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Thread: 60 year Anniversary: The History of Russian Hockey

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Russia 60 year Anniversary: The History of Russian Hockey

    As Russian hockey is celebrating its 60 year anniversary on 22 December 2006, I suggest we devote a thread to the amazing history of Russian hockey. Please participate with stories, annecdotes, and other info.

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    Part I: The Rise of Russian Hockey

    Considering that ice hockey was introduced in the early post-WWII years, Russia/USSR is comparatively a young hockey nation. In the 1920s and 30's the big winter sport on ice was 'chokkej' but this had little to do with modern ice hockey. 'Chokkej' was the Russian version of bandy.

    Bandy can be said to be a mix of football and ice hockey. The game is inspired by football in the sense that it is played on big open fields about the same size of a football field (and nearly double the size of a hockey arena), with 11 players on each team, and with a ball instead of a puck Since the players wear little protection, bandy is not a contact sport. Instead, the players rely on speed and skills. Compared with Scandinavian bandy, Russian bandy allowed for longer sticks, the ball was bigger, and the goals were smaller. Since this made it harder to score, the Russian bandy players needed to develop their shooting, passing and skating skills further than their Scandinavian counterparts.

    Most of the early Russian hockey players had plenty of experience from bandy and even football. Some of them were in fact (or came to be) great stars within these other sports. Lev Yashin and Vsevolod Bobrov were arguably some of the best football players, the USSR ever produced, but one could also mention names such as Igor Netto, Anatoli Seglin and Nikolai Epstein -- all famous football players. The new sport also attracted prominant players from other sports like the tennis stars Zigmund and Novikov. These great sports stars helped to promote ice hockey as a game.

    When developing ice hockey under the leadership of Anatoli Tarasov, Arkady Chernyshev, and others, Russia/USSR learned from other countries (in particular the Baltic countries) but first and foremost they sticked to their own plan focusing on what they did best: Thus, the Russian version of ice hockey relied on fast skating, excellent stick handling, and precise passing and shooting -- all ingredients from Russian bandy. Russian hockey also relied on physical strength and endurance (built up by frequent praticeses and workouts) and scientific planning of nutrition given to the players.

    All these things have become ingrined in contemporary hockey, but they were quite foreign to the established hockey nations when USSR entered the international scene in the 1950s. For these reasons, the arrival of Russian hockey is probably the most significant event in the history of hockey since it arose as a sport in Canada in the late 19th century.

    The Dawn of Russian hockey
    But it took many years to get to there. In the pre-revolution period, Russia did join the newly established international ice hockey federation (LIGH), but since the Canadian version of hockey ('kanadskij hokkej' or 'hokkej s sjsjboi'/hockey with a puck as ice hockey was called) failed to attract new clubs and players, the Russian hockey union withdrew its membership.

    In 1932, ice hockey players from the German Labour Sport Union visited Moscow to demonstrate the game. Several of the German players played for the German national team that took bronze in Lake Placid. Their opponents were represented by bandy players from CSKA Moscow. The bandy players swept the three-game series, but the event largely received a frosty reception in the Soviet media. One newspaper (Spartak in Leningrad), however, noted that because ice hockey required less space, it was easier to prepare the field for the game on ice. At that time, ploughing snow and lightning were real problems that helped ice hockey to gain popularity.

    In 1933, there as an attempt to organize a Russian championship, but still there too few players and clubs, and in particular lack of equipment to implement the idea. But the interest was certainly there. Five years later, in 1938, the first hockey rink was built in the eastern section of Dynamo's stadium in Moscow. In 1939, ice hockey was introduced at the institute of Physical Culture of Sport which allowed student to play the game as a part of their curriculum. Anatoli Tarasov were among those students.

    After the war, Tarasov (who was a member of the red army's club, CSKA) joined forces with other bandy and football players from the Moscow clubs--Dynamo, Spartak and Krylia)--to promote the game. In late 1946, the Institute of Physical Culture and Sport gave the green light to arrange the first Soviet hockey championship. The games started on 22 December 1946 and concluded 24 January 1947 with Dynamo as champion on better goal difference than CSKA. Dynamo Moscow was coached by Arkady Chernyshev who also scored the first historical goal in the tournament as a player.


    A major landmark was reached in March 1948 when LTC Prague -- the best European hockey club -- visited Moscow to play a series of games against an all-star Soviet team, centered around CSKA players. Babitch, Bobrov and Tarasov form the first line of the Soviet team. The event was a huge success. Each game attracted a crowd of nearly 30,000, and the Soviet team won the first game (6:3), lost the second (5:3) and tie the third game.

