Archive for OG Super Scorers

Demitra Is Da Man In Vancouver

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Veteran international PAVOL DEMITRA (38) of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks enjoyed a splendid Winter Olympic Games for the national team of Slovakia, indeed. Demitra’s personal highlight was, perhaps, the game-winner in the round-robin shootout victory versus Russia.(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Slovakia’s PAVOL DEMITRA finished as the top point scorer at the ice hockey tournament of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and takes his place on the honor roll of all-time leaders : 

  • 2010 —   3 go   7 as – 10 pts — Pavol DEMITRA — Slovakia
  • 2006 —   6 go   5 as – 11 pts — Teemu SELANNE — Finland
  • 2002 —   5 go   4 as -    9 pts — Mats SUNDIN — Sweden
  • 1998 —   4 go   6 as – 10 pts — Teemu SELANNE — Finland
  • 1994 —   3 go   7 as – 10 pts — Zigmund PALFFY — Slovakia
  • 1992 —   6 go   9 as – 15 pts — Joe JUNEAU — Canada
  • 1988 —   6 go   9 as – 15 pts — Vladimir KRUTOV — Soviet Union
  • 1984 —   8 go   6 as – 14 pts — Erich KUEHNHACKL — West Germany
  • 1980 —   7 go   8 as – 15 pts — Milan NOVY — Czechoslovakia
  • 1976 —   6 go   4 as – 10 pts — Vladimir SHADRIN — Soviet Union
  • 1972 —   9 go   6 as – 15 pts — Valery KHARLAMOV — Soviet Union
  • 1968 — 12 go   4 as – 16 pts — Anatoli FIRSOV — Soviet Union
  • 1964 —   8 go   3 as – 11 pts — Sven “Tumba” JOHANSSON — Sweden
  • 1960 —   9 go 12 as – 21 pts — Fred ECHTER — Canada
  • 1956 —   5 go   7 as – 12 pts — Paul KNOX, Jim LOGAN — Canada

Demitra, who plays in the National Hockey League for the Vancouver Canucks, is the first player in history to accomplish the unique feat of topping the Olympic tournment scoring chart in the same city where he plays his professional hockey.

Oddly enough, the health of the 35-year-old veteran was a huge concern leading into the 2010 Winter Olympics. A 300-plus goal-scorer for his career in the NHL, Demitra played just 11 games for the Vancouver Canucks after missing most of the 2009-10 season rehabilitating from a serious shoulder injury. In that time the Slovak international had managed just one goal and four points for the Canucks, as well.

Demitra, however, found both fitness and form just in the nick of time for the Slovakia national team and, in the end, registered his name in the Olympic history books at the Vancouver Games for all eternity.

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Lake Placid ’32 : Germany Had A Ball

RUDI BALL nets one of his 19 career international goals for Germany

RUDI BALL nets one of his 19 career international goals for Germany

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Seventy-eight years ago on this day, the German national team celebrated the first of its two greatest days of all-time at the Winter Olympics.

The world-wide economic depression had reduced the ice hockey competition at the Lake Placid Games in 1932 to a field of just four teams. Thus, all but one squad were sure to receive an Olympic medal. In spite of all this, the Germans had arrived in upstate New York with legitimate aspirations, anyway, after having won both the silver medal for the World Championships as well as the European title at the 1930 tournament that was started in Chamonix, France, but moved to Berlin as a result of bad weather.

Only two changes had been made to German Aussenkapitan (player-coach) ERICH ROEMER’s team from the 1930 champion squad — the two new players being forwards WERNER KORFF of Schlittschuhclub Berlin and Sportclub Riessersee’s GEORG STROBL.

Germany got its 1932 Winter Games off to the right start with a critical 2-1 defeat of Poland thru a pair of Blitztore (lightning goals) from GUSTAV JAENECKE and MARTIN SCHROETTLE. Jaenecke, a 23-year-old left wing from Schlittschuhclub Berlin, scored nine goals in six games at the 1930 World Championships and entered the Lake Placid tournament Germany’s all-time leading goal-scorer at major international events with 16 goals in 14 games.

