Sarajevo, 1984. The final day of the medal round at the ice hockey competition. For the third time in four tournaments at the Winter Games, the winner-take-all clash between Eastern bloc arch-rivals CZECHOSLOVAKIA and the SOVIET UNION will determine the Olympic champion.
Both the white-shirted Czechoslovaks and the traditionally red-shirted Soviets enter the match unbeaten and untied seeking to erase disappointing memories from the Lake Placid Games four years prior. Each side boast a balanced squad featuring explosive offense and stingy defense; the Czechoslovaks benefited from the switch to Sparta Prague’s JAROMIR SINDEL in goal following their Olympic opener versus Norway. The USSR, meanwhile, has enjoyed the burst of form from CSKA Moscow right wing NIKOLAI DROZDETSKY (13), who has tallied 10 goals from six games at Sarajevo thus far.
Six and a half minutes in, the Soviets stamp their authority on the game.
Shortly after Drozdetsky misses a wide-open net, the Soviet regroup in center ice as ALEXANDER KOZHEVNIKOV (29) gathers a pass from VIKTOR TUMENEV (28) at the red line and charges the Czechoslovak blue line. Confronted by a pair of defensemen, the 25-year-old Spartak Moscow wing winds up and deploys an always un-Soviet-like slapshot. The puck catches the crossbar and ricochets off Sindel’s shoulder into the Czechoslovak net for a 1-0 Soviet lead :
A little over a minute into the second period, VLADIMIR KRUTOV added a second Soviet goal which proved to be surplus to requirements with USSR goaltender VLADISLAV TRETIAK absorbing 21 Czechoslovak shots for the game.
Although a regular top goal-scorer in the Soviet elite league, Kozhevnikov never did command a regular place with the USSR national team. Despite six goals at the 1982 IIHF World Championships in Finland, the would-be Calgary Flames’ NHL draft pick (1985, 11th round, # 227 overall) did not make the Soviet team for the 1983 IIHF event in West Germany. For his career, the native of Penza appeared at four major international tournaments (24 ga, 10 go 9 as, 19 pts) for the Soviet Union.
Kozhevnikov finished among the top scorers at Sarajevo with three goals and nine points in seven games.