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Dallas Stars rookie ties Tony Hrkac's 32-year-old NHL playoff record

Tony Hrkac (left), Bob Joyce (center) led the nation in goals and Gino Gasparini was national coach of the year. (Herald photo/Eric Hylden)
Was it the coaching or was it the talent? Either way, this was a pretty good combination in the 1986-1987 season. Tony Hrkac (left) led the nation in scoring, Bob Joyce (center) led the nation in goals and Gino Gasparini was national coach of the year. (Herald photo/Eric Hylden)

Tony Hrkac led UND to the 1987 NCAA national championship with flair.

Leading the best line in college hockey, the Hrkac Circus, he tallied 116 points, a single-season NCAA record that stands today.

The next season, he set another longstanding record.

Hrkac became the first rookie to ever score four goals in an NHL playoff game. Playing for the St. Louis Blues, Hrkac scored four times in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on April 10, 1988.

Nobody matched that feat for 32 years.

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But it finally happened again Thursday night.

Dallas Stars rookie Denis Gurianov scored four times in a 7-3 win over the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference quarterfinals, joining Hrkac as the only rookies to ever score four goals in an NHL playoff game.

The Stars trailed 3-0 in the first period, but scored the next seven goals to clinch Game 6 and finish off the best-of-seven series in the Edmonton bubble. Gurianov scored the second, third, sixth and seventh goals for Dallas.

Gurianov, a 23-year-old rookie from Russia, was Dallas's first-round draft pick in 2015 (12th overall). During the regular season, he had 20 goals in 64 games.

He has six goals in nine games during the playoffs for the Stars, who will face the Colorado Avalanche in the next round.

Hrkac's memorable game

Hrkac's four-goal game was unexpected. Entering that night, he had never scored an NHL playoff goal in six previous playoff games.

His first goal came at 2:47 of the opening period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. His second goal came on the power play with just five seconds left in the second period. That tally tied the game 4-4.

Then, with the Blues trailing 5-4 in the third period, Hrkac scored the game-tying and game-winning goals. The tying goal came with 14:06 left. The winning goal, a shorthanded tally, came with just 4:45 left.

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That win gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Two days later, the Blues finished it off. Hrkac scored again.

The Blues were ousted by the Detroit Red Wings in the next round.

Hrkac later played in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Atlanta Thrashers. He won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999.

Hrkac now works as a pro scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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