    Since many of the Czechoslovakian players played for the national team which took Olympic Silver in St. Moritz, Stalin felt more confident that the Soviet Union could compete in the new sport. What raised the stakes was the Cold War which started at the same time. The Cold War made Stalin more interested in using sports to promote the Communist ideology. The Russians were certainly better bandy players than hockey players, but bandy was virtually a non-existing international sport. In ice hockey, the world championship had become an annual event and it was even an olympic sport. Thus, promoting hockey was endorsed from the highest political level.

    The ultimate objective was to overthrow the dominance of the greatest hockey power of the world: Canada. Being 2nd or 3rd in the world was not an option. For this reason, the Soviet Union was not allowed to enter the international hockey scene before the Kremlin leadership felt confident that USSR could beat the best teams in the world.

    As the coach (and player) for the most influential and powerful club, CSKA (or CDKA as it was called) Moscow, Tarasov played an instrumental role in developing Russia's unique hockey style. Initially, he wanted to go to Canada to study the game, but he was asked by his mentor Mikhail Tavarovsky (from the Institute of Physical Culture) to stay at home: "Theres nothing for you in Canada", Tavarovsky said. "Devise your own style".

    When building his hockey programme, Tarasov thus decided to exploit the Russians's skills in bandy to give the Soviet teams an advantage: incredibly fast skating and crisp sharp passing and shooting. One of his biggest ideas was to reverse the Canadian principle of attacking after shooting. "Don't shoot unless you're certain to score", Tarasov instructed his players. Thus, the attacks should take place before shooting, and his players should be reach this position by outmaneuvering their opponents by their speed and superior passes.
    As mentioned, the Russian hockey style, unlike the Canadian, relied little on physical contact. But Tarasov emphasised the fitness and physical strength of his players. In order to gain superiority, the players had to endure more in order to dominate the game and withstand the physical pressure from their opponents. Above all, the key to success in Tarasov's mind was practise, practise, practise...For this reason, he would often take his player on ice two or three time, so that in the end they players would be able to play the game as a team blindfolded. One of Tarasov's greatest achievements was to built lines where the players would interact seemlessly and perform purely on instinct. Moreover, he taught his players to perform on instinct. Another was his willingness to constantly making unusual experiments. This enabled him to shuffle lines and alter tactics giving the Soviet teams an advantage over their opponents.

    When they were not practising, Tarasov told his players to run up and down stairs or throw logs for hours so that they could gain physical strength. He did not tolerate weakness and he usually asked his players to carry on even if they had the flu. During one world championship,Tarasov did not allow his biggest star, Anatoli Firsov to take a day or two off because Firsov's had fever above 41 degrees celcius.

    For those who had the talent and could endure his tough practise regime, playing for Tarasov hold the promise of becoming one of the world's greatest hockey stars. Among others, Vsevolod Bobrov, Anatoli Firsov, Valeri Kharlamov and Vyacheslav Tretiak reached that goal.

    Another price to be paid was totally obedience. Tarasov was the tsar, and he did not tolerate individualism. In his collectivist approach, Tarasov completely denounced Canadian hockey's emphasis on superstars. According to him, egoism on ice was the gravest of all sins. With his explosive temper, he immediately dealt with even the slighest hint of self-importance.

    One the other hand, Tarasov gained respects for his achievements, his complete devotion to hockey, and the fact that he never spared himself. He was always at arms-length with his players, participating in their practises, even when they took place in the freezingly cold and windy Russian winter nights.

    Many of Tarasov's principles were a great source for inspiration for coaches in other hockey countries, including Canada -- coaches like Herbert Brooks and Scotty Bowman. For this reason, Tarasov must be considered as one of the greatest builders, even not the greatest of all time. Having said that, it must be noted that he would not have succeeded without his charisma and the particular political circumstances in the Soviet Union.

    Tarasov's project suffered from a temporary setback in the early 1950's when some of USSR's best players, including Bobrov and Babitch, left CSKA to play for VVS (another army club). The VVS won the championship for three consecutive years between 1951 and 1953. VVS was managed by Vasily Stalin -- that's right, Josef Stalin's son -- and this indicates how much importance Stalin attached to ice hockey. As a sidenote, Viktor Tikhonov, the later USSR coach, was also a member of the VVS squad. When Stalin died, VVS however folded and merged with CSKA. The process was back on track.

