–5 Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 39–29–4
73 L March 24, 1978 0–1 Houston Aeros (1977–78) 39–30–4
74 W March 26, 1978 5–3 Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 40–30–4
75 W March 29, 1978 6–1 Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 41–30–4
76 W April 3, 1978 8–6 Houston Aeros (1977–78) 42–30–4
77 T April 5, 1978 4–4 @ Edmonton Oilers (1977–78) 42–30–5
78 L April 6, 1978 4–7 @ Winnipeg Jets (1977–78) 42–31–5
79 W April 10, 1978 6–1 Cincinnati Stingers (1977–78) 43–31–5
80 W April 11, 1978 6–3 Indianapolis Racers (1977–78) 44–31–5

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

New England Whalers 4, Edmonton Oilers 1[edit | edit source]

Game Date Visitor Score Home Series
1 April 14 Edmonton Oilers 4–6 New England Whalers 0–1
2 April 16 Edmonton Oilers 1–4 New England Whalers 0–2
3 April 19 New England Whalers 0–2 Edmonton Oilers 2–1
4 April 21 New England Whalers 9–1 Edmonton Oilers 3–1
5 April 23 Edmonton Oilers 1–4 New England Whalers 1–4

New England Whalers 4, Quebec Nordiques 1[edit | edit source]

Game Date Visitor Score Home Series
1 April 28 Quebec Nordiques 1–5 New England Whalers 0–1
2 April 30 Quebec Nordiques 3–2 New England Whalers 1–1
3 May 3 New England Whalers 5–4 Quebec Nordiques 2–1
4 May 5 New England Whalers 7–3 Quebec Nordiques 3–1
5 May 7 Quebec Nordiques 3–6 New England Whalers 1–4

Winnipeg Jets 4, New England Whalers 0[edit | edit source]

Bobby Hull scores the series winner, Game 4 of the 1978 AVCO World Trophy Finals, May 22, 1978.

The Finals matched the Winnipeg Jets and New England Whalers, who had both won the AVCO World Trophy once. Al Smith played Games 1, 3 and 4 in net for the Whalers while Gary Bromley and Joe Daley alternated games for the Jets with Bromley starting Game 1. Game 1 was scoreless until the third period when the Jets depth scoring paid off with Bob Guindon marking twice and Peter Sullivan netting the winner. The Jets depth scoring was again the story of Game 2 as Dan Labraaten, Lyle Moffat and Bob Guindon staked the Jets to a 3-0 lead. The Jets first line finally scored as Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson piled on Whalers goalie Jean-Louis Levasseur as the Jets won 5-2. The Jets dominated Game 3 as Willy Lindström had a Hat trick and Kent Nilsson scored twice and added 2 assists in a 10-2 romp. Game 4 saw the Whalers take their only lead of the series as Mike Antonovich and Rick Ley scored, taking a 2-0 lead into the second period. Anders Hedberg took over, scoring twice and setting up 2 goals, including the series winner by Bobby Hull as the Jets swept the series four straight. Game 4 was the last game for the Hull-Nilsson-Hedberg line as the Swedes jumped to the New York Rangers. Bob Guindon was named the WHA Playoff MVP.

Game Date Visitor Score Home Series
1 May 12 New England Whalers 1–4 Winnipeg Jets 0–1
2 May 14 New England Whalers 2–5 Winnipeg Jets 0–2
3 May 19 Winnipeg Jets 10–2 New England Whalers 3–0
4 May 22 Winnipeg Jets 5–3 New England Whalers 4–0

Player Stats[edit | edit source]

