In Sweden, this is one of the most replayed sports highlights on television. Peter Forsberg was only 20 years old when he pulled the most daring move on Canada’s goaltender Corey Hirsch in the Olympic Gold medal game in Lillehammer in 1994. A classic sports moment which became immortalized on a stamp.
The 1994 Gold medal game at the Olympics in Lillehammer came down to a shootout between Canada and Sweden. Canada had been to the final game two years earlier, at the 1992 Olympics, only to lose 3-1 to Russia, and it was seeking its first Gold medal since 1952. Sweden had prior to Lillehammer never won Olympic hockey Gold and last time they came close was in 1964, when they grabbed the Silver.
After 60 minutes, the game stood at 2-2, and another ten minutes of overtime failed to break the tie. In the shootout, both teams scored twice on their first four of five shots, leaving the last shooter for each side to determine who would win Olympic Gold.
First up was Peter Forsberg, the 20-year old “wunderkind” of Swedish hockey, who already at that tender age was considered as one of the best players in the world. Forsberg would the next season sign his first NHL contract, with the Québec Nordiques.
What happened five seconds later became one of the most famous images in the history of international hockey and a defining moment in Swedish sports history.
Forsberg skated in on goalie Corey Hirsch, moved left to his forehand and then slid the puck to his backhand. With one hand on the stick and the goalie sliding toward Forsberg, the player calmly slid the puck into the open side of the net. It was the most daring, exciting shootout goal in Olympic history, and after Tommy Salo made a great save on Paul Kariya at the other end, Sweden had claimed its first ever Olympic Gold.
Two photographers caught the goal from directly above Hirsch. Gary Hershorn of Reuters clicked his shutter just as “Foppa” released the puck, and Al Behrman of the Associated Press did the same a split second later, after the puck had slid under Hirsch’s arm and was just inches from crossing the goal line.
Behrman’s shot became the “photo.” The Swedish Post took Hershorn’s shot to make the famous stamp of the historic goal. But there is a slight difference in the philatelic representation of the play. Corey Hirsch is wearing number 11, not 1, and his sweater is blue, not red. When he was asked permission for his likeness to be used, Hirsch was so embarrassed by the goal that he declined, a decision he regretted a short time later. Forsberg, of course, had no trouble agreeing.
05:44 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Astley, hooking
06:10 – 🇸🇪 PP GOAL – Jonsson (Loob, Forsberg)
16:58 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Rohlin, high sticking
19:39 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Salo, delay of game
24:17 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Jonsson, unsportsmanlike conduct
24:17 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Hlushko, unsportsmanlike conduct
29:11 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Schreiber, slashing
31:46 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Johansson, holding
33:37 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Savage, hooking
37:38 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Svensson, holding
49:08 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Kariya (Kontos, Johnson)
51:43 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Mayer
57:50 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Werenka, hooking
58:11 – 🇸🇪 PP GOAL – Svensson (Forsberg, Jonsson)
🇨🇦 Nedvěd scored
🇸🇪 Loob stopped
🇨🇦 Kariya scored
🇸🇪 Svensson scored
🇨🇦 Norris stopped
🇸🇪 Näslund stopped
🇨🇦 Parks stopped
🇸🇪 Forsberg scored
🇨🇦 Johnson stopped
🇸🇪 Hansson stopped
🇸🇪 Svensson stopped
🇨🇦 Nedvěd stopped
🇸🇪 Forsberg scored
🇨🇦 Kariya stopped
W: 🇸🇪 Salo (19-21)
L: 🇨🇦 Hirsch (40-43)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇸🇪 6+16+16+4+1 = 43
🇨🇦 7+6+6+2+0 = 21
🇸🇪 Goaltenders: Håkan Algotsson, Tommy Salo, Michael Sundlöv. Defence: Christian Due-Boje, Roger Johansson, Tomas Jonsson (A), Kenny Jönsson, Leif Rohlin, Fredrik Stillman, Magnus Svensson. Forwards: Charles Berglund (C), Jonas Bergqvist (A), Andreas Dackell, Niklas Eriksson, Peter Forsberg, Roger Hansson, Patrik Juhlin, Jörgen Jönsson, Patric Kjellberg, Håkan Loob, Mats Näslund, Daniel Rydmark, Stefan Örnskog.
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Corey Hirsch, Manny Legace, Allain Roy. Defence: Mark Astley, Adrian Aucoin, David Harlock, Ken Lovsin, Derek Mayer (A), Brad Schlegel (A), Chris Therien, Brad Werenka. Forwards: Todd Hlushko, Greg Johnson, Fabian Joseph (C), Paul Kariya, Chris Kontos, Petr Nedvěd, Dwayne Norris, Greg Parks, Jean-Yves Roy, Brian Savage, Wallace Schreiber, Todd Warriner.
|🇸🇪 SWEDEN (C)||vs.||CANADA 🇨🇦|
(since 25 Feb 1994)
||13 Nov 1991|
(+ 4 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. CAN)
🇨🇦 CAN 12-1 SWE 🇸🇪 – 26 Apr 1920 – OG – Antwerp 🇧🇪 🏅
|Previous IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. CAN)
🇨🇦 CAN 3-1 SWE 🇸🇪 – 24 Apr 1990 – WC – Bern 🇨🇭
|Last IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 4-3 RUS 🇷🇺 – 25 Feb 1994 – OG – Lillehammer 🇳🇴
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 1-1 NOR 🇳🇴 – 11 Apr 1994 – EX – Gjøvik 🇳🇴