    Meanwhile, the USSR started to test its strength in unofficial games verses club teams from Sweden, Finland, Czechoslovakia and Poland. In autumn 1952, the team went on to play unofficial friendlies against its dearest allied, the DDR. In November 1952, the USSR played two test games in East Berlin and beat the hosting nation 13:1 and 4:1. In February 1953, the Soviet team swept the youth olympics on an unbeaten record, and the stage was finally set for the team's official international appearance: the world championships in Switzerland in March 1953.

    Unfortunately, the USSR's best player, Vsevolod Bobrov got injured. The Russian hockey federation did not risk taking any chances, and the team was recalled to Moscow. Tarasov, believing more on the collective than the individual, regretted this decision since he was confident that USSR could win the world championship. No player was bigger than the team, not even Bobrov. Besides, Tarasov had not forgotten Bobrov's defection to VVS in 1950.

    Thus, USSR's appearance in the world championships was postponed to 1954. In the run up to the championships which took place in Stockholm, USSR played a series of eight official test games. The results were impressive: In the first game on 29 Jan 1954 (USSR's first official game) Finland was beaten 8:1 in Tampere. USSR's first forward line composed of Bobrov (3) -Shuvalov (1) - Babich (2) accounted for six of the goals. Sweden, a much stronger hockey nation, was the next victim two days later in Helsinki. Result: 8-2. Again the first forward line led the team by scoring 5 goals. The USSR then pounded DDR twice 14:1 in Moscow before suffering its first defeat (3:5) to Czechoslovakia on 12 February. Two days later, USSR rebounded by shutting the Czechs out in a 2:0 victory. About a week before the IHWC, USSR demolished Switerland 13:1. Within 3 weeks, the team had beaten the four biggest hockey nations in Europe - in three of the four cases convincingly!

    But before eyeing the gold medals, the USSR should not only repeat these victories at the world championships but also take the greatest scalp of all: Team Canada. USSR's head coach, Arkady Chernyshev considered this to be the team's ultimate objective in the tournament.

    Fortunately, the USSR did not face the strongest Canadian team at the time. Such a team did not exist since professionals were not allowed in the world championships. In the world championships, Canada was typically represented by its best amateur club, the winners of the Allan Cup.

    This was not the case in 1954. In 1953, Canada had boycotted the world championships in a protest against IIHF and the European hockey nations. As the president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, W.B. George told the press after the decision was made: "Every year we spend $10,000 to send a Canadian hockey team to Europe to play 40 games (incl. the world championships). All these games are played to packed houses that only enrich European hockey coffers. In return we are subjected to constant, unneccessary abuse over our Canadian style of hockey". (during the Oslo Olympics in 1952, the Canadian team was heavily criticized for behaving like wild animals).

    When Canada returned in 1954, it was therefore a lesser team that represented the country, namely the East York Lyndhurst, the senior B amateur champion. This team was still good enough to outscore their opponents easily in the world championships. Finland was beaten 20:1, Sweden and Norway 8:0, Switzerland and W. Germany 8:1. The Canadian team only faced my problems with Czechoslovakia which were beaten 5:2.

    The USSR had a less impressive run, but they did beat all their European opponents before facing Canada in the final game. But the Soviet's stylish play caught the fascination of the Swedish spectators and the European press. As usual, the European journalists criticized the Canadians's tough play and their arrogance, but some of them even claimed that the Communists were more open and co-operative. The USSR had won the PR war, and this even in the darkest night of the Cold War era. In order to seal their success, the USSR now only needed to topple the Canadians. They did that convincingly with a 7:2 victory.

    At the time, the Europeans did not really recognise that Canada's was represented by a third rank team. For this reason, the result did not go unnoticed in Canada. The result was a catastrophe for Canada's pride, and it prompted Conn Smyth to call for a NHL team to be send to Moscow after the NHL playoffs to restore Canada's pride and supremacy. Little did he know that the Soviet Union did not have an indoor rink at the time (the first one, Luzhiki, was built in 1957). Playing in the Russian spring was impossible.

    In 1955, Canada (represented by Penctinton Vees) rebounded by beating the Soviets 5:0 in the final game. But in 1956, USSR came back to win its first olympic gold medal. This made the Soviet top hockey officials confident that USSR would win the world championships at home in Moscow in 1957 -- the year that celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Russian revolution.
    As it turned out, the event was a disaster the the Soviet team. The team went unbeaten, but they needed to beat Sweden in the final game to win the gold. After two periods, USSR was in front 4:2 but in the 3rd period, Sweden managed to tie the gold. The Soviets had to settle for silver.


