Month: September 2022 (Page 2 of 2)

Summit Series Game 3

Players shake hands after a hard-fought 4-4 tie in Game 3 of the Summit Series in Winnipeg on Sept. 6th, 1972. (Photo courtesy of The Hockey Hall of Fame).

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Game 3 of the series was played in Winnipeg, Canada where  9,800 fans who packed Winnipeg Arena on the night of Sept. 6, 1972, had to wonder which Team Canada they would see — the one that was shelled in Montreal or the one that dominated Game 2 in Toronto.

Team Canada was left frustrated in a stalemated in Game 3 of the 1972 Summit Series after the Soviet Union twice overcame two-goal deficits to leave with a 4-4 tie.

Game 3 @ Winnipg, Canada
September 6th, 1972

GAME 3: CANADA 4, SOVIET UNION 4

Soviets, who tinkered with their lineup. Coach Vsevolod Bobrov’s best move was his decision to reunite the trio of Alexander Bodunov, Yuri Lebedev and center Viachaeslav Anisin, who had helped the Soviet junior team dominate the 1971 World University Games in Lake Placid. The “Kid Line,” as it was dubbed by the Canadian media, wound up having a major say in the outcome.

After the game, Sinden took a lot of heat from the press for his team’s failure to dominate the series. But rather than criticize his players, Sinden paid tribute to the Soviets, who had surprised almost everyone with their showing in the first three games.

“Do the Soviets compare with the NHL’s best?” someone asked.

“Absolutely.”

“As good as the Boston Bruins?”

“Yes sir,” Sinden said, comparing the Soviets to the franchise he had coached to the 1970 Stanley Cup. “As good as the Boston Bruins.”

After a pause, he added, “After all, whoever told us that we in Canada know all about hockey, except ourselves.”

First Period: 1, Canada, Parise 1 (White, P. Esposito) 1:54. 2, USSR Petrov 2, 3:16 (sh). 3,  Canada, Ratelle 1 (Cournoyer, Bergman), 18:25.

Second Period: 4, Canada P. Esposito 3 (Cashman, Parise), 4:19. 5, USSR, Kharlamov 3 (Tsygankov), 12:56 (sh). 6, Canada, Henderson 2 (Clarke, Ellis) 13:47. 7, USSR, Lebedev 1 (Anisin, Vasiliev), 14:59. 8, USSR, Bodunov 1 (Anisin), 18:28.

Third Period: No scoring.

Shots on goal: Soviet Union 9-8-8-25. Canada 15-17-6–38.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-1-1 (38 shots on goal, 34 saves). Canada, T. Esposito 1-0-1 (25-21)

Attendance: 9,800

Canada three-peats!

Team Canada players celebrate with their gold medals.

By  Andrew Podnieks – IIHF.com

Brianne Jenner scored both of Canada’s goals and Ann-Renee Desbiens saved the gold in the dying seconds, giving Canada their third straight major gold with a 2-1 victory over the United States. It comes after the 2021 Women’s Worlds last August and Olympic gold in Beijing this past February.

With Nicole Hensley on the bench for a sixth sttacker for the final two and a half minutes, the Americans did everything but tie the game.

Key to the victory was a series of three saves Desbiens made on Kendall Coyne Schofield with less than half a minute to go, with her pad and then her glove. How Coyne Schofield didn’t score, and how Desbiens made those saves, will go down in World Women’s Championship lore.

“I think as a group, we came out and found a different way to win the championship,” said Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin. “We’re all aware we weren’t producing the numbers at the Olympics, but tonight we did it by blocking shots, killing penalties, the power play. We had to find other ways to win, and Ann-Renee made a couple of saves to get the win.”

“I think our best two games were probably the last two games that we played,” Jenner added, “and that’s what you want to do in a tournament. It wasn’t smooth, it looked a lot different than our Olympics win and our last World Championship win, but I think we’re really reassured that even when things aren’t smooth, we can find different ways to win, and we battled it out tonight.”

The Americans had won all six previous games this year and scored a tournament-best 52 goals, but tonight they were stymied by a team defence Canada brought to the ice to stifle their high-flying offence. Canada lost the preliminary-round game between the nations decisively, 5-2, but coach Troy Ryan put together a game plan that kept top scorer Taylor Heise off the score sheet, prevented all-time scorer Hilary Knight from increasing her goals total, and nullified the U.S.’s defence from contributing to the offence.

