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OlympicIRL

Winter Olympic Games 2018 Official Countdown Thread

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Grenoble 1968

ussr1968.jpg

1968 Olympic Champions, USSR after defeating Canada in the last match 5-0 won the whole tournament one point ahead of Czechoslovakia

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games took place from 6th to 17th February 1968 in Grenoble, France. The tournament served also as the 35th Ice Hockey World Championships and as the 46th Ice Hockey European Championships as well. This was the last Olympic Tournament to include the World and European Championships.

 

The games were played in 2 places, the main stadium was the Palais des Glaces and remaining matches were contested at the Patinoire Municipale both in Grenoble.

 

The USSR maintained their title from Innsbruck and won 3rd Olympic Title, also their 8th World title and 12th Continental European crown. Czechoslovakia took silver again and after 8 years finally defeated the Soviets in one of the most memorable games of the Ice Hockey history, they were even in the way for gold but because of the draw in the last game with Sweden lost the Olympic title by only 1 point and Canada completed the podiums top three winning the bronze medals. Sweden finished fourth and won the European bronze.

 

For the first and only time not all participating countries were allowed to fight for medals, the lowest seeded teams Japan, Austria and host France were directly placed into the so-called consolation round aka "B" Category World Championships. Because of this such countries as Poland and Italy decided to boycott the tournament and declined their participation.

 

14 Countries attended the tournament, 5 top seeded USSR, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Canada and USA got a automatical bye into the Medal round, next 6 nations had to play in the first round a direct play-off qualification match, the three winning teams advanced to the medal round and 3 losing teams to the consolation round were they joined Japan, Austria and France directly placed in the bottom tier of the tournament. Both second rounds was disputed in a traditional round-robin format (Every team played once against each opponent, the team with highest amount of points in the end won), the top 8 in the medal round the remaining 6 in the consolation round.

 

For the first time both German teams participated to the tournament and both won their first round games. Debuting East Germany defeated Norway 3-1 and West Germany outclassed Romania 7-0 in the last qualification match Finland send Yugoslavia to the consolation group after a 11-2 win.

 

Finland was also one of the biggest sensations of these games. In the medal round they managed to beat for the first time in history Canada 5-2. At these times an incredible result for the players led by the Czechoslovak coach Gustav Bubník. Finland has already beat one of the top 4 countries in the previous year at the 1967 World championships they shocked Czechoslovakia beating them 3-1, these results just showed that the hockey quality in Finland started to grow extremely rapidly and prepared everyone that in the future Finland will be definitely a rising threat.

 

ledni-hokej04-grenoble-1968.jpg

Czechoslovakia - USSR  5-4

 

ledni-hokej07-grenoble-1968.jpg

1968 Medalists

 

The Medal round introduced this time a fantastic tournament, full of great hockey and big dramas with a unprecedented thrilling finish. In the penultimate game day, in one of the best history ice hockey matches Czechoslovakia defeated USSR 5-4 in a game full of political backstage and extremely rivalry coming in the sadly famous year of 1968 around the Prague spring attempt and finished by the Warsaw pact armies occupation of Czechoslovakia later in August this year. The lose also broke a great 39 straight world championship winning match record of the ex-USSR team. The win however came after the lose from Canada 3-2 and returned the Czechoslovakian team in the advantage in the tie-break formula ahead of the Soviets, since both teams had 10 points for 5 games and 1 lose, the same was also about Canada. So a incredibly thrilling last day was to came. USSR yet faced Canada and Czechoslovakia had to play Sweden. Unfortunately Czechoslovakia threw the gold chance away after a tie with the "tre kronors" and USSR immediately took the opportunity to take gold, the team led by the iconic coach Arkady Chernyshev defeated Canada in the last game that day 5-0 and won their 3rd Olympic title and second in a row ahead of the Czechoslovaks and Canadians.

 

Behind the top-three finished Sweden 1 point outside the podium, historic 5th place earned Finland ahead of the United States and both German teams, 7th West Germany won in the derby against 8th East Germany 4-2.

 

Yugoslavia topped the consolation round to grab the 9th place winning all 5 matches of the "B" group ahead of Japan and Norway, The host France finished last 14th pointless in the whole tournament.

 

Czechoslovakia arrived to Grenoble with one of it´s best and most talented team in all history, including such huge names as the biggest slovak ice hockey history stars with Vladimír Dzurilla in the net or Jozef Golonka and Václav Nedomanský in the field. The team was immediately seeded into the medal round robin. And started excellently winning both first games 5-1 against USA and West Germany, first troubles came in the next game with Finland and only thanks a better 2nd period for their side they took the win 4-3 over the "Suomis". Meanwhile thanks a highly offensive and attractive play the team started to be one of the most popular teams among the local fans, the attractive system was shown also in the next winning match over East Germany 10-3. Unfortunately the winning streak came to end in the next game a disastrous second period costed the lose against Canada 2-3, If the team wanted to win gold they had to beat the USSR and they did it in the epic game finished by a 5-4 Czechoslovak win. In the last game the team needed to beat Sweden to take the title but under the pressure failed and reached only a tie 2-2 resulting in silver medals.

 

 

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Hockey and politics.

Czechoslovakia beat USSR 5-4 a game which entered to the history as the first part of the so-called Czechoslovak hockey riots https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovak_Hockey_Riots.

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. USSR :WHT

2. Czechoslovakia :CZE

3. Canada :CAN

4. Sweden

5. Finland

6. United States

7. West Germany

8. East Germany

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Yugoslavia  -  Consolation Round

10. Japan  - Consolation Round

11. Norway  - Consolation Round

12. Romania  - Consolation Round

13. Austria  - Consolation Round

14. France  - Consolation Round

 

Last seconds of the Czechoslovakia - USSR memorable match

 

 

 

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OlympicIRL    993

 14 weeks to go - Olympic Flame Arrives in Incheon ! 