    Picture from the World championships in Moscow, 1957. Notice the size of the crowd.

    The humilation in Moscow led to the resignation of Arkady Chernyshev who had headcoached the team since the beginning, and Tarasov was called in. Tarasov, however, had little success on his own. Some of the players did not accept his tsarist and impulsive coaching style. After the defeat of USSR in Squaw Valley, some of the veteran players staged a riot which led to the resignation of Taraso as coach for the national team as well as CSKA.


    The Golden era of Soviet hockey, 1963-72
    The top officials, however, soon learned that the legendary coach was indispensable. In 1961 (one year later) Tarasov was reinstalled as coach for the two most prestigous teams. After the defeat in the 1962 world championships, it was decided to couple him with the other great coach and builder, Arkady Chernyshev.

    Tarasov and Chernyshev was the perfect couple┤. Unlike the impulsive, flamboyant Tarasov, Chernyshev was restrained, rational and diplomatic. With his analytical skills, he would scout the other teams to pinpoint their weaknesses, and with his diplomatic skills he was the perfect balance to Tarasov vis-a-vis the players. Where Tarasov was the bad cop, Chernyshev was the good cop.

    Together Tarasov and Chernyshev were unbeatable, and between 1963 and the winter of 1972, USSR won 9 world championships and three olympic golds straight. In this era, USSR seldom lost any important games. In the world championships and olympics between 1963 and 1972, the USSR won 68 games and lost only 6.

    With the exception of Sweden two times (1963 and 1970), the USSR only lost to Czechoslovakia (on four occations), but those defeats was usually a part of a tournament plan to help the communist allied:

    It all started in 1967 when Czechoslovakia needed to beat USSR in the final game in order to claim silver. Another USSR gold was already certain at that point and top officials from the federation in Moscow pressured the team to lose that final game. The players led by Anatoli Firsov resisted arguing that such a loss would be dishonest. As a result, USSR won the game 4:2 leaving the Czechoslovakia without any medals. Sweden took silver, and Canada bronze. When the Soviet gold medallist returned to Moscow, they got a ice cold reception. There were no celebration, their bonuses were deprived, and their passports confiscated (read interview with Firsov here.

    In the subsequent years, the players did not dare to repeat their rebellion. At the 1968 Olympics, USSR lost to Czechoslovakia (5:4). This narrowly ensured the Czechoslovakians the silver medals. In 1969, USSR lost two games -both to Czechoslovakia-- but still good enough for claiming the gold medal. In 1971, the USSR again handed their slavic brothers a victory so that they managed to take silver.

    During the latter years of the epoche, Tarasov had become so victorious and invincible that he started to believe that he was not only above the top officials of the hockey federation (after all, HE was the father of Soviet hockey) but also the political leadership in Kremlin. For instance, in a gold medal game between his CSKA and Spartak Moscow, CSKA had a goal annulled. In the front of Leonid Brezhnev, the minister of defence and the chairman of the Sports Committee, Tarasov then told his team to leave the ice. The team were then approach by the minister and the chairman, but they players did not bow to the pressure. They stood up for Tarasov. After 28 minutes, Brezhnev finally got tired of waiting, and told the game officials to let Tarasov get his way. The decision to annul the goal was reversed!

    With his increasingly obnoxious behavior, Tarasov created many enemies in the highest political circles, and it was only a matter of time before he would be downturned. The officials only waited for the end of the Soviet winning streak. That happened at the world championships in Prague in April 1972.

    At that time, Tarasov was still extremely powerful. It should also be kept in mind that the USSR earlier that year had won an even more prestigous title, the olympics. But Tarasov made it more easy to get rid of him by announcing his resignation (Chernyshev also resigned). Tarasov and Chernyshev were simply exhausted after the two big tournaments, and they wanted to take a break. As it happened, the federation hired another coach, the legendary Vsevelod Bobrod.

    Tarasov and Chernyshev, however, made it clear that they were only taking a break, and that they wanted to return for the Summit Series later that year.

    This started a tug-of-war which created a lot of unrest on the national team. Many of the players remained loyal to Tarasov and Chernyshev, and they had great difficulties respecting a new coach, even if his name was Bobrod. USSR's biggest star at the time, Anatoli Firsov simply refused to play for the team as long as it was not coached by Tarasov. His rebellion was officially kept secret, and his absence in the Summit Series was explained by a non-existing injury.