“I loved the way we played,” said incoming American coach John Wroblewski. “I thought that we came out with a game plan that we executed. Each line was valuable ini trying to wear down a veteran team that was mobile. I thought we came out and did that as diligently as we possibly could. What happened tonight, giving them three power plays in a row, was very difficult, very unfortunate. Their goalie didn’t give up a lot in terms of second opportunities. We had some unbelievable chances, only her pad on the ice. We didn’t find a way to convert those. I thought our goaltender was outstanding. There were a couple of great shots by Jenner to maybe surprise her, and that was it.”

U.S. captain Kendall Coyne Schfield echose her coach’s words. “I think played a heck of a hockey game, and we ran out of time at the end. Sometimes it goes that way, but I thought we played a great game. Not the result we deserved. I believe we’re headed in the right direction. I thought we’ve played some of our best hockey in a long time this past week in Denmark. A lot to be proud of, a lot to learn, a lot to build on to move forward as a group.”

The game started as tentatively and nervously as any between these rivals. The first period was marked by a series of scrums in the corner, but as the referees shouted, “move it!” the players on both sides were hesitant to do anything that might produce and advantage for their opponent. 

Canada could have had a lead based on the fact that they had the only two power plays, but their play with the extra skater produced no decent scoring chances in those advantageous four minutes. On the other hand, the Americans might well have scored first because Canada was guilty of countless giveaways in their own end, one blind pass after another to the middle. 

But as the saying goes, the player who makes a bad giveaway is the best defender, trying to atone for an error. And so, despite the gifted passes, the U.S. produced few good chances of their own. In the end, the opening 20 minutes produced only seven shots, five to Canada.

By far, though, the best chance was one that didn’t count as a shot. Hilary Knight made a little pass to Alex Carpenter at the Canada blue line, and she moved in and fired a hard shot off the crossbar.

Both coaches let their troops loose in the second, producing the kind of hockey fans have grown accustomed to. Scrums were fewer, and Canada cleaned up its passing. In truth, Canada dominated the period and scored two of the three goals in an eventful 20 minutes.

Early on, Sarah Nurse showed a flash of speed to get around Megan Keller, but Hensley made the important save. Brianne Jenner, who had only one goal in six games coming in, then scored both goals for Canada in quick succession. The first came when she took a nice pass off the boards from Marie-Philip Poulin and tore down the left side past Lee Stecklein, firing a low shot from a bad angle that eluded the American goalie at 9:30. 

Just 84 seconds later, Jenner was at it again. She scored on the power play from virtually the same spot, except this was a bullet snap shot high over Hensley’s glove.

“I saw a lot of traffic, and I saw that part of the net open. It happened in a split second, it was just a quick reaction,” Jenner said of what turned out to be the gold-medal-winning goal.

Sarah Fillier had a monster chance to make it 3-0, but she was stoned by Hensley and took a slashing penalty on the goalie as she made the save. A 3-0 lead would have been huge, but instead it was 2-0 with a U.S. five-on-four.

Nothing came of that, but the Americans got another power play late in the period, and on this they capitalized. Amanda Kessel found Abby Roque to the back side of the play, and Roque snapped it in with just 21 seconds left in the period, sending the teams to the dressing room with a Canadian lead but some American confidence from the late goal.

The U.S. came out to start the third with nothing but pressure, determined to tie the game. They had a great chance when Lacey Eden had the empty net and Desbiens down, but she moved the puck from backhand to forehand, and Desbiens got a pad out to make the save of the tournament.

A little later, Jincy Dunne snapped one of the crossbar, and Canada was on its heels. Desbiens mishandled a simple puck, leaving Hilary Knight with an empty net, but the goalie made the save and tripped Knight in the process, drawing a penalty. Desbiens was sensational on the ensuing power play, making three key saves.

Canada hung on the rest of the way, and Desbiens saved the day at the end. Canada wins gold.

“It never gets old being able to stand on the blue line and sing your national anthem and have a gold medal wrapped around your neck,” Sarah Nurse said, “but I think today was really special just being able to have our family there. The last few years have been hard for a lot of people, and so the fact that our families can be here in Denmark, they’re coming on the ice and celebrating with us, it’s like the icing on top of the cake. We’re very very grateful.”

Czechia wins historic bronze

Czechia women win first medal at the worlds.