As expected, the Germans lost all four contests against the North American continent’s teams. The first of those, a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Canada, was respectable; the pair of losses the silver medalist United States by the combined count of 15-0 was rather disappointing. Nonetheless, one final match with Poland still provided opportunity for the Olympic bronze medal at the III Winter Games for the black-sweatered German sqaud.

The Poles were not prepared to go quietly but, following a scoreless first period, 21-year-old RUDI BALL sent the Germans in front. Poland pulled level two minutes into the third period of play but 120 seconds later Ball, the 5’4″ 140-pound linemate of Jaenecke for both club and country, put Germany back in front. The rookie Strobl shot a third goal for the Fatherland while Ball then bagged his third goal of the game to set the final score at 4-1 for Germany.

For Rudi Ball, who scored one goal in five games for Germany at the 1930 World Championships, it is the break-out match of his distinguished international career. It also marked the very first time a German player performed the ‘hat trick’ at the Winter Olympics. Ball also added two assists at the 1932 Lake Placid Games and was, therefore, involved in five of Germany’s seven total goals at the tournament. 

The bronze medal in 1932 would represent the finest German hour at the Winter Olympics for the better part of the next half century.

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Six Unanswered Spurred U.S. Sextet

CZECHOSLOVAKIA (red shirts, blue pants) face-off against the UNITED STATES (white shirts, red pants) on the final day of competition at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA (red shirts, blue pants) face-off against the UNITED STATES (white shirts, red pants) on the final day of competition at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

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The UNITED STATES, after consecutive wins over Canada and the Soviet Union, still had to face CZECHOSLOVAKIA in a final, early morning match at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

Several Americans were reportedly so excited after the USSR win that they had trouble sleeping prior to their final game. United States JACK MCCARTAN, the unquestionable star of the last two U.S. shows, is said to have “seen nothing but flying pucks at him all night”. Perhaps a bit nervous, McCartan and the United States conceded a goal after just eight seconds the next morning to start the match with Czechoslovakia.

MIROSLAV VLACH’s goal still sets the record for fastest goal to start an Olympic ice hockey game.

A wild first period produced six goals and a 3-3 draw; matters settled in the second stanza, however, the United States again fell behind after Vlach scored his second goal of the game and eighth at the Olympics to put Czechoslovakia ahead 4-3 with twenty minutes to play.

After receiving a surprise visitor to the locker room bearing news of a secret weapon, the United States took to the ice for the final time at Squaw Valley and produced the most stunning third period ever seen at the Winter Olympic Games.

Six minutes in, ROGER CHRISTIAN grabbed the first of what would be SIX unanswered goals for the United States. A little over a minute and a half later, BOB CLEARY, who had a pair of goals for the game, put the Americans ahead to stay. Three goals in sixty-seven seconds later put the final nails in Czechoslovakia’s coffin.

Unbeaten and untied after all seven games, the unheraled United States, who had placed seventh at the previous year’s IIHF World Championships, accepted the very first set of gold medals for ice hockey at the Winter Olympics in their nation’s history.

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BILL CLEARY, Bob’s brother, added a goal for the United States in the 9-4 final day triumph over Czechoslovakia at Squaw Valley. The 25-year-old former Harvard University forward finished third in scoring at the 1960 Winter Olympics with seven goals and 14 points in seven games.

ROGER CHRISTIAN’s four-score effort against the Czechoslovaks is easily the modern record for most goals in an Olympic Gold Medal Match. Christian, whose brother, Bill, finished fourth in scoring at the Squaw Valley tournament with two goals and 13 points, led the United States with eight goals in 1960.

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Bobrov Set Soviet Benchmark

VSEVOLOD BOBROV (9) scored one goal in the USSR's 4-0 victory over the United States at the 1956 Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

VSEVOLOD BOBROV (9) scored one goal in the USSR's 4-0 victory over the United States at the 1956 Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

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VSEVOLOD BOBROV was the first great goal-scorer in the history of Soviet ice hockey.