    The 1970s: Transition years

    Thus, just as the USSR reached their zenith by finally facing the Canadian NHL professionals in the Summit Series, the golden years of Soviet hockey had already ended.

    In the subsequent championships throughout the 1970s, the USSR national team was plagued by great internal discontent. No coaches received the respect, loyalty and obediance like Tarasov and Chernyshev, and when practising during the world championships, the stars often behaved markedly differently than in the Tarasov-Chernyshev era. Instead of focusing on the practise, they often stood in the rink side speaking with hockey manufacturers, club officials and journalists.

    In his time as coach for the national team, Bobrov benefitted from what Tarasov, Chernyshev and other club coaches had build up. Around 1973-74, the Russian league was packed with young talents and the league was as competitive as ever. In the pre-professional IHWC's there were no real rivals to the national teams. In 1973, USSR won its most convincing IHWC gold ever scoring 100 goals in 10 straight wins. Vladimir Petrov topped the scoring leader list with 34 points.
    In 1974, the competition was much closer as USSR need to beat Czechoslovakia in the final game to win the gold. USSR was behind 0:1 after the first period. During the intermission a top official from the Russian hockey federation entered the locker room. Bobrov coldly asked him to close the door. From the outside. The official turned red and left the room in anger. In the 2nd period, USSR intimidated the Czechs by playing incredibly hard. The Soviet players had completely abandoned their old hockey style, and the rink was literally scattered with blood. The biggest Czech star, Vladimir Martinec was injured and USSR quickly scored four unanswered goals to win the gold.

    The game was bad prestige for USSR. But neither this, nor Bobrov's public humilation of the official explained his resignation after the championships. The fact was that he couldn't handle the players. He was therefore forced to handle the torch to Boris Kulagin, a disciple of Tarasov and successfull coach of Krylia. That didn't help either. The situation went from bad to worse when the USSR suffered the humiliating defeat to Poland at the 1976 world championship. USSR had to settle for silver, and in 1977 for bronze.

    The Tikhonov years: Late 70s-late 80s

    Recognizing that something was terribly wrong, Kulagin was replaced by Tikhonov and send to exile in a Danish (!) club (R°dovre). His assisting coach, Konstatin Loktov mysteriously suffered an accident at a training camp in Poland making it impossible to continue as coach.

    Tikhonov wanted to take full control with the players and re-introduce the disciplined and tough arms-length regime which Tarasov had practised. The price: The domestic league had to make way for CSKA and the national team.

    Tikhonov thus demanded that the best Soviet talents be transferred to CSKA Moscow where he was also installed as coach. The deprivation of talents from other teams were made worse by the fact that USSR's production of hockey talents had slowed down after the Tarasov-Chernyshev era.

    Tikhonov got his way and CSKA was enforced by notable young talents such as Makarov and Starikov (Traktor), Kapustin (Krylia), Kasatonov and Drozdetsky (SKA), Balderis (Riga), Lobanov (Spartak) and Glimayev (Salavat). The decisions were defended by the fact that the young players were to serve in the military, and CSKA was the army's club.

    By this approach, Tikhonov quickly reintroduced the discipline that was needed to make the red machine work, and USSR won another two gold medals in the world championships in 1978 and 1979.

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    I thought I would post some articles from the North American press,
    here is one from 1954...with a historic annoucement. As I transcribe
    more I will post.

    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    JANUARY 1, 1954
    PAGE 24
    RUSSIA PLANS HOCKEY ENTRY

    STOCKHOLM (AP) Soviet Russia's Ice Hockey Federation Thursday
    confirmed that it will send a team to the 1954 ice hockey
    world championship tournament.
    It will be the first Russian participation in a ice hockey
    world championship tournament.
    Altogether eleven countries, including Canada, have entered
    and it is expected that Poland and Yugoslavia also will send
    teams to the championships here February 26 to March 7.
    Other countries are: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany,
    Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmartinez
    I thought I would post some articles from the North American press,
    here is one from 1954...with a historic annoucement. As I transcribe
    more I will post.

    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    JANUARY 1, 1954
    PAGE 24
    RUSSIA PLANS HOCKEY ENTRY

    STOCKHOLM (AP) Soviet Russia's Ice Hockey Federation Thursday
    confirmed that it will send a team to the 1954 ice hockey
    world championship tournament.
    It will be the first Russian participation in a ice hockey
    world championship tournament.
    Altogether eleven countries, including Canada, have entered
    and it is expected that Poland and Yugoslavia also will send
    teams to the championships here February 26 to March 7.
    Other countries are: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany,
    Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
    It's great to read this, THANX a lot!!!
    Russia played there for there for the first time, and won this Tournament!!!
    "Keep nothing in your house that you can't use or don't find beautiful" W.Morris :smart:

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    Here is another one from 1954, not all about the Russian Hockey team, but
    interesting nonetheless....