 

 

 

Just 14 weeks to go now and the Olympic flame reached Incheon on Wednesday.... that's another two pieces of the logo in place :)

 

 

 

Key:
a1 6 months to go
a2 3 months to go
a3 1 month to go
b1 150 days to go
b2 100 days to go
b3 75 days to go
c1 Four Hills Tournament begins
c2 Hahnenkamm Race begins
c3 Winter X Games begin
d1 tickets go on sale
d2 2018 Olympic year arrives (Jan 1st)
d3 2018 Olympic Prediction Contests Open on Totallympics
e1 lighting of Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece
e2 Olympic flame arrives in Incheon
e3 Olympic flame arrives in Gangwon province
x Olympic cauldron is lit

 

 

 

 

 

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  13       8                
                           
7 6 5 4 3 2 1              

 

PyeongChang 2018

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Sapporo 1972

original.png?1378243259

1972 Olympic Champions,

USSR team including such world super stars as one of the best ever hockey lines

Valery Kharlamov, Vladimir Petrov, Boris Mikhailov

or the Goaltender Vladislav Tretiak won the tournament with redoubtable superiority

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1972, took place for the first time in Asia, in Sapporo, Japan. The matches were held in 2 rinks at the Makomanai Ice Arena and at the Tsukisamu Indoor Ice Rink from 3rd to 13th February 1972.

 

Losing only 1 single point after a draw with Sweden, the team of USSR absolutely dominated the tournament and won their 4th Olympic Title (3rd in a row), United States won a extremely surprising Silver and Czechoslovakia took the Bronze.

 

Canada for the first time in history did not participated to a Olympic Ice Hockey tournament. In consequences to the general frustration about not allowing to play their best players from the NHL, Canada decided to not take part to any International competition (Canada also did not participated to the World Championships events) this boycott lasted until 1977 World Championships and under the 5 rings until the 1980 Olympics when IIHF adapted new eligibility rules which allowed professional players to compete. Canada was still arguing about the unfair situation in comparison to the former Communist Hockey powerhouses Soviet Union and former Czechoslovakia, which both always played with their "Amateur Professional" players "hidden employees" in the military organizations of their countries, seeing that things not were not improving, Canadian officials announced their withdrawals from all IIHF international events.

 

The tournament was attended by 11 teams, After Canada´s withdrawal there were 14 teams expected to participate, but East Germany, France and Romania all decided to withdrew from the tournament just a couple of weeks before the start of the Olympics, mainly due to financial reasons. The 11 remaining Nations were seeded according to their placements in the IIHF Ranking, the highest ranked USSR got a automatical bye for the Medal Round-Robin. All other 10 teams played qualification matches (once again according the IIHF ranking) the five winners advanced to the medal robin, the 5 losing teams to the Consolation Round-Robin for 7th place. The round-robin were played with the traditional format every team affronted once each opponent.

 

In the Qualification round, almost all expected favorites won their first game and did qualified for the medal round, Finland with the higher margin defeated Norway 13-1, Sweden beat Yugoslavia 8-1, Czechoslovakia defeated the host Japan 8-2 and USA send to the consolation Round the newly returning Switzerland 5-3, The only biggest upset was created by Poland who shocked the seeded West Germany by a result 4-0 and won their ticket for the medal round.

 

USSR dominated strongly the tournament, they won the medal round with absolute superiority, Collecting 9 of the 10 possible points, they lost only 1 after the draw with Sweden 3-3. But they still had to beat Czechoslovakia in the tournaments last day to secure gold, and they did it in fact easily beating their rivals 5-2. Clearly the biggest surprise of the tournament was the USA team, no one expected such Miracle as happen in Squaw Valley 1960, even any medal would be really surprising, the experts expected them to finish even behind Finland at 5th place, Even the start in the medal round wasn´t promising at all USA lost severly to Sweden 1-5, but since then United States experienced a great tournament, losing only one remaining game to the USSR 2-7 but wins over Czechoslovakia 5-1 and Finland 4-1 bring them a completely shocking silver with 6 points. Czechoslovakia took the bronze also with 6 points (worse head to head confrontation with the USA 1-5) but must be thankful especially to Finland, since it´s the "Suomis" who brought them the medal after a surprising and historic triumph over their neighbors from Sweden in the last day 4-3 which costed to the "tre kronor" the medal. Sweden finished then highly disappointed 4th with 5 points just in front of Finland with 4 points, Poland finished 6th last in the medal round pointless, but already a top 6 was a very pleasant surprise for Poland ice hockey and showed that hockey was slowly returning to the better futures in this country.

 

curran-72.jpg

If the team of 1980 is called as the miracle in ice and the team of 1960 the forgotten miracle,

then the USA team of 1972 could be called the completely overlooked miracle. USA won a totally unexpected silver.

Picture from the match against USSR won 7-2 by the Soviets.

 

 

Another strongly disappointed team West Germany topped the consolation round to finish 7th ahead of 8th Norway, and 9th host Japan.