Bobrov was also, like his contemporary, the Czechoslovak scoring star VLASTIMIL BUBNIK, a two-sport athlete who excelled in soccer, as well.

In fact, Bobrov began his athletic career as a soccer player with the army club CSKA Moscow after serving in the Soviet military during World War II. The 22-year-old led the Soviet league with 24 goals for CSKA during the 1945 season and was also invited to join Dynamo Moscow for their famous tour of Great Britain in November of that year. Bobrov scored six goals on the tour as Dynamo played top British clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea and Glasgow Rangers.

Bobrov began playing hockey, as well, for CSKA Moscow a year later.

In 1950, Bobrov had miraculously escaped death. The plane carrying the VVS MVO Moscow hockey team, the club of the Soviet air force, crashed on approach to the airport at Sverdlovsk in adverse weather and killed everyone on board. Bobrov, who missed the flight, later claimed his alarm clock malfunctioned and, therefore, saved his life.

Bobrov actually made his debut at the Olympics with the Soviet national soccer team at the Summer Games of Helsinki in 1952. Now 29, Bobrov scored five goals in three games at Helsinki. Bobrov notched a hat trick in the famous 5-5 draw with Yugoslavia; the Soviets by four goals with just seventeen minutes left before storming back to tie the game.

Bobrov was a particularly lethal goal-scorer in ice hockey, however, and totaled an amazing 250 goals in just 130 Soviet league games for his career.

Bobrov added another 94 goals in 59 games for the USSR national team.

At the 1956 Winter Olympic Games at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Bobrov scored nine goals in seven games as the Soviet Union captured their first-ever gold medal in ice hockey. Bobrov’s goal total tied for the tournament lead with Canada’s GERARD THEBERGE.

In the Soviets’ second game in Italian Alps, a 10-3 victory over Switzerland, Bobrov bagged four goals in all. This mark was equaled twenty years later by VLADIMIR SHADRIN at Innsbruck in the qualification game against the host nation.

But never beaten.

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Mission Not Accomplished At Albertville

Canada's JOE JUNEAU (9) does not appear to be too excited about the set of silver medals, one of which the Boston Bruins' draft pick is due at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

Canada's JOE JUNEAU (9) does not appear to be too excited about the set of silver medals, one of which the Boston Bruins' draft pick is due at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

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It had been forty years since Canada had last captured the set of gold medals for ice hockey at the Winter Olympics. But the 1992 Albertville Games offered renewed hope for the historical home of the sport. After all, the former Soviet Union had collapsed…

… and the overwhelming majority of its elite hockey players had already found gainful employment in the West, many with National Hockey League clubs.

CANADA, meanwhile, had put together a formidable squad which included veterans with considerable NHL experience such as defenseman CURT GILES as well as forwards DAVE HANNAN and DAVE TIPPETT.

SEAN BURKE, Canada’s goaltender at Calgary in 1988, was involved in a contract dispute with the New Jersey Devils and, thus, made himself available for the Olympic cause the 1991-92 season.

Finally, the number one overall selection of the 1991 National Hockey League, ERIC LINDROS, declared he would not sign for the Quebec Nordiques and instead decided to don the sweater for the national team to be competing in France that winter.

Indeed, the Canadians enjoyed a good run at the Albertville Games; powered on offense by Boston Bruins draft pick JOE JUNEAU (6 go 9 as, 15 pts) as well as Lindros (5 go 6 as, 11 pts), Canada lost only once in reaching the Gold Medal Match.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, they were paired with the Unified Team in the final, the same team who had defeated Canada previously.

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A two-time All-America at Renssaler Polytechnical Institute and 1988 4th round choice of the Boston Bruins (# 81 overall), it was JOE JUNEAU who topped the point-scoring chart at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

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No Big Ned For Czechoslovaks

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VACLAV NEDOMANSKY (14) signals a goal for Czechoslovakia, left, and skates for the Toronto Toros in the WHA, right.

