Skaare Sunk U.S. Ship At Sarajevo

Norway's ARNE BERGSENG (15, right) signals his game-opening goal versus United States netminder BOB MASON, who has been caught out of his cage.

Norway's ARNE BERGSENG (15, right) signals his game-opening goal versus United States netminder BOB MASON, who has been caught out of his cage.

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It is still, by a country mile, the most significant result in Norway’s Olympic ice hockey history. In contrast, it remains one of the most dubious in the Olympic annals of the United States. Only a third period power-play goal from ED OLCZYK spared U.S. blushes in their third game of round-robin play at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia :

NORWAY 3 — UNITED STATES 3

The U.S. entered this contest having bowed to Canada and Czechoslovakia in their first two. Victory was imperative in order to keep alive any hope at one of the top two spots in the group in order to qualify for the medal round. With goal differential in mind, a large win was preferred. 

Norway, who had never won a game in an Olympic finals tournament, would have none of it. This despite the fact the Norwegians had dropped their first two games as well, including an absolute 16-2 beating at the hands of Finland the last time out.

Norway started their backup goaltender, JORNA GOLDSTEIN and, thus inspired, actually outshot the United States 37-27 for the game and never trailed.

The Norwegians’ man of the match was none other than former Detroit Red Wing BJORN SKAARE, who might have been ruled ineligible to play on the eve of the tournament. The 25-year-old assisted on two of his country’s three goals in the game. Skaare totaled no goals and four assists in five games for Norway at the Sarajevo Games.    

Meanwhile, for the defending gold medalists from Lake Placid in 1980, there would be no repeat.

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In the spring of 1984, Bjorn Skaare returned to America to skate for the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League. Tulsa were the the top farm club for the Edmonton Oilers. Skaare played two games (1 go 1 as) in the regular season and nine (2 go 7 as) in the playoffs before returning to IF Furuset Oslo to start the next season.

The Edmonton Oilers later drafted defenseman AGE ELLINGSEN, who scored Norway’s second goal, in the eighth round (# 168 overall) at the 1987 NHL Draft. Ellingsen never played pro hockey in North America.

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