 

Czechoslovakia ranked as the 2nd best team in the world according to IIHF ranking, send a very similar team to the one from Grenoble 1968 and was dreaming about the first historic Olympic gold, but this time it wasn´t so close to the absolute success at all. The start was good, the opening match of the Games finished with a expected and easy win over Japan 8-2, but the players showed also a alarming lack of scoring efficiency, missing a lot of goal occasions, it revealed later in the tournament unfortunately as the most important problem. The team debuted the medal round with a match against Poland, the surprising final round participant, Czechoslovakia won over a already satisfied and not really in this match battling opponent highly 14-1, peoples started to see this team again very high, but ...then came the fall a unexpected failure 1-5 with the United States was a shocking moment and fully showed the offensive problems of this team. the dream of gold was probably over said the critics in the medias. The players responded immediately with a great effort and finally a entertaining performance resulting in 2 very important wins 7-1 over Finland and especially a hardly fought win 2-1 against Sweden. Still before the last day the team knew that if they lose to USSR they will not have the eventual podium place in their own hands. the team lost to the Soviets 2-5, but a unexpected and very welcome help came from Finland that defeated surprisingly the Swedes 4-3 and brought to our team the Bronze medal.

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. USSR :WHT

2. United States :USA

3. Czechoslovakia :CZE

4. Sweden

5. Finland

6. Poland

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. West Germany  -  Consolation Round

8. Norway  - Consolation Round

9. Japan  - Consolation Round

10. Switzerland  - Consolation Round

11. Yugoslavia  - Consolation Round

 

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OlympicIRL    993

 

 13 weeks / 3 months to go ! 

 

 

 

Two more milestones have been passed this week..... the Games are now just 13 weeks away and the 3 months to go barrier has also been breached!

 

 

 

Key:
a1 6 months to go
a2 3 months to go
a3 1 month to go
b1 150 days to go
b2 100 days to go
b3 75 days to go
c1 Four Hills Tournament begins
c2 Hahnenkamm Race begins
c3 Winter X Games begin
d1 tickets go on sale
d2 2018 Olympic year arrives (Jan 1st)
d3 2018 Olympic Prediction Contests Open on Totallympics
e1 lighting of Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece
e2 Olympic flame arrives in Incheon
e3 Olympic flame arrives in Gangwon province
x Olympic cauldron is lit

 

 

 

 

 

                                   30        
                   30     30     c1  
                30 30   e3   c2    
                30   b3 x c3 30    
                  a3 d3      
                30     d2    
          12   30         30  
          11                
          10                
          9                
          8                
                           
7 6 5 4 3 2 1              

 

PyeongChang 2018

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--------49-----------------48------------------27-----------------24-------------------04----------------01-

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--47----------------------------46-------29-----------------------------22-------06----------------------------03

--------------------------------------36--------------------------------------16-------------------------------

--45-----------------------38--43-------30--33-------------------16--21-------08--13------------------------05

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------44-----------40---41------------------28--31-------20--23-------------------10--11-----------07---

------------------42--------------------------------------26--------------------------------------09-------------

----------------------39-----------------------------32-------19----------------------------12-----------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------37-----------------34-------------------17----------------14-------------

--------------------------------------35--------------------------------------15---------

 
 

 

 

 

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Innsbruck 1976

normal.png?1378324570

Soviet Union, 1976 Olympic Champions, 5th Olympic title (4th in a row)

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1976, took place at the Olympiahalle, Innsbruck, Austria. The same venue which hosted the Olympic tournament 12 years ago. The Consolation round matches were contested at the smaller Messehalle also in Innsbruck. The tournament was attended by 12 teams and was played from 2nd to 14th February 1976.

 

USSR won their 5th Olympic title (4th in a row) ahead of 2nd Czechoslovakia and 3rd West Germany. Just like 4 years ago in Sapporo, Canada once again decided to not participate. The Canadians continued their boycott, protesting against the "Amateur rules" which strongly advantaged the former Communist hockey powerhouses using their eligible "hidden employees" best players. But this time also Sweden having already at that time several players in the NHL, decided to join to the boycott and announced their withdrawal from the tournament. Other two additional qualified countries East Germany and Norway also did not participated to the tournament, confirming then only 12 participating nations.

 

All 12 countries were paired according to their placements in last previous Ice Hockey World Championships in 1975 into 6 qualification matches. The winners advanced to the Medal round and 6 losing teams went to the Consolation round (Group of 7th-12th places), both were played in a traditional Round-Robin format (every team playing once each opponent).

 

The qualification matches ended without any big surprise, all 6 top seeded countries won their games and did qualified for the medal round. USSR outclassed the Host Austria 16-3, United States defeated Yugoslavia 8-4, Finland won over Japan 11-2, West Germany against Switzerland 5-1 and Poland over Romania 7-4. Another big favorite of the tournament Czechoslovakia defeated the debuting Bulgaria 14-1.

 

Czechoslovakia was considered to be the main rival of the Soviets. The current Czechoslovakian team was at that time one of the strongest and most talented teams in the history, which was later proved by two back-to-back world champion titles in Katowice and Vienna 76 and 77. Unfortunately the team suffered several hard experiences in Innsbruck, everything started with a contagious Flu epidemic inside the team resulting in the game against Poland, when the team played with only 12 players on the bench. Czechoslovakia still managed to defeat the Poles easily 7-1 but one of the players using antibiotics ordered by the doctor was caught after the game for doping violation, the result was then recorded in favor of Poland 1-0, Poland did not receive any point though. But The sudden and unexpected loss of points from this match stopped considerably the hope for gold.

But still before the final day they were still in the battle for the overall triumph in case of win against USSR. The match started well for the Czechoslovaks, leading 2-0 and 3-2 during the match, but the Soviets managed to score two late goals (the winner scored by the legendary Kharlamov in the 56th minute) and win the game 4-3 to winning gold with 10 points.