    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    FEBRUARY 25, 1954
    PAGE 24
    CANADIAN HOCKEYIST REINFORCED
    * * * * * *
    SPORTS WRITERS PICK RUSSIANS

    STOCKHOLM (CP) Reinforcements arrived Wednesday for the Canadian team entered
    in the world hockey championships beginning here Friday.
    Four players, a goalie, two forwards and a defensemen reached the Swedish capital
    in the midst of a newspaper controversy over the relative merits of Russian and
    Canadian hockey styles.
    Sports writers have picked the Russians, entered in the world championships for
    the first time, to edge out the Canadians. They prefer what they describe as
    the "collective" game the Russians play, over the Canadian style which emphathizes
    shooting and body-checking as much as passing.
    The Swedish writers, who have critized the calibre of player on the Canadian team
    - Toronto East York - had a gruding nod of approval today for one of the newcomers.
    One newspaper described Bill Shill, 37 year-old forward who is a regular member
    of the East York team but couldn't leave Canada with the rest of the team, as
    "perhaps the best ice hockey player who has ever visited Europe." Other newcomers
    are Don Lockhart, 23, goalie for the Niagara Falls Cataracts of the Ontario Hockey
    Association, Senior A League, Eric Unger, 25, Niagara Falls centre and Tom Jamieson,
    29, defenceman with Owen Sound Mercurys of the Ontario Senior League.
    INJURED ANKLE
    Unger slipped while stepping from the plane on arrival here but is injured ankle
    is expected to be all right by the time the Canadians meet Switzerland Saturday
    in their opening round game of the tourney. Most of the other teams start Friday.
    Four other members of the Canadian team are nursing minor injuries - a possible
    indication that the "rough-house" play attributed by sports writers to the Canadians
    isn't exclusive.
    Bob Kennedy, Bob Gray and Tom Campbell were bruised about the legs with sticks and
    Harold Fiskari suffered a black eye in the Canadian 8-1 exhibition victory over the
    Swedish B team Tuesday night. All will be shape for the Tournament however.
    The Canadians have had some difficulty adjusting themselves to the European rules
    which frown on body contact. This has resulted in a lot of penalties. Despite this,
    however, their only losses to date have been first, to a team expatriate Canadians
    pros in Paris; and second to the Swedish B team here last Friday night immediately
    after a 29 hour train ride.
    Don Preston, secretary of the Canadian team, says the players are learning the
    European game fast and will give "a good account" of themselves in the tournament.

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    If I knew how to say "Happy anniversary" in Russian I'd do it :002:
    The Finns WILL beat the Swedes in the 2010 Olympics! Mutta odota ensi keralle! (But wait till next time!)

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    Russians Hockey Team Top Canadians, 7-2

    Another interesting article....enjoy

    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    MARCH 8, 1954
    PAGE

    RUSSIANS HOCKEY TEAM TOP CANADIANS, 7-2

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, Mar 8 -(UP)- Russia, which has boasted she will
    score heavily in the 1956 Winter Olympics, climaxed a brilliant
    showing in 1954 "snow and ice" competition by defeating the Canadians,
    acknowledged masters of the sport, for the world amateur ice hockey
    world championship.
    The Russians produced a major sports upset Sunday night by defeating
    Canada, 7-2, in the title game Russia finished it's first appearance
    in the tournament with a 6-0-1 record against Canada's 6-1 mark.
    In other international winter sports this year, Boris Shilkov and
    other Sovier stars swept the first three places in the men's world
    speed skating championship; Likija Selokova and other Sovier girls
    took the top three places in the women's speed skating championship
    and Russian won three of eight individual events in the Nordic phase
    of the world ski championships.
    The Russians clinched the hockey title when they took a 4-0 lead in
    the first period. Good shooting and stick-handling, combined with
    solid Canadian-style body-checking, gave them three more goals and a
    7-1 lead in the second period as Moe Galand scored for the losers.
    Bill Shill got the other Canadian point in the final period when
    the Russian goalie deflected the puck into his own net.

