Thursday, February 13, 2014

1984 Olympic Hockey, Canada vs. Norway

"When we first came here, I thought we might do well to be fifth or sixth," coach Dave King said. "And now..."

And now, Canada had four wins in four games after trouncing Norway by a score of 8-1. Coupled with a 7-2 victory by Czechoslovakia over Finland, Canada's next game against the Czechs was essentially a medal-round match. The 4-0 record qualified Canada for the four-team medal round, but the final game of the preliminary round will count toward final medals as head-to-head games between final round teams are carried over into the medals.

Behind three goals and two assist by Dave Gagner and a goal and two assists from line mate Russ Courntall, Canada surprised the hockey world by marching to the medal round. Gagner said after, "Simply, that Czech game is the most important of our lives."

Just two months prior Canada had led the Czechs 2-1 after two periods in the Izvestia tournament before losing 4-2. Coach Dave King said of that game, "We played a fairly good game and the Czechs never seemed to be in it. They weren't sharp then. They're better now, but we've improved even more than they did because we had a longer way to go."

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