 

e4c6beb1.jpg

As expected the USSR - Czechoslovakia clash scheduled for the last day, was the real finale and "direct" match for gold

 

The other big surprise of the tournament was definitely the West German team. winning bronze, which is still valuated as one of the biggest result in the history of German ice Hockey. After the withdrawal of Canada and Sweden, it was Finland (which finished 4th in the last six world championships in a row !!!) who was considered as the main favorite for bronze ahead of USA. But it was the West Germans who took the bronze topping the mini table of 3 teams finishing the medal round with 4 points behind USSR and Czechoslovakia. West Germany lost to Finland 3-5 in the final round second game, but After the surprising win of the Americans over Finland 5-4, The win 4-1 in the very last match against the United States was enough for the team around Erich Kuhnhackel to finish third ahead of 4th Finland and 5th USA. Poland just like 4 years ago finished again last 6th in the medal round pointless.

 

38364946_303.jpg

The biggest surprise of the tournament was definitely the West German team, picture from the winning last match over the United States (4-1) which brought them the unexpected Bronze

 

 

Romania with 8 points topped the consolation round to grab a valuable 7th place just in front of 8th Austria and 9th Japan.

 

Czechoslovakia with a team that won the world title a couple of months later and maintained it also the next year too started the tournament very well recording a easy win over the debuting Bulgaria in the qualification game 14-1,

but then started troubles.

At first a serious influenza inside the team, with many players resting in the Olympic village because of illness a decimated team entered the medal round. In the first matches it was enough, but they fought hard to beat Finland 2-1, scoring two unanswered goals in the second part of the game and turning the outcome of the match. In the second game the team defeated USA 5-0 with only 14 players fielded in the line up. In the next match it was only 12 players assigned in the 7-1 win over Poland. Unfortunately one of them was tested positive after the match and the team consequently lost the match 0-1 and lost the points from the match.

The really Angry team then defeated the West Germans 7-4 to definitely assure at least the medal. there was finally still a chance for the gold in case of win over the Soviets in the last match, but the stronger Soviet players won this game 4-3 and took the gold. Until now this tournament is still considered as our another missed huge chance for the Olympic glory.

 

 

1a1a1a1a1a1a1a1a168.jpg

1976 Olympic medalists, from left Czechoslovakia, USSR, West Germany

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. USSR :WHT

2. Czechoslovakia :CZE

3. West Germany :GER

4. Finland

5. United States

6. Poland

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Romania  -  Consolation Round

8. Austria  - Consolation Round

9. Japan  - Consolation Round

10. Yugoslavia  - Consolation Round

11. Switzerland  - Consolation Round

12. Bulgaria - Consolation Round

 

 

Japanese TV Highlights of the Final match USSR vs Czechoslovakia deciding the Gold

 

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Lake Placid 1980

miracle-on-ice-022215-usnews-getty-ftr_9

United States,

1980 Olympic Champions,

the 22nd February 1980 a team of Collegiate players defeated the top favorite USSR team to reach one of the biggest upsets of the world Sports history,

called by the US press as the "Miracle on Ice"

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1980 took place from 12th to 24th February 1980 in Lake Placid, USA. For the second time in history after 42 years this New York´s resort hosted the Winter Olympic Games. The matches were played at the Olympic Arena and at the Olympic Fieldhouse.

 

The tournament wasn´t by far the most famous hockey event of history in term of field quality or by the level of the play itself. But, the 1980 Winter Olympic Ice Hockey tournament is Certainly the most famous and world-widely known ice hockey event thanks it´s epic outcome. One of the most underestimated hockey teams in history of this sport won a improbable and totally unexpected gold. The United States team formed from collegiate players shocked the world winning the Gold medals. Especially the win in the match over the top favorite USSR 4-3, became known as the so-called "Miracle on Ice". The win was in the USA considered as a great success and reason for pride of the western part of the world during a time of Cold War tensions, even though it was the next day win against Finland that secured the gold medal.

 

12 Nations entered the tournament. One of the highlights of the championship was the long time awaited return of Canada, which missed the last two tournaments and also Sweden after missing the last event in Innsbruck.

 

All teams were divided into 2 preliminary groups (particularly called the Red and Blue Divisions) Only the top 2 nations from both pools advanced to the final-four (A 4 nations round-robin deciding the medals, Teams from same groups carried their respective results from the preliminary round) the 3rd ranked Nations payed a direct 5th place match, called Consolation Round. Remaining 4 nations finished the tournament ranked by their positioning in the preliminary groups.

 

Three days before the Olympics USA composed by unknown players from US College teams led by the legendary coach Herb Brooks played a exhibition game in the Madison Square Garden against the USSR - 4 times Olympic Champions in a row - and submitted heavily 3-10 to the USSR´s Red Machine. In fact no one expected from the USA to finish among the top 2 teams from the group and this last test match was another prove about.

 

But the Americans experienced a crazy memorable tournament winning 6 of it´s seven games resulting in the second historic Olympic title (Just like in 1960 they won it at home) ahead of USSR winning 7th consecutive Olympic medal (1st silver) and Sweden returning to the medal podium after 12 years.

 

25704.jpg

USA - USSR 4-3 or the "Miracle on Ice",

two weeks before both teams played a exhibition game in the Madison Square Garden and the Soviets outclassed this same host team 10-3 !

 

In the preliminary round pools, Sweden and the United States advanced to the final-four from the Blue Division, Czechoslovakia disappointedly  finished only third and qualified for "only" the 5th place match. Romania, West Germany and Norway failed to advance from the group. In the Group B called Red Division it was as expected the USSR which dominated the field and topped the group without losing a single point. But the biggest upset of the preliminary round was the win of Finland over Canada 4-3 causing a unexpected final round qualification for the Finns. Canada finished just as Czechoslovakia in the other group only third in the group and in their Olympic return had to play only for 5th place.  Poland, debuting the Netherlands and Japan invited to replace the withdrawing East German team only few weeks before the games finished the tourney already in the first round.

