One of the Golden Eagles' unsung heroes, soft-spoken right wing Marc Bureau, belted out a tune like an opera star Tuesday night with an eight-point song leading to a 12-7 Eagle win over Indianapolis.
Bureau, who came into the game with a total of five goals for the season and who had only seven goals in 76 games including playoffs last year, became the biggest single-game scorer and goalscorer in the 20-year history of the Golden Eagle franchise Tuesday night in the Salt Palace.He is the first Eagle to ever score five goals in one game, and with an assist at 11:20 of the third period, he broke Joe Mullen's 8-year-old franchise record of seven points in one game. He scored the Eagles' first four goals and was 5-for-5 in official shots on goal.
"Tonight I scored the goals I missed all of last year," Bureau joked in his French-Canadian accent. "I don't forget this night," he said.
"I am glad to have my name on a record like that - maybe forever, or maybe it can be beaten by another guy, I hope."
Bureau and linemates Theoren Fleury and Peter Lappin, who each scored six points, set a team record for most points by one line - 20 - since Mullen's the only player to have ever totaled seven points in a game until Tuesday. Fleury had a goal and five assists, and Lappin had three goals, three assists.
"We work hard all the game and talk a lot, and that's the success of the line," said Bureau.
It's the most goals the Eagles have scored in a game in more than 10 years, though it's one shy of the club record of 13 set in 1973 and tied in 1977.
A seven-goal second period was the club's biggest since Feb. 8, 1987, when they had seven in the third - against the Indianapolis Checkers.
"Bureau played awesome," said Ice Coach Archie Henderson. "You never expect him to play like that, but tonight he was hands-down the best player in the league." Henderson said the Ice's goaltending and defense was poor, but, "When a kid plays that well, you have to compliment him."
"I'm really happy for him," said Eagle Coach Paul Baxter. "He's struggled for 11/2 years to regain the scoring gift he had in juniors."
Bureau, of Trois Rivieres, Quebec, scored 112 points in 66 games and 37 points in 20 playoff games his final season in juniors with the Longueuil Chevaliers and had 120 points in 68 games in '84-85 with the Granby Bisons.
Bureau had five-goal games in juniors, "But that's not the same feeling. I'm glad to score five in this league," he said. And he'd never had that many points in a game. The most he'd ever scored in 60 minutes through his first 103 professional games was three assists.
Was it a "career night" for the noted defensive specialist? "I don't think so," Baxter warned, expecting more now that the floodgate's finally open.
"That's the real Marc Bureau. He's a good skater, great size, plays physically, a good defensive player - if he gets his scoring touch, he's a definite NHL prospect," Baxter said.
Bureau opened the scoring at 5:24 of the first period with a power-play wrist shot off a Fleury feed. Once that first shot went in, said Bureau, "I think it's going to be a good night for me; I feel loose, and I thought I could have a couple more goals to help the team."
Indianapolis' Ron Handy scored the first of his two goals at 6:31, but Bureau wristed in another from the left-wing circle on a power play at 10:13.
Bureau had played a little on the power play during the recent road trip, but Baxter said Tuesday was the first time he was a member of the actual power-play team. "Foolish, foolish coach," Baxter chided himself after seeing the results.
The Eagles wound up 4-for-5 on the power play, scoring on their first four tries.
The Ice, on goals by Brent Sapergia and Handy, led the period 3-2, but Fleury said the score was just an indication of what was to come. "With the offensive power we do have, it was just going to be one of those games," he said.
"It was a crazy game," said Baxter.
"It was like a football game, 12-7," said Henderson.
Bureau got his hat trick 1:30 into the second period and had his fourth goal by 6:28. That tied it 4-4. His fifth goal came at 19:31 of the second period and put the Eagles up 9-6.
After it was 4-3 for the Ice, the Eagles scored four straight - Bureau, Doug Clarke, Lappin and Mark Holmes - before two by Indy's Paul Houck cut the lead to 7-6. Dave Reierson led another four-goal Eagle run that put them up 11-6.
The same two teams tangle again Wednesday night in the Salt Palace with no one, especially Bureau, expecting a repeat performance. "I can't score big goals every night," Bureau said.