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    A second article on the Russian win

    A second article on the Russian win
    THE GALVASTON NEWS
    MARCH 9, 1954
    PAGE 13

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 8, -UP- A fast-skating, hard-checking Russian
    team won the world ice hockey championship Sunday by blasting a heavily
    favored but highly-nervous Canadian team 7-2, before 17,000 stunned fans
    at the Olympic Stadium.
    It was one of the greatest upsets in the history of the annual tournament.
    Canada had entered the game unbeaten in six previous contests, while
    Russia had a record of five victories and one tie. Also, Canada had
    allowed but five goals in it's march to the finals.
    But the Russians making their first appearance in the tournament this
    year, simply skated the Canadians off their feet. They opened with a
    four-goal onslaught in the first period, added three more in the second
    session and then coasted the rest of the way.


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    IHF Member usausa's Avatar
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    Wow! Great articles!

    For a quote, just look at my signature thing at the bottom.
    "By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player," -Vladimir Petrov commenting after the 1972 Summit Series

    MY BASKETBALL RESEARCH WEBSITE:
    http://92mensolympicbball.webs.com

    RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 QUALIFYING STATISTICS:
    http://www.freewebs.com/rugbystats/RWC2015Q.xlsx

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    'politics' Played A Big Hockey Role

    'POLITICS' PLAYED A BIG HOCKEY ROLE


    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    MARCH 10, 1954

    'POLITICS' PLAYED A BIG HOCKEY ROLE

    EUROPEAN STYLE BAFFLED THE CANADIANS

    Four members of the Toronto East York Lyndhursts, the team that
    lost to Russia in the world hockey tournament, arrived in Canada Tuesday and
    said if a Canadian team is to win the title it will first have to be taught
    the European style of play.
    "There's no use sending a body-checking team." they said. "Theres as much
    difference between the styles of play over there and here as between day
    and night.
    The four that arrived by air are, Bill Shill, Eric Ungar, Doug Chapman and
    goalie Don Lockhart.

    Shill offered the opinion that the Canadian Amatuer Hockey Association
    should get a team together 30 days before the tournament. The players
    would have to be taught the European style - "without even looking cross-
    eyed at the opponent."

    They also said Canada lost the world amateur hockey world championship because
    of some wierd refereeing, unfamiliar European rules and sloppy ice conditions.
    "We aren;t crying, but that's the way it is," four Canadian members of the
    Toronto East York team said on arrival home.
    They said the Russians had prepared four years for the Stockhom championship.
    "We were told that when the teams was picked they practised eight hours a day
    for months," Lockhart said.
    The Russians are not natural hockey players, but they are fast and their
    short-passing game was "pretty good," Unger said. "They don't forecheck and when
    they are the defending team five of them line up at their own blue line
    waiting for the oppostion to come in."

    The four had only one word "politics" - for the Russians 1-1 tie with Sweden and
    5-2 victory over Czechoslovakia. Canada defeated the Czechs 5-2 and Sweden 8-0.

    "The Swedes and the Czechs held back; those games were fixed," Unger said.
    All agreed to that the referees were biased. As an instance, they said in
    Canada's game against Sweden, Chapman was elbowed by a Swedish player,
    suffered a fractured jaw in three places and the Canadian received the penalty.
    The ice was soft and about an inch of water covered the surface, they said.
    Asked to explain Canada's 7-2 loss to Russia, the players said only that the
    team played a "lousy game."
    The boys said they saw nothing wrong with the way their team was selected - by
    the CAHA - and were of the opinion that any chosen team would have found tough
    going under the European style.
    They said the Russians won with a fast skating team. The Russians use sticks
    with 18 inch blades, compared with the 14 3/4 inch blades here, and "they take
    full advantage of the extra reach with a steady passing pattern."
    Chapman said if they had played the Russians in Canada, under Canadian rules,
    "we would have murdered them."

    A Swedish athletic official "noted for my neutrality" said Tuesday "some
    international body such as the Olympic committee someday will have to decide
    about Russia's state-financed amateurs."

    "As long as the Russian athletes were not winning, Russia could get by with
    her strange notions amateurism," the official said.
    "But no longer, Russia is winning, winning practically everything it entered
    and it is a well know axiom that rules are more lax for losers than for
    winners."
    The Official, who asked that "my name be kept out of this," said that Sweden
    will not intiate the inquiry.
    Many other international officials agree it is unfair for student amateur
    athletes and other young men and woman who participate in athletics as pure
    amateurs to have to meet Russian "state amateurs" on an equal footing.
    It is widely believed and some Russian will confirm - that Russian athletes
    are cared for in vast training camps for months while they prepare for
    international competitions. The propaganda value of their victories is
    refered to as "tremendous" by western world officials.
    Last edited by Jazz; 06-12-2006 at 21:55. Reason: Article in Quotes

  11. #11
    IHF Member DIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Chief
    If I knew how to say "Happy anniversary" in Russian I'd do it :002:
    ВЕСЕЛОГО ЮБИЛЕЯ!!! (Veselogo Yubileya!!!) means have fun on jubilee!!!