 

USA and Sweden carried their 2-2 tie from the preliminary round into the final round, USSR advanced to the final-four with the best position of 2 points win over Finland 4-2. But already in the opening game of the last round surprisingly failed to the USA 3-4 in a match that entered the history as a synonym of one of the biggest sports surprise, the Miracle on Ice. The victory became one of the most iconic moments of the Games and in U.S. sports. Equally well-known was the television call of the final seconds of the game by Al Michaels, in which he famously declared in the final seconds,

 

Quote

" 11 seconds, you've got 10 seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game.

Do you believe in miracles?

YES! "

 

In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the "Miracle on Ice" the top sports moment of the 20th century.As part of its centennial celebration in 2008, the IIHF named the "Miracle on Ice" as the best international ice hockey story of the past 100 years.

 

After the 3-3 tie among the Nordic rivals Sweden and Finland, the Way for gold was suddenly and surprisingely open for the host team and the United States did it winning 4-2 against Finland to celebrating the second country´s olympic gold. USSR defeated the Swedes in the last match to earn silver. Sweden thanks to the point carried out from the preliminary round from the match with the USA got the Bronze one single point in front of Finland finishing Once again fourth !

 

001131636.jpg

If the win over USSR is the most known, the last step which brought the gold to the host team was the win in the last game against Finland 4-2

 

Czechoslovakia extremely disappointed by the outcome of the tournament at least wrote to it´s history the highest Olympic triumph over Canada in the consolation game to earn the 5th place ahead of the North Americans by 6-1.

 

Czechoslovakia send a rejuvenated but very strong team led by the famous Slovak brothers Peter, Anton and Marián Šťastný, altogether with Milan Nový they dominated the scoring leaders tables, the top 3 scorers of the tournament were from TCH team, but even this was not enough for the team to win any medal.

The tournament started with a easy win 11-0 over Norway in the opening day of the Blue Division, but two days later on the Valentines Day came a shock and absolute nightmare, the totally unexpected lose to the local strongly underestimated amateur players of the United States team 3-7. After this failure the staff knew the only way for the medals will be by winning over Sweden, but before this the team had to win also the remaining preliminary games, the team managed it more or less easily beating 7-2 Romania and 11-3 over West Germany thanks a goal festival of the Šťastný brothers. But the last step remained unfinished Czechoslovakia lost to Sweden in a typical do-or-die tense and nervous match 2-4.

The result send the team only to the 3rd place, meaning only a 5th place match against Canada, similarly disappointed team from the other group. The team at least showed more will in the last match and finished a unsuccessful tournament by a high and not usual win over Canada 6-1.

 

 

5FB36906-2210-4EA9-9E82-744B9103D190_w65

1980 Olympic Medalists,

Gold USA, Silver USSR, Bronze Sweden

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. United States :USA

2. USSR :WHT

3. Sweden :SWE

4. Finland

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Czechoslovakia -  Consolation Round

6. Canada -  Consolation Round

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Poland  -  Preliminary Round

8. Romania  -  Preliminary Round

9. Netherlands  -  Preliminary Round

10. West Germany  -  Preliminary Round

11. Norway  -  Preliminary Round

12. Japan  -  Preliminary Round

 

36d6ab795ccff4dc4fd011275879965d.jpg

In 2002 it was the members of the 1980 olympic winning team that had the honor to light the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics opening ceremony cauldron

 

 

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Sarajevo 1984

original.png?1378491716

USSR,

1984 Olympic Champions,

Team with legendary players such Makarov, Larionv, Krutov, Fetisov and led by one of the most successful Hockey coach of history Viktor Tikhonov finished the tournament unbeaten

 

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1984 took place from 7th to 19th February 1984 in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia, nowadays Capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The matches were played at the Skenderija Olympic Hall and at the Olympic Hall Zetra (Including the final matches).

 

USSR returning back after 8 years to the Olympic Hockey throne won it´s sixth Ice Hockey Gold medal and tied the historical record of the Canadians. Czechoslovakia also returning to the Olympic Hockey podium after 8 years as well took the silver medals and Sweden grab the Bronze medals just in front of Canada still failing to medal in Ice Hockey since 1960´s Squaw Valley silver !!!

 

12 Countries attended the tournament, After East Germany declining their quota, the last spot was contested in a qualification play-off match between Norway and the Netherlands, both games disputed in West Germany and Norway winning the Olympic ticket by 14-6 in Aggregate.

 

The format remained the same as the one used in Lake Placid four years ago. The 12 teams were divided into 2 Preliminary pools, The top 2 ranked nations from both Groups advanced to the Final-Four medal round-Robin (Carrying the results achieved between the qualified teams from the preliminary round). the 3rd ranked nations of both groups played a 5th place match, the 4th ranked countries a 7th Place game, The all remaining 4 nations were ranked by their standings in the preliminary pool.

 

Only two teams from the last previous Olympic tournaments final-four advanced to the medal round this time too, and both from the Preliminary Group A. USSR and Sweden, The Soviets entered the final round with a advantage of 2 points and score 10-1 from the win over the Swedes. The other 2 finalists from Lake Placid Finland and reigning champions USA failed to qualify for the medal round this time. Czechoslovakia and Canada took the qualifying places for the final four with the Czechoslovaks in better position with 2 points win 4-0 over Canada.

 

Already after the first matches of the final-four both preliminary round winners were assured to medal. USSR won against Canada 4-0 and Czechoslovakia defeated Sweden 2-0. So everything was clear before the final day of the Games. USSR and Czechoslovakia faced each other for Gold and Silver, Canada and Sweden played a bronze medal bout.