By  Andrew Podnieks – IIHF.com

Czechia was the more determined team, the more energetic, more emotional, and on this day more skilled team, defeating Switzerland 4-2 to win their first ever medal in Women’s World Championship play. Indeed, the Czechs have played in only six of 21 WW tournaments, never finishing higher than sixth.

They beat a Swiss team that has been plagued by injuries and absences, and today again coach Colin Muller was able to dress only 17 healthy players. The team simply couldn’t muster the offence, and while Czechia won the game because the scoreboard showed they had more goals, they really won with a masterful defensive performance, allowing the Swiss nearly nothing in front of goalie Klara Peslarova.

“In the third they, pushed us, and they should,” winning coach Carla MacLeod said of the Swiss. “They’re a great team and worked hard to even it up. But we’ve got great goaltending in our program, and that’s the foundation of building out. And our group didn’t waver. We understand who we are, what our game style is. I’m really proud of this group for staying the course throughout the tournament.”

Natalie Mlynkova had two goals for the victors and goalie Klara Peslarova stopped 18 of 20 shots for the win.

“They started the game better, and we only played 30 minutes,” offered losing captain Lara Stalder. “I thought the last 30 we finally woke up and played with the puck. Before, it was a big mess. It’s disappointment right now. I’m so proud of how the team battled when I was out, playing with basically three lines. With a full lineup, who knows, but there are a lot of what ifs.”

“I was just telling the girls we were at the first U18 championship in Calgary, and we got bronze and on the plane coming home we were saying it will probably never happen on the senior team. And now, 14 years later, it’s amazing. We’ve put in so much work, and this is the result. It’s finally paid off. It’s well deserved.”

The Czechs came out and proved the superior team, showing creativity in the offensive end and hemming the Swiss in on many occasions. They created turnovers and were had on the puck carrier, sending shots on net at every opportunity. The Swiss did a good job of blocking some of those, but Andrea Braendli was also forced to make several good saves along the way.

Czechia opened the scoring at 7:03 on the power play. Katerina Mrazova teed the puck up nicely at the point for Mlynkova, who let go a low, hard shot that found the back of the net.

The Swiss replied in kind four minutes later, however. Alina Marti let go a one-timer set up by Lara Christen, who was back in the lineup after leaving the semi-finals against Canada midway through with an injury and played a team high 26:33 today. Marti’s goal was the team’s first shot of the period, and it came at 11:19. 

Czechia found itself short-handed later in the period but did a good job of killing that off and generating a goal off that PK. Daniela Pejsova was serving the penalty, which expired just as her teammates gained possession deep in their end. Dominka Laskova fired a long pass to Pejsova as she came out of the penalty box, and she waltzed in on goal and scored on a nice deke. 

The Czechs put on a dominating performance in the middle period, scoring the only two goals and allowing a mere four, mostly peripheral shots. They made it 3-1 at 2:06 when a point shot hit a cluster of bodies in front and Vendula Pribylova was there to smack in the rebound.

Eight minutes later they added to their tally on a patient play from Mlynkova, who circled with the puck in the high slot before firing a shot through a screen that beat Branedli to the stick side.

The Swiss had a couple of early power plays in the third and capitalized on the second. Nicole Vallario snapped a shot through traffic at 9:11 to make it a 4-2 game, but just before she scored Braendli made a sensational toe save off Mlynkova, who had a short-handed breakaway.

The Swiss got stronger in the third, but Czechia hung on, playing solid defence, getting in the way of shots and passes, and using their emotion to keep their tempo. Muller pulled Braendli with two and a half minutes left, but nothing came of the extra skater. Switzerland goes home battered and bruised, and fourth, while Czechia celebrates an historic medal in their hockey program.

Summit Series Game 2

Paul Henderson #19 of Canada shoots on net during Game 1 of the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union on September 2, 1972 at the Montreal Forum. In net for the Soviet Union is Vladislav Tretiak.

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

The festive atmosphere that surrounded Game 1 of the Summit Series was nowhere to be found in Game 2. The 16,485 fans who filled Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto had seen the Soviets slice up the best the NHL had to offer in the series opener, and players and fans now knew this was going to be a long and tougher series than anyone first thought.

Game 2 @ Toronto, Canada
September 4th, 1972

GAME 2: CANADA 4, SOVIET UNION 1

Team Canada head coach Harry Sinden made line-up changes before Game 2. He had stressed skating and speed in lineup choices for Game 1, and even with that philosophy, the Soviets skated faster the Canadian team. 