    Or simply НА ЗДОРОВЬЕ!!! (na zdorovye!!!)... Cheers!!! :drink2:
    "Keep nothing in your house that you can't use or don't find beautiful" W.Morris :smart:

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    Photo's of the Game in Moscow

    There are some photo's of the game in Moscow, Red Square, December 9th
    on Yahoo.com....check them out. I don't think I am allowed to post them
    here as I am sure they are copyrighted material....but enjoy.

    Go to yahoo, then sports, to NHL and search Igor Larionov

    Regards,

    David

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    Russia Book available??

    the book freak is here again.....

    does sombody knows, if there is any books about former USSR ice hockey available? No problem if it's written in kyrilian.....

    I'm - what a suprise - very interested on that....

    НА ЗДОРОВЬЕ ...... he, he.... I know..... just copy/paste....
    Cheers, Franco

  14. #14
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Franco, there are lots of books.

    I wil list some of them when I get a little more time.

    Here's an appetizer (, you know I'm also a sucker for hockey history books):

    Semen Vaihansky, Золотая книга сборной СССР по хоккею (The Golden Book of USSR Hockey) (published 2003, 304 pages.. Packed with pics + list of all games CCCP played!- and clearly one of my favs)
    Available in any well assorted Russian bookshop
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Karsten; 16-01-2008 at 19:45.

  15. #15
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmartinez View Post
    There are some photo's of the game in Moscow, Red Square, December 9th
    A little late, but from the Red Square 9 December 2006. Pre-game clip: the legends commemorates the past while they beautiful girl sings Schubert's Ave Maria.


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    Hello you all!

    Karsten, I am a bit late with this thing too, but playing one of the interesting details is, that the first Russian national team goalies were both lefties; Nikolay Puchkov and Grigoriy Mktyrjan (probably an Armenian originating name and changes almost per writer! ).

    I wonder, if it was by chance or somewhat intentional?!

    All the best
    Jukka

  17. #17
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Photo from "USSR"'s first game on 26 February 1948, "USSR" - LTC Praha 6-3. it's Vsevelod Bobrov with the puck. Bobrov scored a hattrick in that game.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    rare photo: team photo of USSR's 1st world champions, 1954. It's Bobrov with the trophy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    IHF Member usausa's Avatar
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    Sick nasty photos.
    "By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player," -Vladimir Petrov commenting after the 1972 Summit Series

    MY BASKETBALL RESEARCH WEBSITE:
    http://92mensolympicbball.webs.com

    RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 QUALIFYING STATISTICS:
    http://www.freewebs.com/rugbystats/RWC2015Q.xlsx

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    Hello usausa!

    In fact, those photos aren't bad at all!

    All the best
    Jukka

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    IHF Member mcruic's Avatar
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    Does anybody know where I can get results from the USSR's Winter Spartakiad tournaments? For those of you who do not know, the Spartakiads were multi-sport events held between the individual Soviet Republics. There were winter Spartakiads in 1962, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990. I think ice hockey was played in all of these editions. In 1986, for example, Belarus won the gold medal in Krasnoyarsk. Also, Armenia apparently participated in the first edition in 1962 in Sverdlovsk. It is possible that Moldova/Georgia/Uzbekistan might have played in one or more of the tournaments.

    It would be interesting to find a book with these results - I have been able to find books with all results from the football/soccer matches from the Spartakiad tournaments, but with ice hockey it seems to be harder to find information.

  22. #22
    IHF Member mcruic's Avatar
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    As an addition to my earlier post, I found a little bit of information on the 1962 Winter Spartakiad of the USSR.

    There were 12 teams participating, and GEORGIA did indeed take part, finishing 10th. KYRGYZSTAN finished 11th and Armenia finished 12th, . The one result I found from the tournament was Georgia 11-2 Armenia.

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    Canada

    Also congratulation to Russian 60 Yrs anniversary~~~~~~!

    Go,CANADA Devils Jerseys,Cheapest NFL Jerseys
    Go Team Devils NHL hockey,

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