 

zdroj-ice-hockey-stat-com-sergej-makarov

USSR vs Czechoslovakia the very last scheduled match of the tournament was also the match for gold

 

Both Games finished 2-0 in favor of the Swedes (winning Bronze) and Soviets (winning their 6th Gold and 8th consecutive Olympic medal since 1952 and their debut under the five rings). Czechoslovakia had once again to handle with Silver, Still waiting for this "cursed" Gold, Canada finished again behind the podium, incredibly prolonging the no medal streak to 24 years now.

 

West Germany defeated Finland to finish in a very nice and valuable 5th place ahead of their opponents. A nice result achieved mainly thanks to one of the best German players of all times. Erich Kuhnhackl with 14 points was the top scorer of the tournament.

 

The biggest disappointment of the tournament was the reigning champion. United States finished only seventh, far behind the miracle they provided 4 years back at home, At least the won their last tournament´s match winning the 7th place battle against Poland.

 

Italy, Austria, the host Yugoslavia and Norway finished the tournament already in the preliminary groups and were ranked in this order from 9th to 12th place.

 

Czechoslovakia after the failure in lake Placid and the "Emigration case" of the Šťastný brothers to Canada, decided to rebuild completely the team for the Sarajevo Games. and the coach Luděk Bukáč introduced to the world one of the best Czechoslovakian Ice Hockey squad of history around players as Lála, Vladimír Ružička, Hrdina, Pašek or the redoubted "Slovak line" Igor Liba, Dárius Rusnák, Vincent Lukáč.

 

In the preliminary round the team entered the tournament by a win 10-4 over Norway, followed by a "vendetta" win against the title holders from the United States 4-1. Especially this win brought to the team the biggest boost and so needed self-confidence. In the next match the team showed another higher level of play in the easy and spectacular win over Austria 13-0. Everything was ready for the last 2 games against Finland and Canada. And the team held the pressure in a fantastic way scoring two another easy wins 7-2 over the "Suomis" and especially the 4-0 triumph against Canada, which was even more important because thanks this result the team needed only one more win in the final four to assure the medal.

 

And they did it. Winning Sweden 2-0 thanks two goals in the last 15 minutes. The medal was assured and only one match remained. the  fight for gold against USSR. Both unbeaten teams met in the very last game of the Olympics and Once agains as many many times before Czechoslovakia failed in this final step losing 0-2 to their eternal rivals. led by one of the best Ice Hockey lines of the history of this sport --- Makarov, Larionov, Krutov

 

sarajevo-ilu-big.jpg

Game Over. The Soviets just scored and assured the sixth Olympic title of their history.

 

USSR won the tournament by winning all matches.

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. USSR :WHT

2. Czechoslovakia :CZE

3. Sweden :SWE

4. Canada

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. West Germany -  Consolation Round

6. Finland -  Consolation Round

7. United States - Consolation Round

8. Poland - Consolation Round

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Italy  -  Preliminary Round

10. Austria  -  Preliminary Round

11. Yugoslavia  -  Preliminary Round

12. Norway  -  Preliminary Round

 

 

Last 2 and half minutes of the final match USSR - Czechoslovakia

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Calgary 1988

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USSR,

1988 Olympic Champions,

One year before the fall of communism, the Soviet team won their 7th Historic Olympic title, becoming at that time the most successful Olympic Ice Hockey nation, surpassing the host country Canada with 6 titles back then

 

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1988, took place from the 13th to the 28th February 1988 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The games were played in the Olympic Saddledome (Including the decisive matches) but also at the Stampede Corral and at the Father David Bauer Olympic Arena. It was the first Olympic tournament held in the birth place of this sport, Untill now it´s also the only one tournament in North America not won by any of USA or Canada.

 

USSR retained their Olympic gold from Sarajevo 1984, this time they won their 7th Historic title, Overpassing Canada at this time in the historical medal tally. The biggest surprise of the tournament was Finland, After so many bad luck and disappointing 4th places, the "Suomis" finally won their first ever ice hockey Olympic medal - Silver, just ahead of their eternal rivals from Sweden retaining bronze from 1984. Canada prolonged the disastrous no-medal streak to another 4 years finishing 4th. The biggest failure was however the Czechoslovakian team which absolutely flopped in Calgary finishing far from the expected positions on 6th place even behind the West German team.

 

12 Countries attended the tournament, the 11 top ranked nations from the 1987 Word Championships were qualified directly, Japan and France played in West Germany a intercontinental play-off for the last spot. The French team won this quota beating the Japanese 8-6 in Aggregate.

 

The playing format slightly changed but was in general quite similar as for the last previous tournaments. the 12 teams were divided into 2 preliminary pools, but now it was the top 3 from both groups who earned their qualifications for the medal round (Final-Six) played in a traditional round-Robin (Every team played once each opponent - but only from the opposite group, since the results from the previous matches with teams from their own groups were carried and counted in the final round). Teams ranked 4th from both groups played a match for 7th place, Teams ranked 5th faced each other in a 9th place game and last teams from both pools played the 11th place game.

 

The all 3 favorites advanced as expected from the Group A, surprisingly it was Finland who topped the group and went to the final round with the best position of 3 carried points from the historical win 3-1 over the host Canada and the 3-3 tie with Sweden. The Finns started the tournament very bad losing their opening game to Switzerland, but since then Finland became unbeatable in the remaining games of the pool A. Sweden with 2 points from the ties with Finland and 2- 2 against Canada advanced from second position, the trio was completed by the host, Canada acceding to the final six with only 1 single point was even a bit worrying for the local fans.

To notice is also the small doping violation episode from this group, Poland won easily over France but because one of their player was found guilty for doping violation the match was recorded to the French but without winning points.