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There can be little doubt that VACLAV NEDOMANSKY would have been picked to play for Czechoslovakia at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Unfortunately for Czechoslovak coaches KAREL GUT and JAN STARSI, however, the 32-year-old goal-scoring machine had bolted the Eastern bloc in the fall of 1974. The one-time Slovan Bratislava center was now taking his regular shifts for the Toronto Toros in the World Hockey Association. Although the powerful Czechoslovak ice hockey program did enjoy a relatively deep player pool from which to draw talent, Nedomansky’s loss was still significant.

Nedomansky, who had been chosen to the media All-Star squad at three IIHF World Championships, had scored 63 goals in 65 games for Czechoslovakia his last seven major international tournaments before defecting.

To this day Czechoslovakia’s all-time leader with 163 goals (from 220 international matches), Big Ned continued to pile up large numbers of lamp-lighters upon landing in North America.

The Olympic season of 1975-76, Nedomansky scored no fewer than 56 goals in 81 games for the Toros in the WHA. And, for any concerned that scoring came too easy in the old World Hockey Association, Nedomansky thereafter added campaigns of 38 and 35 goals, respectively, for the Detroit Red Wings in the late 1970s despite his ever-increasing age.

It is hard to state with certainty exactly what impact Vaclav Nedomansky would have had for Czechoslovakia at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. It is easy to conclude Nedomansky would have, in all statistical likelihood, netted at least a few goals for his country had he competed at Innsbruck.

Whether or not Nedomansky would have definitely made a difference for Czechoslovakia in the 1976 Gold Medal Match with Soviet Union will always be open to speculation.

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Drozdetsky Deadly In Balkans

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Left : ALEXANDER DROZDETSKY, the 2000 NHL third round draft pick (# 94 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers, currently skates for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the Kontinetal Hockey League.

Right : NIKOLAI DROZDETSKY, the late father of Alexander.

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The last player in history to hit double-digits in goal-scoring at the Winter Olympic Games would be none other than NIKOLAI DROZDETSKY, who shot 10 goals in seven games for the Soviet Union in 1984.

One of the biggest surprises of the Sarajevo Games, it’s not that Drozdetsky came out of nowhere to wreak havoc in the Balkans, it only seems that way.

Drozdetsky, who began his Soviet domestic career with SKA Leningrad, actually made his major international debut for the USSR at the 1981 IIHF World Championships in Sweden. Five goals and 11 points in eight games placed the then 23-year-old CSKA Moscow right wing among that tournament’s top scorers. Just three goals and five points from 16 games at the 1981 Canada Cup and the 1982 IIHF World Championships in Finland contributed to Drozdetsky being dropped by the Soviet Union national team for their NHL tour the winter of 1982-83 as well as the annual IIHF affair that spring.

Restored to the roster, Drozdetsky went on a goal-scoring rampage for the Soviets in Sarajevo. A hat trick as the USSR pounded Poland on opening day served notice of intent. Consecutive two-goal games versus West Germany, Sweden and, in the medal round, Canada, followed.

With his exploits in the Balkans, Drozdetsky joined the legendary ANATOLI FIRSOV as one of just two players in the proud history of the USSR to post ten or more goals for an Olympic final round ice hockey championship.

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Minnesota’s Mayasich Hat Trick Hero

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JOHN MAYASICH — University of Minnesota

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After seven failed attempts, including the meeting at the 1920 Summer  Games in Antwerp, Belgium, the Unites States finally defeated their neighbors to the north, Canada, at the Olympics in 1956 at Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The architect of the United States offense in the historic 4-1 win over Canada was JOHN MAYASICH, who provided the margin of victory with three goals. Mayasich was gifted one goal in the Italian Alps by Canadian goaltender DENIS BRODEUR, who allowed a puck lofted high in the air from the three-time All-America at the University of Minnesota  to somehow elude him and land in the net — Mayasich had been seeking a line change. The match was played at night in an outdoor arena; Brodeur lost the puck in the lights.

