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.