Friday, January 10, 2014

Team Canada vs. Soviets 1984 Pre-Olympic Tour, Part 2

After losing the first five matches to the Soviet "B" squad on a cross-Canada tour, the Canadian National team began to show signs of improvement in the second half.

Game Six
Jan. 4, 1984 at Ottawa
Canada 5, Soviets 2
In front of 9,355 fans, Canada snapped their drought against the visiting Soviets. "We've played six games in eight nights against these guys and there were some high feelings running,"coach King said.  Indeed there were as within two minutes at the end of the second period Canada was assessed three minor penalties, a five and a ten minute misconduct and the Soviets collected four minors, a five and a ten. Mario Gosselin was outstanding in Canada's net while Soviet's Dmitri Saprykin saw his first action of the series. Canada's goals were scored by Mike Ridley, Doug Lidster, Serge Trepanier, James Patrick and Carey Wilson while the Soviets answered with goals by Alexander Orlov and Anatoli Stepanishev.

Game Seven
Jan. 5, 1984 at Kitchener
Soviets 6, Canada 6
Doug Lidster earned the tie for Canada scoring with 1:50 remaining after Canada had led all the way before Soviet captain Victor Shalimov scored two late goals to take a 6-5 lead. Vaughan Karpan, Serge Trepanier, Flatley, Sherven and Darren Lowe scored for Canada beating Doroschenko back in the net. The other Soviet goals against Derren Eliot came from Loginov, Alexander Orlov, Igor Orlov and Andrei Matytsin. Canada added to their roster 17-year old Kirk Muller and 18-year old Russ Courtnall who had just returned from the World Junior Championships. "They're exceptional kids for their age," coach King stated,"If these two kids can stay with us, that might be enough."

Game Eight
Jan. 8, 1984 at Halifax
Soviets 6, Canada 5
"Canada has many good players. They lack international experience, but they should do well. I think they have all the prerequisites of winning one of the three hockey medals," said Alexander Yakushev through an interpreter. The legendary Russian star was an assistant coach of the touring Soviet team that had just handed Canada it's sixth loss in eight games. In front of 9,710 fans at the Metro Centre the Orlov brothers put on a show with Igor collecting two goals, two assists and Alexander scoring the winner on Mario Gosselin. Other Soviet markers were from Sergei Kharin, Evgeny Shepta and Ilia Biakin. Darren Lowe and Pat Flatley scored twice each while Gord Sherven had a single as Canada outshot the Soviets 25-20.

Game Nine
Jan. 9, 1984 at Montreal
Soviets 6, Canada 5
This was the fifth one-goal game of the seven losses for Team Canada. King stated afterwards,"Maybe the scoreboard doesn't show it but I think the players understand that they're improving." Bruce Keller, recently added from the University of Saskatchewan had two goals while Courtnall, Dave Gagner and Bruce Driver had the others. Soviet goals came from Pryakhin, Ilya  Byakin, Eugeny Shepta, Viktor Shalimov and Mikhail Varnakov with two.

Game Ten
Jan. 11, 1984 at Quebec City
Canada 9, Soviets 5
"It was nice for the kids to get a victory after coming so close on so many nights," coach King said after the game. Canada built a 5-0 lead on first period goals by Craig Redmond, Vaughan Karpan and Dave Gagner and second period goals by Mark Morrison and Mike Ridley. Soviets got the score to 6-4 late in the second before Canada pulled away. Soviet goals were from Eugeny Shepta, Pryakhin, Byakin, Skurdyuk and Varnakov. Canada's third period goals came from Dan Wood, Bruce Keller, Claude Gosselin and Trepanier. Canada outshot the Soviets 29-27 and closed the series with a 2-7-1 record.

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