Mayasich finished the top scorer for the silver medalist United States at the Cortina Games with seven goals and 10 points in seven games.

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Albertville ’92 : Shootout – Lindros / Puck On Line

18-year-old ERIC LINDROS finished tied for fourth place in scoring at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, with 11 points (5 go 6 as) in eight games. Lindros had been drafted number one overall by the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League, but chose to compete for Canada at the Olympics instead and sparked controversy.

18-year-old ERIC LINDROS finished tied for fourth place in scoring at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, with 11 points (5 go 6 as) in eight games. Lindros had been drafted number one overall by the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League, but chose to compete for Canada at the Olympics instead and sparked controversy.

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The ice hockey competition was changed to a playoff-style, elimination format for medals from a quarterfinal stage onwards at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games at Albertville, France. Naturally, the very first round of knockout competition for medals at the Olympics necessitated a penalty shot shootout to determine a winner for one of the quarterfinal matches. CANADA and GERMANY made for ironic history-makers, however.

Canada had arrived at the quarterfinals top-seeded from Group B with four wins and one loss in the preliminary round-robin; Germany finished fourth out of six teams in Group A with a record of two wins and three losses.

Canada controlled play overall and outshot the Germans 36-21 for the contest but, critically, did have three goals disallowed by Finnish referee SEPPO MAKELA. In the third period, defenseman KEVIN DAHL’s deflected slapshot changes course a few times through the maze of players to intially put Canada ahead with six minutes to go in the game. But, Germany’s ERNST KOEPF of EC Koeln deflects a puck past Canada goalie SEAN BURKE to produce a 3-3 draw with 2:22 left.

On the heels of a ten-minute overtime period which sees the third apparent Canadian goal overturned it was off to a penalty shot shootout :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wFPPrA2-Vg&feature=related

Shooters In Clip

  • 17 GER – Gerd TRUNTSCHKA — no goal
  • 16 CAN – Wally SCHREIBER — GOAL
  • 26 GER – Michael RUMRICH — GOAL
  •   9 CAN – Joe JUNEAU — no goal
  • 29 GER – Andreas BROCKMANN — GOAL

Of course, each team finished their guaranteed five shots with two goals apiece, JASON WOOLLEY’s shootout success not being shown on the clip presented.

So, sudden-death for the shootout was required. Unlike at soccer’s World Cup, players who had shot before were permitted to try again. ERIC LINDROS (88), who failed on his first attempt, made the most of his second against German goaltender HELMUT DE RAAF.

Needing a goal, Germany’s PETER DRAISAITL (20) sent a shot which somehow popped out the back of Burke’s pads. Bouncing on edge and rolling ever closer to the goal line, the puck flops and dies square on the goal line.

The whole puck having not crossed the goal line — no goal signals the referee Makela.

Canada advance to the semifinals; Germany are out.

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“That was the most dramatic finish I have ever seen to an international match,” German forward GEORG HOLZMANN was quoted as saying in the New York Times.

“We might have won.”

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Kharlamov Is Last Of Kind

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Soviet legend VALERY KHARLAMOV is the last player in the history at the Winter Olympic Games to average three points per game over the course of final-round competition.

With his debut at the 1972 Sapporo Games, Kharlamov announced his arrival on the Olympic stage by notching a hat trick on opening day opposite Finland.

The 23-year-old followed with a pair of lamp-lighters at the expense of Sweden and another hat trick against Poland. The CSKA Moscow left wing scored goals in four of five contests in Japan as the USSR breezed their way through to the gold medal. Altogether, Kharlamov amassed nine goals and added six assists in Japan.

Kharlamov easily finished as the leading scorer at Sapporo with 15 points for the Soviet Union. 

No other player from any team in the 1972 Olympic tournament so much as reached double-digits in the five-game final round-robin.

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