Sunday, February 17, 2013

Montreal Juniors vs Soviet Selects, Dec. 1974

Pic One

Pic Two
Time for another little research project looking at rarely seen photos courtesy my new 'cyber'-friend Doug Petepeice. He has sent me alot of shots of the Montreal Junior Canadiens playing against a Soviet squad. Let's figure out when and where they are from.

Seeing the two photos above at first glance one may say they are from the same match. Looking closer there are many differences between them suggesting they are from different games. The main difference is the fact that the Junior Canadiens goalie is different, perhaps they shared duties or is it two different games?

Even with a large amount of googling the archives of the Montreal Gazette newspaper and the great site of the Society for International Hockey Research which has jersey numbers for most teams ever, it has proven pretty tough to narrow down which game is which. My best educated guesses are as follows.

I found out that the Soviet Selects played at the Montreal Forum against the Junior Canadiens at least four times between December 1974 and December 1976. What makes it even tougher is that they played within two weeks in early Dec. 1974 and right before Christmas '74. As well the Junior Canadiens were reinforced in each game by either players from other junior teams or by professionals from Montreal Canadiens AHL team, Nova Scotia Voyageurs.

Pic One is from I believe Dec. 9, 1974 when the Soviets lost 4-3. The goaltending for Montreal that day was split by pro fill-in Dave Elenbaas and regular junior goalie Andre LePage, fairly sure the first one is LePage and the second pic is Elenbaas. The fact that the shots are from a nearly identical spot leads me to believe they're from the same match. This is the only game in which Montreal had two goalies play. Elenbaas is oddly wearing #24 as a goalie, a number rarely used by the team that year. It's very conceivable they gave Elenbaas this jersey simply because it was available.

 The Montreal Juniors were strengthened by other AHL pro's including #4 Gilles Lupien (unmistakable at 6ft, 6 inches) in the second shot.

Pic Three
Pic Four
These last three shots are definitely from the Dec. 9, 1974 game as evidenced by the Soviet goalie Vladimir Polupanov wearing #20. He is easily seen in the photo from the front page of  the Gazette here, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4JAjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=v6EFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4520%2C2294793

The Soviets outshot Montreal 18-2 in the third as regular junior goalie Andre LePage had to replace Elenbaas early in the period after an injury tweak. The Soviet coach for this game, legendary Viktor Tikhonov.

Pic Five


1 comment:

CASEY ELENBAAS said...

I've been searching for the game between the Soviet Selects and the Junior Montreal Canadiens Dec 1974, finally found it on Nitzy's Hockey DEN. My son David Elenbaas, a Montreal Voyageur at that time played goal , until injured through the 3rd period, then came back with his leg frozen to play to the end of the game 5-3 for the Canadiens. He was on crutches after the game, flew to Boston where Al McNeil his coach hustled him off to the hospital for x-rays. It revealed his knee cap was displaced at the side of the knee, was sent to Wellsley Hospital in Toronto , and was operated on there. He was out for the rest of the season. Casey Elenbaas Email KCANTHON@ROGERS.COM

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