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Punch-Up in Piestany - Story of the 1987 WJC Canada-Russia game

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Read a great account of the 1987 WJC Final game between Canada-Russia, which ended in a 2nd period bench clearing brawl and DQ'd both teams (robbing the Canadians of a medal in the process).

Title: When the Lights Went Out: How One Brawl Ended Hockey's Cold War and Changed the Game (Gare Joyce)

Lots of great stories about '94 legends Theoron Fleury (CGY), Alex Mogilny (BUF), Brendan Shanahan (STL) , Sergei Fedorov (DET), Slava Fetisov (NJD), Pierre Turgeon (NYI), Glen Wesley (BOS), Valeri Zelepukin (NJD), Jimmy Waite (CHI), Vladimir Konstantinov (DET), Steve Chiasson (DET), Chris Joseph (EDM), Luke Richardson (EDM), Yvon Corriveau (HFD), Mike Keane (MTL), Vladimir Malakhov (NYI), Greg Hawgood (PHI), Kerry Huffman (QUE), Dave McLlwain (TOR), Pat Elynuik (WAS), Evgeny Davydov (WPG).

The Russian team was out of the medal-hunt, but Canada had lucked there way into a guaranteed bronze medal, but could upgrade themselves to a silver with a win or a gold if they beat Russia by 5 goals. they didn't have medal rounds like they have now, it was a round robin tournament using wins and goals to rank the teams for medals.

It was a chippy game (to say the least), with many possible penalties occurring in the opening period, uncalled by the referee. It has been opined that this lack of 'control' is what allowed the game to get so badly out of hand. 

The opening goal was scored by Fleury, who proceeded to celebrate the goal by holding up his stick and shooting at the Russian bench.

By the middle of the 2nd period, a fight brewed that eventually had all but three players on the ice (Turgeon being one of them) - the refs had no hope to break up all of the fights and did the only thing they could think of. They turned out the lights in the arena.

The book's author does a great job of setting the scene, and follows it up with plenty of recent interviews with the players and coaches involved. It was shortly after this tournament that Mogilny defected, and many great Russian players followed. 

Here's a short history of the incident for those who were too young to have witnessed it.

 

 

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