Wednesday, December 30, 2009
On this date in 1992, Peter Forsberg of Sweden set a record with 10 points in a single game as Sweden pummeled Japan 20-1 during the 1993 World Junior Championships in Gavle, Sweden.
The format for the tournament that season saw each of the eight teams play the other seven once in a round-robin format, with the top three teams at the completion of the schedule taking home the medals.
Of interest, Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia during the tournament, but the Czechoslovakian team continued to play as one under the title of the Czech and Slovak Republics.
Play began on December 26, 1992 with Canada beating the United States 3-0, Finland downing Czechoslovakia 5-2, Sweden defeating Germany 4-2, and in a hint of what was to come, Russia demolished World Juniors debutants Japan by a score of 16-0.
The following day Japan was again shut out, this time by Finland by a more reasonable score of 7-0, while the host Swedes lost to Canada 5-4.
On December 29, Sweden thumped Czechoslovakia 7-2 and Japan broke their scoreless streak in a 12-2 loss to the United States.
The fateful matchup arrived on this date in 1992, as Sweden faced off against Japan, in a game that ended with a record setting 20-1 score in favor of Sweden. After giving up an average of 12 goals a game up to this point, no one expected much of the Japan-Sweden matchup, but it ended up being the largest victory for Sweden in the history of the tournament, the second most goals ever scored by a team in a game, only 1 behind the record held by Czechoslovakia since 1981.
The game also propelled Forsberg to the record for most points in a game with 10, the most assists by a player in one tournament with 24 and most points by a player in one tournament with 31, most points by a line in one tournament with 69, a mark he shares with Markus Naslund and Niklas Sundstrom, the most all-time assists, with 32, and points in World Junior history with 42.
Naslund also holds the record with 13 goals in one tournament, all thanks in large part to the 20-1 demolition of Japan, who were not surprisingly relegated back to the B Pool for the 1994 tournament after finishing with a 0-7 record with 9 goals for and 83 against. Yes, that is not a typo - eighty-three goals against, following subsequent defeats by the newly re-christened Czech and Slovak Republics on January 1 by a score of 14-2, losing to Canada by a surprisingly reasonable 8-1 and finally losing to Germany 6-3 for the Germans only win of the tournament.
Canada lost on the final day of the tournament 7-4 to the Czech and Slovak Republics, but still earned the gold medal thanks to owning the tie-breaker with Sweden, having defeated them 3-2 in their head-to-head matchup earlier in the tournament.
While Japan was soundly thrashed at the 1993 World Juniors, it was not their worst defeat in international competition. That came in a 25-1 loss to Czechoslovakia at the World Championships in 1957. Don't feel too badly for Japan however, as their greatest triumph occurred in 1999 at the Asian Winter Games when they defeated Kuwait, who making their international debut, by a resounding 44-1.
Forsberg would go on to become a member of the prestigious "Triple Gold Club", having won the World Championships, the Olympics and the Stanley Cup, three titles he has actually won twice each.
Today's featured jersey is a 1996 Sweden National Team Peter Forsberg jersey from the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Sweden would win the European pool with a 3-0 record, defeating Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic, before losing 3-2 to Canada in two overtimes in the semi-finals.
This jersey features the large 4" diameter 1996 World Cup of Hockey patch worn by all the Bauer supplied teams in the tournament, which also included Canada and the Czech Republic. The remaining teams, the United States, Russia, Slovakia, Finland and Germany all wore Nike jerseys which sported the same patch, only in a 3" size.
Here are the Top 10 rivalry moments between Canada and Sweden in international hockey history, with a memorable appearance by Peter Forsberg.
Next, the fine, fine acting skills of Forsberg are on display for your viewing pleasure.