Massive changes

It was time to get more of the “diggers” in the lineup for Game 2. Wayne Cashman and J.P. Parise were added along with Stan Mikita. Three changes on defence included the Chicago Blackhawk pairing of Pat Stapleton and Bill White, along with Serge Savard.
 
Out of the lineup was one of the best NHL lines from the New York Rangers. Vic Hadfield, Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert took a seat for Game 2. Other scratches were Rod Seiling, Don Awrey, Mickey Redmond and Red Berenson.
 
Tony Esposito replaced Dryden in goal.

With a new lineup and a new philosophy, Canada evened the 1972 Summit Series at one win apiece with a solid 4-1 victory against the Soviet Union in Game 2.

First Period: No scoring.

Second Period: 1, Canada, P. Esposito 2 (Park, Cashman), 7:14.

Third Period: 2, Canada, Cournoyer 1 (Park), 1:19 (pp). 3, USSR, Yakushev 2 (Liapkin, Zimin), 5:53 (pp). 4, Canada, P. Mahovlich 1 (P. Esposito), 6:47 (sh). 5, Canada, F.Mahovlich 1  (Mikita, Cournoyer), 8:59.

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 7-5-9–21. Canada 10-16-10–36.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-1-0 (36 shots on goal, 32 saves). Canada, T. Esposito 1-0-0 (21-20).

STROKE OF PUCK

The Stanley Penguins team from the Falklands Islands will compete at a Miami tournament.

By Amir Razavi – The Sun

Falklands ice hockey team to compete at international tournament despite never training on a rink

Many of the under-20s squad have never even skated on ice before.

Instead, the members of the Stanley Penguins — based in the Falklands — use rollerblades to practise.

Their underdog story echoes the Jamaican bobsleigh team in 1993 film Cool Runnings.

The Penguins will compete at the Amerigol Latam Cup, which starts in Miami on Thursday, alongside teams from Central and South America, plus further afield.

The UK Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic has a population of just over 3,200 — making it the smallest country to field a side in the tournament.

Grant Budd, the Penguins’ coach and founder, said: “It has been three years since many of the team played on ice, but everyone is looking forward to playing again.”

Amanda Milling, Britain’s minister responsible for the Falkland Islands, said: “I have a feeling the Penguins will take to the ice like ducks to water.”

Summit Series Game 1

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, center, drops the puck during the ceremonial face-off between the USSR’s Vladimir Vikulov, left, and Canada’s Phil Esposito, right, on Sept. 2, 1972, in the Montreal Forum. (The Canadian Press)

By George Da SIlva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Fifty years ago today, the hockey world was changed  for ever by the start of an eight-game series between national teams from Canada, loaded with NHL stars in their prime, and the Soviet Union, considered the two best hockey nations in the world at the time. The eight game series was played in the month of September. The series was a must see for hockey fans across the globe and after its dramatic finish, a 4-3-1 series win for the Canadians. There was no question that the NHL would never be the same again.

Game 1 @ Montreal, Canada
September 2nd, 1972

GAME 1: SOVIET UNION 7, CANADA 3

The first game of the Summit Series started as if it would be a cakewalk for Canada. By the final whistle, the packed house at the Montreal  Forum sat in stunned disbelief after a 7-3 victory for the Soviet Union.

First Period: 1, Canada, P. Esposito 1 (F. Mahovlich, Bergman), :30. 2, Canada, Henderson 1 (Clarke), 6:32. 3, USSR, Zimin 1 (Yakushev, Shadrin) 11:40. 4, USSR, Petrov 1 (Mikhailov) 17.28, (sh).

Second Period: 5, USSR, Kharlamov 1 (Maltsev), 2:40. 6, USSR, Kharlamov 2 (Maltsev), 10:18.

Third Period: 7, Canada, Clarke 1 (Ellis, Henderson), 8:22. 8, USSR, Mikhailov 1 (Blinov), 13:32. 9, USSR, Zimin 2, 14:29. 10, USSR, Yakushev 1 (Shadrin), 18:37

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 10-10-10–30. Canada 10-10-12–32.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-0-0 (32 shots on goal, 29 saves). Canada, Dryden 0-1-0 (30-23).

Attendance: 18,818

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