 

Also from Group B the main favorites qualified for the medal round, only West Germany surprised finishing second behind the unbeaten USSR and in front of Czechoslovakia. Mainly because the upset caused in the opening day by the win 2-1 over the Czechoslovaks, West Germany entered the final round with 2 points, Czechoslovakia losing also to USSR had huge and unexpected troubles to even qualify but winning against USA they at least avoided the absolute failure, meanwhile entering the medal round pointless wasn´t exactly the best position.

 

After USSR defeating Canada 5-0 and Sweden 7-1 was already the gold medalist one day before the end of the medal round. In the last day there was still a huge fight for the remaining medals Finland, Sweden and Canada were all in the battle.

After Canada won against Czechoslovakia 6-3 the host team jumped on the medal, but only until the very last match of the championship and the biggest upset of the tournament.

Finland shocked the hockey planet beating USSR 2-1. This was the only lose of points in the whole tourney the Soviets suffered in Calgary. The win meant a Great and historic moment for the Finland´s Ice Hockey, finishing second and winning the Silver medals. Sweden also secured the medal beating pleasantly surprising team of West Germany 3-2 in this last day.

 

1764117.jpg

Finland was the biggest surprise of the tournament winning finally their first medal, Silver

 

For the first time in history a Olympic Ice hockey match ended by shoot-out, in the 11th place Match the result was still not decided between France and Norway even after the Overtime, so the famous ice hockey "penalties sessions" had to be used for the fist time, ending in France´s favor 7-6.

 

Czechoslovakia, reigning silver medalist had to experience a very painful tournament. Already the start was just disastrous, The shocking news of a lose to the West German team 1-2 came from Calgary after the opening day immediately destroying the usual  high expectations atmosphere among the fans and the public about this team composed almost entirely by the 1985 World Champions. In the second match the team had to fight really hard again to beat the United States 7-5 to at least renew the chances of the qualification for the medal round. 8 minute to go it was still 4-5 for the US and the situation of the Czechoslovak team looked really bad, but 3 goals in the last minutes turned the outcome of the match and returned a bit of new hopes and faith among the team.

After next two expected easy wins 10-1 over Norway and 4-0 against Austria the qualification was confirmed. The problem was the points carried for the Final-Six. If the teams wanted to not enter the medal games pointless they had to grab something in the last game with the dominant team of USSR. Unfortunately there were no chances at all and the Soviets destroyed the Czechoslovak team 6-1 - Again thanks this diabolic line Makarov-Larionov-Krutov...

Thanks this situation, In The final round, there was only one way for medal, winning all 3 games. But already the first lose with Sweden 2-6 completed the disappointing failure in this tournament, the medal hopes were gone.. However even highly disappointed, the team showed some Olympic spirit and fight winning the next match against Finland 5-2 ! becoming the only team that defeated Finland in the Final-Six.

In the final match Czechoslovakia lost to the host country 3-6. Canada was still playing for the so wanted and needed medal and showed it by totally dominating this match.

6th place even behind West Germany was considered as a huge failure and fiasco in the country, starting few tense and hard months in local Ice hockey circles and political places...one year later the Communism failed opening new doors and ways in Czech and Slovak Hockey

 

 

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1988 Olympic Medalists

from left Finland, USSR and Sweden

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. USSR :WHT

2. Finland :FIN

3. Sweden :SWE

4. Canada

5. West Germany

6. Czechoslovakia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. United States

8. Switzerland

9. Austria

10. Poland 

11. France 

12. Norway 

 

 

One of the biggest surprises and upsets of Olympic Ice Hockey history, the last day win of Finland over USSR 2-1 resulting in first Finlands Olympic Ice hockey medal

 

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hckosice    1,785

Ice Hockey Tournament at Albertville 1992

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1992 Olympic Champions,

Few weeks after the collapse of the Soviet Union a Unified team representing 6 newly formed countries from the former Soviet bloc won the gold in it´s only Olympic appearance.

Who would have ever guessed at that time, that this is still the last Olympic gold in Ice Hockey for any country from the former USSR

 

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1992 took place from 8th to 23rd February 1992 in Albertville, France. All matches were played at the Méribel Arena in Méribel, a city 40 km from the center of the games Albertville in the french Savoy Region.

 

The tournament was played for the first time in a new format. The direct elimination play-offs after the preliminary round phase introduced it´s hockey debut under the five rings.

 

Few weeks after the collapse of the Soviet Union, 6 newly formed countries from the former USSR participated to the games under the Olympic Flag and was named "Unified Team". Their Ice Hockey team won the gold as the successor of the Soviet Ice hockey domination of the pas Olympics, it wasn´t considered as a surprise at all. But who would have guessed at that time that it will be the last Ice Hockey Olympic gold for a team from the former Soviet bloc.

 

Canada won silver, winning finally so needed medal for the birth country of this sport, Silver which stopped an unprecedented no-medal Olympic streak of long 24 years.

 

Another curious participation was the team of Czechoslovakia, living it´s last ever year as one country, The players meanwhile were able to win the bronze medal 10 months before the split up of the country in two new formed independent nations Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 

12 Countries attended the tournament. The top 11 from the IIHF 1991 Ranking + 1 team from the Qualification. Poland won the last quota beating Denmark in the qualifiers 15-9 in aggregate.

 

The participating teams were divided into 2 six teams composed preliminary pools A and B. The top 4 from each pool advanced to the first ever Olympic Ice Hockey knock-out phase (Quarter finals played in traditional cross-over format - Winner of Group A vs 4th of Group B, 2nd of Group A vs 3rd of Group B etc..., then semifinals and medal matches) the last two ranked nations from both pools played the 9th-12th placement games, the losing quarterfinalists played the 5th-8th placement games.

