Ice Hockey...and the opening matches in the 1978 Isvestia Cup International tournament, often called the?
Ice Hockey...and the opening matches in the 1978 Isvestia Cup International tournament, often called the min world championship, were played in Moscow on Saturday (16 December). Canada came from behind to force a 3-3 draw with Finland, but the Soviet Union overwhelmed a young Swedish side and finished comfortable winners with 6 goals to nil.
SYNOPSIS: Top national teams from all over the world took part. The Championship is held at the Luzhniki sports palace, and is a rehearsal for the World and European championships to be held here in April 1979. At the opening ceremony young girls in traditional dress presented the Canadian team with traditional gifts.
The first match on the ice was between Finland in the light shifts and Canada. The Canadians dominated Olympic competition until the mid 1950s when the Soviet Union took over. Their present team has a reputation for rough play and it was a hard game with Stamler of Canada earning an early penalty after striking an opponent.
After fifteen minutes of the second period the score was 2-2, when Antero Lehtonen scored his goal to put the Finns ahead.
Throughout the closely fought game the young Finnish team showed flair and imagination in attack. But they had trouble breaking down the experienced Canadian defence. Both goalminders made some fine saves in a hectic third period. The game flowed from end to end with Canada pressing for an equaliser.
But the Finnish goalminder Antero Kivela had no chance with Richie Hansen's equaliser.
The tournament's second match, between the Soviet Union and the light-shirted Swedish team brought an easy victory for the home side. The young Swedes did their best to make a game of it, but they were to be outclassed.
The Soviet Union's fifth goal came from a rare penalty shot, Victor Zhluktov slipping it past goalminder Edling.
Only a brave performance from the Swedish goalminder prevented the score reaching double-figures.
The Swedish coach believes he has a team of the future. But on this occasion they were not up to overcoming the Soviet shut-out.