IHLC Classics: O’Sullivan Sinks Canada

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, in honour of American Independence Day, we feature the long-awaited first American Gold Medal in World Junior Championship history, won on the back of a two-goal Patrick O’Sullivan performance at the 2004 final in Helsinki.


 United States 4-3 Canada 
World Junior Championship Gold Medal Game
Helsingin jäähalli, Helsinki 
Monday, January 5, 2004

With their eleventh World Junior Championship Gold Medal just twenty minutes away, a 3-1 lead destined to end a six-year Gold drought, Team Canada seemed to be free and clear to return home with Gold in tow, helmed by future stars Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter and Marc-André Fleury.

But a cataclysmic twenty minutes, highlighted by a brutal own-goal given up by Fleury, turned elation into devastation in Helsinki, and allowed the United States to capture their first ever World Championship title, retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
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IHLC Classics: Eberle’s Heroic Hat Trick

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, in honour of Canada’s 151st birthday, we feature one of the most thrilling games in World Junior Championship history, the 2009 Semifinal that put Canada on the path to their fifth straight World Junior Gold Medal in Ottawa.


 Canada 6-5 Russia  (SO)
World Junior Championship Semifinal
Scotiabank Place, Ottawa 
Saturday, January 3, 2009

In a battle for the Gold Medal Final more akin to a back-and-forth heavyweight fight, Russia and Canada slugged it out in the latter’s nation’s capital, only emerging victorious due to the last minute and shootout heroics of Jordan Eberle, whose timely goals sent Canada to their eighth straight final and retained them the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: Canada’s Olympic Revenge

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, in honour of the upcoming Olympics, we feature the first of Canada’s four consecutive Gold Medal victories, the thrilling showdown against the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

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canada1965-11 Canada 3-2 United States 
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Olympic Gold Medal Game
E Center, West Valley City usa-11
Thursday, February 21, 2002

History seemed as if it were all but on the American women’s side to repeat as Olympic champions in Salt Lake City – on home ice, no less. They had stunned Canada in the 1998 Olympic final to win women’s hockey’s first gold, and defeated Canada in eight straight exhibition lead-up games to the Olympics.

But the Canadian women’s squad was looking to make some history of their own, and they exacted their revenge for Nagano by stunning the Americans at home to win both Olympic Gold and the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: Gold For A Team With No Name

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, in honour of the upcoming Olympics, and in light of Russia playing under the Olympic flag, we look back on the last Russian team to play under the same flag at the 1992 Albertville Games.

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 Unified Team 3-1 Canada canada1965-11
Olympic Gold Medal Game
Patinoire de Méribel, Méribel france-11
Sunday, February 23, 1992

Playing under the Olympic flag, covering up the ever-familiar “CCCP” icon on their jerseys, a country with no name made history in Albertville.

Although the IIHF would later declare that the team who defeated Canada to win Gold was in fact, Russia, at the Méribel Ice Palace, it was a team playing as the “Unified Team” who captured the 1992 hockey Gold, and retained the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: Unelmafinaali

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to commemorate Finland’s centennial as a nation, we look back on just the second World Championship for the Leijonat in history, their 2011 triumph over rival Sweden, considered by Finns to be the “unelmafinaali” – the dream final.

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finland-11 Finland 6-1 Sweden sweden-11
World Championship Gold Medal Game
Orange Aréna, Bratislava slovakia-11
Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finland captured just their second ever World Championship Gold Medal in dominant fashion against their cross-border rivals Sweden, crushing Tre Kronor 6-1 on goals from six different scorers to win their first Gold since 1995, and unify Gold with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: “Henderson Has Scored For Canada!”

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series finale, we look back on perhaps the most influential goal in international hockey history, Paul Henderson’s series-winning tally past Vladislav Tretyak.

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canada1965-11 Canada 6-5 Soviet Union ussr-11
Summit Series, Game 8
Luzhniki Palace Of Sports, Moscow ussr-11
Thursday, September 28, 1972

Both Canada and the Soviet Union had pushed each other to their limit in this grueling eight-game Summit Series, heading into the decisive eighth and final game in Moscow, the series tied at 3-3-1. Each team knew the ins-and-outs of each other’s game, and were completely prepared to avoid any surprises.

That is, until the final minute of the game – when Paul Henderson pounced on a rare Vladislav Tretyak rebound to score what was touted “The Goal Of The Century,” winning the epic Summit Series, and the International Hockey Lineal Championship, for Canada.
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IHLC Classics: Gretzky To Lemieux

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 Canada Cup, we highlight the third game of the Cup finals, one of the most historic showdowns between the Soviet Union and Canada in history.

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canada1965-11 Canada 6-5 Soviet Union ussr-11
Canada Cup Final, Game 3
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton canada1965-11
Tuesday, September 15, 1987

In a series jam-packed with dramatic play on the ice and political tension felt off it, it was only appropriate that the finale to the 1987 Canada Cup end, for the third consecutive game, with a nail-biting 6-5 win.

And for the second time in three nights, on the the winning goal, it was Gretzky to Lemieux, to cap what many argue is the best series in international hockey history, winning Canada the Cup on home ice and retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: The Red Army Shocks The World

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, we feature the opening game of the tournament, a stunning Soviet victory in Montréal.

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ussr-11 Soviet Union 7-3 Canada canada1965-11
Summit Series, Game 1
Forum de Montréal, Montréal canada1965-11
Saturday, September 2, 1972

After all the opening spectacle died down, all the commemorative pennants were handed out, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dropped the puck and the national anthems were sung, hockey fans throughout Canada (and the Western world) were expecting Team Canada, a collective NHL all-star team boasting the likes of Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich and Ken Dryden, to put a drubbing on the Soviet team, made up of unheard “amateur” players who played hockey only as part of their army or police service. This was to be an easy sweep for Team Canada, to show the world once and for all who truly owns the game.

Oh, how wrong Canada was. The Soviets were for real, and they proved it with a drubbing of their own, to take Game 1 of the Summit Series, along with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: The Impossible Dream Comes True

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, we feature the finale of the 1980 Lake Placid Games, Team USA’s post-Miracle victory to clinch Olympic Gold on home ice.

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usa-11 United States 4-2 Finland finland-11
Olympic Medal Round
Olympic Fieldhouse, Lake Placid usa-11
Sunday, February 24, 1980

Team USA’s ascension to the top of the hockey world in 1980 was actually not “The Miracle on Ice.” While it was the Miracle that stunned the world, it was their victory two days later where, as legendary announcer Al Michaels called it, “the impossible dream comes true” – the Americans locked up Olympic Gold for only the second time in history, triumphing 4-2 over Finland to win the tournament and capture the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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IHLC Classics: Canada Makes It Two In Torino

From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, we shine a light on Canada’s 2006 women’s Olympic Gold victory, Canada’s second of four (and counting) Olympic titles.

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canada1965-11 Canada 4-1 Sweden sweden-11
Olympic Gold Medal Game
Palasport Olimpico, Turin italy-11
Monday, February 20, 2006

It seemed only appropriate that fears of another repeat women’s Gold Medal Game between bitter rivals Canada and the U.S. would occur for a third straight Olympics – but thanks to the heroics of Sweden relegating the Americans to the bronze medal game, for the first time a new contender emerged.

But there would be no repeat heroics, as Canada pounded Tre Kronor 4-1 to win their second straight Olympic Gold Medal, and to cap off a perfect Olympics with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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