 

The preliminary Group A ended without particular surprises, all 4 favorites advanced to the play-offs. Mabe the biggest surprise was USA which topped the group with 9 points, losing only 1 point after a draw 3-3 with Sweden ranked second with 8 points, The reigning silver medalists Finland finished 3rd with 7 points and last qualified from this group was the newly unified Germany with 4 points thanks 2 important wins over 5th Italy (2 points) and last Poland (0 points).

 

Clearly much more tense was the group B with the big trio (all later medalists) Canada, Unified Team and Czechoslovakia, their respective matches were absolute highlights of the whole Olympic games in 1992. Czechoslovakia beating first the Unified team 4-3 in one of the best ever Ice Hockey matches, but losing easily to Canada 1-5, and in the last game the former Soviets defeated Canada in another extraordinary hockey match 5-4. All 3 teams finished the preliminary phase with 8 points, so a mini-table was necessary to rank them, Canada finished with the best tie-break and topped the Group meaning they had to face Germany in the Quarterfinals, The Unified Team was ranked 2nd and faced Finland in the play-offs, Czechoslovakia entered the play-off from 3rd place and get the always redoubtable Sweden in their quarterfinal. The last qualified was for the absolute enjoyment of the local fans the host country, France reached the biggest success of it´s Ice Hockey with this qualification to the quarterfinal against USA thanks 4 points earned in the group. 5th Switzerland with 2 points and last Norway pointless had to play the placement games.

 

07-92-028-02-08.jpg

One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the Tournament was the Host country team. France reached the quarterfinals and amazed the local fans with their great play.

Picture from the match with Czechoslovakia.

 

Canada was very near to the total flop in the quarterfinal against underestimated Germany, the match finished 3-3 and had to continue in a first ever play-offs shootout series, Canada was the luckiest team in this exercise and avoided the humiliating elimination. Germany however finished the tournament in a very valuable 6th place.

In the other quarterfinals the Unified Team defeated Finland 6-1, Czechoslovakia in another iconic and tense match won over Sweden 3-1. In the last quarterfinal The French Fairytale ended losing to the United States 1-4.

 

The Unified Team advanced to the final winning it´s semifinal against USA 5-2 and their opponent became Canada beating Czechoslovakia 4-2 in the second semifinal.

 

The last ever Czechoslovakian match in the Olympic history finished by a clear and easy win 6-1 over the United States in the Bronze medal match.

 

sport-1992-winter-olympic-games-albertvi

The 22nd February 1992 entered to the history, this day Czechoslovakia won in the Bronze medal match over the United States 6-1

and won in the last ever Czechoslovak Olympic Ice Hockey match the last ever Czechoslovak winter Olympic medal.

 

 

The last event of the games was the Ice Hockey final match between the Unified Team and Canada, in front of a full packed arena in Méribel both teams played another memorable and fantastic ice hockey game, All goals were scored in the last frame, The biggest star of the match was mainly Vyacheslav "Slava" Bykov the later longtime successful Russian Ice Hockey National team coach. who even scored the last goal of the match 2 minuets before the end closing the final score to 3-1.

 

Sweden topped the so-called consolation round to earn 5th place ahead of Germany, Finland and the host country of France. Norway finished 9th, Switzerland 10th, Poland 11th and Italy 12th.

 

10 months before the dissolution of the Republic, Czechoslovakia send to Albertville a team of players already knowing this will be their last ever Olympic tournament as one country. But still the players managed to join their forces and made a strong and unified team.

At same time as in Albertville were held the opening ceremony of the games and their team mates from other sports marched in the parade of nations, the Ice hockey players hadt to play their opening game of the Group B in Méribel. It was a one sided game with a easy win 10-1 over Norway. Already after 2 periods the score was 9-1.

2 Days later the team played in front of a full stadium against a highly motivated home team. And it was an absolutely different match this time, the team had to work really hard all 60 minutes to beat France 6-4, The french even lead 0-2 after first period.

In the next game, the team faced their eternal rivals but now under a new name and Olympic flag, the successor of the former USSR the Unified Team and it was a real epic match. The last ever game between both teams finished by a great win of Czechoslovakia 4-3, it was especially the match of the second line Lang, Rosol, Kašťák. Robert Lang scoring two goals adding one assist, Petr Rosol with 1+1.

After this success cam the fail. Horrible performance in the match against Canada, losing easily 1-5.

In the last game they won 4-2 over Switzerland. but after the Unified Team beat Canada 5-4, Czechoslovakia was ranked 3rd in the group and had to face the Swedes.

The quarterfinal presented another Ice Hockey highlight, a incredible tense and opened match full of great skills and action finished by the Czechoslovak triumph 3-1 thanks two last goals of Otakar Augusta and Patrik Augusta.

In the semifinal Czechoslovakia and Canada faced each other once again but once again with the same winner, Canada qualified for the final after another perfect performance 4-2.

The 22nd February 1992 entered to the history, this day Czechoslovakia played it´s last ever Olympic Ice Hockey match, the Bronze medal game against USA, And the players from both parts of the country played this memorable game with a clear and visible combativity and desire. Czechoslovakia won easily 6-1 and won the last ever Czechoslovak winter Olympic medal.

 

 

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. Unified Team :WHT

2. Canada :CAN

3. Czechoslovakia :CZE

4. United States

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Sweden

6. Germany

7. Finland

8. France

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Norway

10. Switzerland

11. Poland 

12. Italy 

 

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Players from the Unified Team celebrate their Gold Medal match triumph 3-1 over Canada

 

 

Video of the Epic Quarterfinals Shootout series between Canada and Germany

Spoiler

 

 

Last 2 minutes of the final Unified Team - Canada with the "Slava" Bykov goal

Spoiler

 

 

Highlights from the last ever Czechoslovakian Olympic team matches in Albertville (Czech TV)

Spoiler

 

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