Sunday, February 9, 2014

1984 Olympic Hockey, Canada vs. Austria

The previous time Canada met Austria in Olympic hockey  was in 1956 at Cortina, Italy. Canada won 23-0. So an 8-1 defeat was marked improvement for the Austrians. Canada improved to a 2-0 record in the 1984 Olympic hockey tournament with the decisive victory.

Kirk Muller with a pair of goals as well as markers from Dave Donnely and Pat Flatley had Canada up 4-0 by the halfway point of the match. Coach Dave King replaced goaltender Mario Gosselin after stopping all 11 shots he face through two periods if only to rest hime. The first shot directed Darren Eliot's way by Eddy Lebler bulged the twine to make it 6-1 Canada 20 seconds into the third, but that was as close as it got.

Next up for Canada would be the Finns. Austrian coach Gregory Holst, whose team lost their opener of the tournament 4-3 to Finland said, "There's a great difference between the Finns and the Canadians. The Finn don't bodycheck, but they are very fast skaters. They play a very complicated system. The Canadians play a simpler system with more bodychecking, simple but very good. I think Canada has a very good chance to win against Finland."

Donnelly expressed how the Canadians were coming together as a team,"During the course of the year, we just got the feeling that we were playing for another rocky club. It wasn't until we came to Sarajevo that things really came together for us. The Olympic spirit hit. It finally dawned on us that we were playing for our country.

Canadian assistant coach Jean Perron said after the game that Gosselin would start in goal against Finland as well as all other games unless he "gets shelled".

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