Thursday, December 5, 2013

Canada vs. Soviets, 1969

Here's another cool program in The Den's collection, from an exhibition game between the national teams of Russia and Canada at the brand new Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. The Canadians proved no match for the Soviets getting pounded by a score of 9-3. Canada's coach Jackie McLeod insisted that his team "can skate with the Russians, do everything they do just as well, and when they do it can beat the Russians".

This was the third of an eight game tour by the Soviets across Canada having beaten the Canadian National squad in Winnipeg 5-3 in the first game. Petrov and Maltsev each potted a pair before 8,500 at Winnipeg Arena. Chuck Lefley also had a pair with Billy MacMillan adding the third for Canada. This game was the debut in Canada of Russia's young goaltender Vladislav Tretjyak.

In game two at Winnipeg the Canadians got revenge with a 4-3 win ending a winless drought against the Russians of almost three years. Bob Murdoch scored the winner at 3:09 of the third on Russia's other rookie goalie Vladimir Shapovalov.

In this, the third game in Vancouver, Russian coach Anatoly Tarasov didn't even dress two of his better players Vitaly Davidov and Vyacheslav Starshinov and Evgenie Zimin and Alexsander Maltsev saw no action until early in the third period. 22 year-old Ken Dryden was bombarded with 45 shots by the Soviets in front of a full-house of 13,157 spectators.

Dec 20, 1969 at Vancouver
Russia 9, Canada 3
First Period - 1. Russia Petrov (Kharlamov, Kuzkin) 6:37, 2.Russia Kharlamov (Mikhailov, Petrov) 9:25, 3. Canada Huck (King, Murdoch) 12:33, 4. Russia Solodukhin (Grigorjev, Andreyev) 17:27 Penalties - Mikhailov 13:33, Firsov 14:55, Andreyev 18:31, Huck 19:29.
Second Period - 6. Russia Andreyev (Grigorjev, Solodukhin) 6:18, 7. Canada Bayes (Mott, Poirer) 7:12, 8. Canada Murdoch (Heindl) 10:31,  9. Russia Polupanov (Firsov) 13:05, 10. Russia Petrov (Kharlamov, Mikhailov) 19:08 Penalties - King 4:59, Mikhailov double-minor, Kharlamov, Huck, Heindl 8:09, Petrov 11:10.
Third Period - 11. Russia Grigorjev (Petrov, Andreyev) 3:33, 12. Russia Shadrin (Malysev, Gusev) 16:37 Penalty - Carlyle 4:26
Shots On Goal
Russia    18 14 12 - 44
Canada    7  10  6  - 23
Attendance - 13,157

Below is the itinerary for the Soviets as listed in the program.

Upon travelling to Victoria for the fourth game on Sunday afternoon, coach McLeod declared, "It's hard to talk about a game like Saturday. It is easier to say, for instance, that it might give us enough pride to beat these guys in Victoria." McLeod apparently knew his team quite well as Canada won by a score of 5-1 before a packed house in Victoria. 

The re-instated pros for team Canada, Brian Conacher and Billy Harris actually played like pros with Harris counting points on the first four goals. Wayne Stephenson's shutout was broken by Starshinov with just over seven minutes remaining.

Dec 21, 1969 at Victoria
Canada 5, Russia 1
First Period - 1. Canada Adams (Conacher, Harris) 2:36, 2. Canada Harris (Adams) 6:53 Penalties - Gusev 3:27, Starshikov 8:48, Stephanson 10:18, Carlyle 14:33, Kharlamov 14:56
Second Period - 3. Canada Conacher (Mackenzie, Harris) 9:20 Penalties - Paladjev 0:45, Kharlamov 6:50, Murdoch 10:58, Starshikov 12:23, Paladjev 15:51
Third Period - 4. Canada Poirer (Mackenzie, Harris) 3:15, 5. Canada Lefley (Mott, O'Malley) 4:38, 6. Russia Starshikov (Paladjev, Ragulin) 12:47 Penalties - Solodukhin 5:14, Harris 13:31
Shots On Goal
Tretjyak Russia 11 12 14 - 37
Stephenson Canada 10 10 10 - 30
Attendance - 5,388

Game five of the tour in Ottawa pitted the Russian Nationals against the Junior A Ottawa 67's reinforced by All-Stars. The juniors proved no match, losing 8-3. The following night, game six of the series,  the Russians trounced the London junior team by a score of 14-2.

McLeod's National team put Canada back in the winner's circle in the seventh game of the tour at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens with a 3-2 victory. Fran Huck, Barry MacKenzie and Bill Heindl marked the tallies for Canada while Vladimir Petrov and Valery Kharlamov scored for Russia. The Soviets outshot Canada 38-28 but 20 of them were in the first period before Canada got their game in gear. They were limited to six in the third period on goaltender Wayne Stephenson. Heindl's winner was scored at 15:01 of the second period, beating Tretjyak with a 15-foot shot that bounced off the goalie's pads. "It was a screaming shot," a jubilant Heindl said afterwards. From across the dressing room someone yelled, "Yeah, it must have been going about three miles an hour."

In the eighth and final match at Montreal's Forum, the previous year's Memorial Cup champions beat the Russians 9-3 before 18,507 spectators. Bolstered by eight minor-pros for the game the winners were led by their own Gilbert Perreault with two goals and three assists. Rejean Houle of the AHL's Montreal Voyageurs added two goals and two assists. The strengthened Juniors outshot the Russians 36-30.

After the final game, Soviet coach Tarasov he would back in March for the World Championships to be hosted in Montreal and Winnipeg "with a surprise for you." The surprise would end up being on the entire hockey world, as Canada would withdraw from hosting and participating in those championships. The dispute arose over the allowing of professional players to compete at the Worlds, and would keep Canada out of the tournament until 1977 when pros were finally permitted to play.

Game action in the program of a previous season's tour

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