Regular Season
Scoring
# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
9 Howe, GordieGordie Howe RW 76 34 62 96 85 46 16 0 0
5 Howe, MarkMark Howe LW 70 30 61 91 32 30 4 0 0
17 Rogers, MikeMike Rogers C 80 28 43 71 46 22 4 1 0
12 Antonovich, MikeMike Antonovich C 75 32 35 67 32 17 5 0 0
14 Keon, DaveDave Keon C 77 24 38 62 2 -4 1 5 0
7 Roberts, GordieGordie Roberts D 78 15 46 61 118 17 5 0 0
19 McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 79 27 29 56 61 15 9 0 0
16 Lyle, GeorgeGeorge Lyle LW 68 30 24 54 74 12 3 0 0
2 Ley, RickRick Ley D 73 3 41 44 95 36 0 0 0
4 Pleau, LarryLarry Pleau C 54 16 18 34 4 12 2 0 0
3 Selwood, BradBrad Selwood D 80 6 25 31 88 11 2 0 0
10 Hangsleben, AlAl Hangsleben D 79 11 18 29 140 17 0 0 0
23 Carlson, JackJack Carlson LW 67 9 20 29 192 9 0 0 0
11 Carroll, GregGreg Carroll C 48 9 14 23 27 3 0 2 0
8 Webster, TomTom Webster RW 20 15 5 20 5 8 5 0 0
27 Mayer, JimJim Mayer RW 51 11 9 20 21 1 1 0 0
18 Howe, MartyMarty Howe D 75 10 10 20 66 10 1 0 0
15 Sheehy, TimTim Sheehy RW 25 8 11 19 14 -2 3 0 0
22 Butters, BillBill Butters D 45 1 13 14 69 21 0 0 0
26 Carlson, SteveSteve Carlson C 38 6 7 13 11 7 1 1 0
21 Bolduc, DannyDanny Bolduc LW 41 5 5 10 22 6 0 0 0
6 Plumb, RonRon Plumb D 27 1 9 10 18 6 0 0 0
24 Maxwell, BryanBryan Maxwell D 17 2 1 3 11 9 0 0 0
1 Smith, AlAl Smith G 55 0 3 3 4 0 0 0 0
20 Peloffy, AndreAndre Peloffy C 10 2 0 2 2 -2 0 0 0
30 Levasseur, Jean-LouisJean-Louis Levasseur G 27 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO
Smith, AlAl Smith 3246 55 30 20 3 174 3.22 2
Levasseur, Jean-LouisJean-Louis Levasseur 1655 27 14 11 2 91 3.30 3
Team: 4901 80 44 31 5 265 3.24 5
Playoffs
Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Antonovich, MikeMike Antonovich C 14 10 7 17 4 0 0 1
Keon, DaveDave Keon C 14 5 11 16 4 0 0 1
Howe, MarkMark Howe D 14 8 7 15 18 0 0 0
McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie RW 14 6 6 12 16 0 0 1
Rogers, MikeMike Rogers C 14 5 6 11 8 0 0 0
Howe, GordieGordie Howe RW 14 5 5 10 15 0 0 2
Pleau, LarryLarry Pleau C 14 5 4 9 8 0 0 1
Carlson, SteveSteve Carlson C 13 2 7 9 2 0 0 0
Ley, RickRick Ley D 14 1 8 9 4 0 0 0
Bolduc, DannyDanny Bolduc LW 14 2 4 6 4 0 0 0
Plumb, RonRon Plumb D 14 1 5 6 16 0 0 1
Hangsleben, AlAl Hangsleben D 14 1 4 5 37 0 0 0
Roberts, GordieGordie Roberts D 14 0 5 5 29 0 0 0
Sheehy, TimTim Sheehy RW 13 1 3 4 9 0 0 0
Lyle, GeorgeGeorge Lyle LW 12 2 1 3 13 0 0 0
Selwood, BradBrad Selwood D 14 0 3 3 8 0 0 0
Carlson, JackJack Carlson LW 9 1 1 2 14 0 0 0
Howe, MartyMarty Howe D 14 1 1 2 13 0 0 1
Levasseur, Jean-LouisJean-Louis Levasseur G 12 0 1 1 2 0 0 0
Peloffy, AndreAndre Peloffy C 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Smith, AlAl Smith G 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO
Levasseur, Jean-LouisJean-Louis Levasseur 719 12 8 4 31 2.59 0
Smith, AlAl Smith 120 3 0 2 14 7.00 0
Team: 839 14 8 6 45 3.22 0

[1]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals

MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and Records[edit | edit source]

Transactions[edit | edit source]

Draft Picks[edit | edit source]

New England's draft picks at the 1977 WHA Amateur Draft.[2]

Round # Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 11 Ron Areshenkoff (C)  Canada Medicine Hat Tigers (WCHL)
2 15 Moe Robinson (D)  Canada Kingston Canadians (OHA)
2 19 Randy Pierce (RW)  Canada Sudbury Wolves (OHA)
3 23 John Baby (D)  Canada Sudbury Wolves (OHA)
5 43 Brian Hill (RW)  Austria Medicine Hat Tigers (WCHL)
6 52 Jim Korn (D)  USA Providence College (ECAC)

Farm Teams[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

Whalers-Aeros game from March 9, 1978.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1977-78 New England Whalers Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com. hockey-reference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-30.
  2. 1977 WHA Amateur Draft. Retrieved on December 18, 2018.
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