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Viktor Tikhonov - USSR Hockey Coach One of the most familiar faces of Soviet Union hockey was the dour puss of coach Viktor Tikhonov who ran the Central Red Army club team and the Soviet National team with an iron fist and almost unchecked success for 20 years. Tikhonov was born on June 4, 1930. As a player, Tikhonov was a defenceman with the Soviet Air Force and Dynamo Moscow clubs, but he wasn't well known internationally until he became the head coach of both the Central Red Army team and the Soviet Union's national team in 1977. At one point Red Army won 13 consecutive Soviet Elite League titles--which isn't all that surprising considering Tikhonov had the authority of a Red Army general and could immediately draft any player into the armed forces if he showed promise. The USSR won eight IIHF world titles under Tikhonov plus Olympic gold medals in 1984, 1988 and 1992. The USSR's national team also won the 1979 Challenge Cup and 1981 Canada Cup. Tikhonov had power over his players' lives and used it to control every aspect of his team. They routinely trained together for 50 weeks per year while living in army barracks. Canadian hockey great Phil Esposito said the so-called Soviet "amateurs" were more professional than NHL players. Humorless and ruthless, Tikhonov was known for his dictatorial coaching style. He exercised control over his players' lives. His expected absolute obedience--or else. His players quietly called him "the last Stalinist." With tongue-in-cheek humor, western media often referred to Tikhonov as "Chuckles." Tikhonov constantly feared his players would defect if they ever got the slightest chance. Anyone he merely suspected of defecting would be left off teams planning to travel outside the Iron Curtain. In 1991, for instance, he cut Pavel Bure, Valeri Zelepukin, Evgeny Davydov, and Vladimir Konstantinov just before the 1991 Canada Cup. All of them had been drafted by NHL teams, and Tikhonov suspected they were flight risks. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tikhonov stayed on as the national team coach of Russia for a few more years, but the newer players rebelled against his harsh authoritarian ways. Tikhonov mellowed slighty before going into retirement in 1996. After his retirement, Tikhonov lobbied the Russian government for more attention and better financing for the national team. His grandson plays on the current Russian national squad. Tikhonov died in November 2014.
Tags: hockey  coach  USSR  Viktor  Tikhonov 
Added: 19th February 2014
Views: 550
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Posted By: Lava1964
Canada Beats USSR - 1955 IIHF Tourney The International Ice Hockey Federation has been holding world championship tourneys since 1908. Prior to 1977 the events operated as strictly amateur tourneys much like the Olympic Games once did. Canada typically sent local teams to the IIHF championship and still routinely dominated the tourneys against European national teams. In 1954 the Soviet Union sent a team to world championship for the first time and surprised Canada 7-2 to win the title in Stockholm. With the tournament being held in West Germany in 1955, Canada sent its national amateur finalist team--the Penticton (BC) Vees--to regain national honor. Nine teams competed in the round-robin event. Both the Soviet Union and Canada were 7-0 going into their meeting, so the winner would get the gold medals. The crowd in Krefeld, West Germany included numerous Canadian military personnel stationed nearby along with boisterous German locals who hated all things Russian. The Vees--led by the three Warwick brothers--won handily, 5-0. The Canadian team only allowed six goals in eight games. Here is about a minute of silent newsreel footage of the last game--including two Canadian goals. There's a terrific monument in Penticton that honors the 1955 Vees. History does repeat itself: Sixty years later Canada won the 2015 tourney by defeating the Russians again by five goals. This time the score was 6-1.
Tags: Penticton  Vees  1955  IIHF  hockey 
Added: 20th May 2015
Views: 567
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Posted By: Lava1964
Wayne Gretzky Interviewed at Age 16 Wayne Gretzky was a well known figure in hockey circles in Canada when he was a preteen. As an eight-year-old in Brantford, ON he was competing against 11-year-olds on travel teams. This interview was conducted during the 1977-78 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship tournament in Canada in which a soon-to-be-17-year-old Gretzky was starring on the Canadian team. Despite Gretzky's confident prediction, Canada finished third in the tourney. The smooth-voiced Bill Stephenson is the easygoing interviewer. He was a familiar Canadian radio announcer for many years.
Tags: Wayne  Gretzky  interview  hockey  IIHF  juniors 
Added: 22nd June 2015
Views: 537
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964

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