IHLC Results – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 6-5 Soviet Union ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ – 15 Sep 1987

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 6-5 Soviet Union ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ
Canada Cupย Final, Game 3
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Tuesday, 15 September 1987

Although the history of hockey has many touchstones for any ideal of greatness, there was arguably no finer hockey ever played than in the best-of-three finals of the 1987 Canada Cup between the host nation and the Soviet Union. Of course, there have been other exceptional moments in the game.

But 1987 had it all. It featured games in the modern era, where every minute of every game could be captured on film and appreciated time and again and compared to other great modern moments; it had familiar players; it had late-game heroics; and, most of all, it featured a pure level of skill that has never been matched before or since.

The tournament will always be remembered for Canadian coach Mike Keenanโ€™s mid-tournament decision to play Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux on the same line. Their performance will go down in hockey history as probably as the best one-two punch displayed in one international tournament ever. Gretzky finished the tournament with 21 points (3 goals and 18 assists) in nine games, while Lemieux had 18 (11 + 7).

The Soviet Union reached the final by defeating Sweden in the semis 4-2, while Canada struggled against a pesky Czechoslovak team, but prevailed 5-3. This set up the finals many fans were hoping for, and the anticipation was exceeded only by the drama of the three games; the first at the Montrรฉal Forum, the two last out in Hamilton, Ontario.

In game one, Mike Gartner scored early for Canada but by the end of the first period the Soviets led 3-1 and were in control. The teams exchanged goals in the second, and this set the stage for a dramatic comeback by Canada in the final 20 minutes. Indeed, Canada scored three times to take a 5-4 lead, and it was Andrei Khomutov that tied that game at 17:33 to force overtime. The nailbiting fourth period didnโ€™t last long, but it was played at ferocious speed and both teams had chances to win. However, it was Alexander Semak at 5:33 that scored to give the Soviets a win in the first game.

Two nights later, right back at Copps Coliseum, Canada was in a do-or-die situation. As in game one, both teams had leads and neither team could take full control. Canada again scored first, but this time it was they who led 3-1 after the first period. The Soviets scored twice in the second to Canadaโ€™s one, and Canada led 4-3 after two. Again, it was a late Soviet goal that forced overtime. On this night it was Valeri Kamenski with just 1:04 left in regulation who tied the score, 5-5, and this game went not to one overtime periods but two. Mario Lemieux scored the winner at 10:07 of the second OT, and Wayne Gretzky got his fifth assist on the night. He later called this the best international game he ever played, and he estimated he played 55 minutes of the 90 that were played.

15 September 1987, was a special night in hockey history. The Canada Cup was in the building, and after two exceptional 6-5 overtime games, it just didnโ€™t seem possible the series could get any more dramatic. Well, it could, and it did. The teams combined for six goals in a wild first period, but the Soviets headed to the dressing room with a well-earned 4-2 lead. Canada, however, came out and controlled the middle 20 minutes, scoring three unanswered goals and taking a 5-4 lead. Semak tied the game midway through the final period, and the game intensified as a third overtime game seemed inevitable.

Then the extraordinary happened. Gretzky moved the puck up ice after a faceoff deep in the Canada end, and as he got to the faceoff circle in the Sovietsโ€™ end he dropped the puck to Lemieux, trailing on the play. Lemieux had defenceman Larry Murphy in a perfect position to his right, but he later admitted that he never even thought about making this pass.

Super-Mario measured his shot carefully and buried a wrister over the glove of goalie Sergei Mylnikov with just 1:26 left in regulation, and Canada held on for the 6-5 win.

The skill and speed of the games, the quality of play and the dramatics and heroics led even the losing coach, Viktor Tikhonov, to call this the most “perfect” hockey he had ever seen. Indeed, the biggest winners were the fans and the very game itself. It never got better than this. The 1987 Canada Cup would also be the last tournament that generated strong “Cold War” sentiments between the two ideological rivals. After that, games would be just about hockey.

1st Period
00:26 –ย ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย GOAL – Makarov (Krutov)
04:59ย – ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย PEN – Bykov, interference
07:04 –
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย GOAL – Gusarov
08:00 –
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย GOAL – Fetisov (Makarov)
09:10 – ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย PEN – Kravchuk, cross checking
09:50 –
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย GOAL – Tocchet (Murphy, Goulet)
10:16 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย PEN – Sutter, tripping
15:23 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย GOAL – Propp (Sutter, Tocchet)
17:11 – ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย PEN – Makarov, high sticking
19:32 –
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย GOAL – Khomutov

2nd Period
28:24 – ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย PEN – Bykov, tripping
29:30 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย PP GOAL – Murphy (Gretzky, M. Lemieux)
31:06 –
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย GOAL – Sutter (Crossman, Hawerchuk)
31:34 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย PEN – M. Lemieux, slashing
32:37 – ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย PEN – Larionov, interference
35:32 –
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย GOAL – Hawerchuk (Propp, Murphy)
36:05ย – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย PEN – Bourque, high sticking
38:51 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย PEN – Bourque, hooking

3rd Period
52:51 –ย ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย GOAL – Semak (Lomakin)

58:34 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย GOAL – M. Lemieux (Gretzky)

W: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย Fuhr (18-23)
L: ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บย Mylnikov (40-46)

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 19+12+15 = 46
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ 9+8+6 = 23

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Goaltenders: Grant Fuhr, Ron Hextall, Kelly Hrudey. Defence: Ray Bourque (A), Paul Coffey, Doug Crossman, Craig Hartsburg, Larry Murphy, James Patrick, Normand Rochefort. Forwards: Glenn Anderson, Kevin Dineen, Mike Gartner, Doug Gilmour, Michel Goulet, Wayne Gretzky (C), Dale Hawerchuk, Claude Lemieux, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier (A), Brian Propp, Brent Sutter, Rick Tocchet.
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Goaltenders: Yevgeni Belosheikin, Sergei Mylnikov,ย Vitฤlijs Samoilovs. Defence: Anatoli Fedotov, Vyacheslav Fetisov (C), Alexei Gusarov, Alexei Kasatonov, Igor Kravchuk, Vasili Pervukhin, Igor Stelnov. Forwards: Vyacheslav Bykov, Valeri Kamenski, Yuri Khmylyov, Andrei Khomutov, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, Andrei Lomakin, Sergei Makarov, Sergei Nemchinov, Sergei Pryakhin, Alexander Semak, Anatoli Semyonov, Sergei Svetlov.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ CANADA (C) vs. SOVIET UNION ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ
current champion
(since 13 Sep 1987)
Last Title
13 Sep 1987
195 All-Time Wins
17 wins Head-To-Head
(+ 9 ties)
40 wins
First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. URS)
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ URSย 7-2 CAN ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ โ€“ 07 Mar 1954 โ€“ WC โ€“ Stockholm ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช
Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. URS)
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ CAN 6-5 URS ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ (2OT) โ€“ 13 Sep 1987 โ€“ CC โ€“ Hamilton ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Last IHLC Game
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ CAN 6-5 URS ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ (2OT) โ€“ 13 Sep 1987 โ€“ CC โ€“ Hamilton ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Next IHLC Game
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ CAN 7-1 NOR ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด โ€“ 07 Nov 1987 โ€“ EX โ€“ Oslo ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด

Article Credit: IIHF 100 Top Stories Of The Century
Photo Credit: CBCย –ย IIHFHHOFIOC



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