Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 IIHF Publications

With the NHL mired in it's current state of inactivity due to the current impasse in it's labor situation, international hockey looks to be one of the hockey fan's best bets for entertainment this season. There will be several competitions to determine which three additional countries will qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics, plus all the Men's and Women's World Championships taking place at various age levels, U18, U20 and Senior, in 6 different Divisions within in each age group on the men's side, for a total of 18 champions plus another five up for grabs on the women's side.

To get you up to speed on what is happening this season, any fan of international hockey needs to be aware of the publications offered by the International Ice Hockey Federation, an fantastic array of materials which compliment each other perfectly.

First up is IceTimes, the official newsletter of the IIHF, published every other month with news, features, stats, photos and results from the broad array of tournaments organized by the IIHF.

IceTimes is available for free on the IIHF website, or media members can be added to the mailing list to receive a free printed copy by sending a request to media@iihf.com.


IceTimes, IceTimes

Next on the list is the IIHF Annual Report. a 116 page complete recap of the previous season. It features several sections, including results and standings for all the IIHF World Championship events, over 70 photographs, information on all the IIHF member national associations as well as various reports from important international hockey topics.


Last year's version can be downloaded for free and the 2012 version is due to be available very soon. The reports are also available as printed copies directly from the IIHF, but be aware that the shipping charges from Switzerland do add up to a final price of roughly $38 USD. Package deals of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 reports are available as well.

IIHF Annual Report, IIHF Annual Report

The third level of publication offered is the IIHF Guide and Record Book, which continues to grow each year and covers every tournament from every year, from the Olympics down through Division V. Additionally, it includes not only every active player stats, but every retired player to ever appear in even just a single game back to 1920 - over 12,000 players in all!

Beyond the World Championships, the book covers the U20 World Juniors and U18 World Championships for both men and women, the 1972 Summit Series, the history of the Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey.

There is no free version of this encyclopedia of world hockey, but it can easily purchased online. The IIHF sells the book directly as a printed version ($67) or a less expensive DVD ($22) shipped from Switzerland, but we were able to find the 2012 edition on Amazon.com for as little as $18.39 plus $3.99 shipping from within the United States. Unlike the Annual Report, which contains unique content every season, the Guide and Record book is the type of thing one only would want to get perhaps once after each Olympics due the vast majority of the information being repeated each year.

IIHF Record Book, IIHF Record Book

While there are other IIHF related publications on Amazon, such as the excellent "World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF", priced from $21.32, there are any number of what we call "fake books" listed on Amazon. They are not traditional books created by a reputable publisher, but are merely overpriced collections of relevant and tangental Wikipedia articles collected together in book form. 

While some topics might be somewhat worthwhile to have bounded together in printed form, we find the creation of these "fake books" to be deceiving in nature. Consider if the ice hockey book you are interested in has a picture of wild flowers, zoomy screen saver light patterns or field hockey on the cover, not much care or thought has likely gone into creating the product, whose contents is all available to you for free on Wikipedia, which is how the "publisher" got it all to begin with. Buyer beware!

Fake Book, Fake Book
Seriously? Field hockey on the cover of a book on
the 2006 Ice Hockey World Championships?

Friday, September 28, 2012

1972 Team Canada Paul Henderson Jersey

"Here's a shot. Henderson makes a wild stab for it and falls. Here's another shot. Right in front. They score! Henderson scores for Canada!"


The most famous goal in Canadian hockey history occurred 40 years agoon this date in 1972, as Paul Henderson scored with 34 seconds remaining in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.

The Summit Series was a groundbreaking event in not only hockey history, but international politics as well. The series would be the first time that the Canadians were able to take on the Soviets with a full squad of professional players head to head with the best that the Soviets had to offer. Most in Canada fully expected an easy time of it for Team Canada, with some even predicting an eight-game sweep.

That was not to be, however, as all of Canada was stunned when the Soviets came back from an early 2-0 deficit in Game 1 to win 7-3 in Montreal.

Canada would win Game 2 in Toronto by a score of 2-1 with the Soviets coming from behind by two goals in Winnipeg to earn a tie in Game 3.

Game 4 would see the Soviets up 4-1 after two periods, with the final score being 5-3, earning Team Canada a shower of boos from the Canadian crowed, earning a tounge-lashing from a frustrated Phil Esposito as the series was about to head off to Moscow for the final four games.


Things did not start off any better for the Canadians in Moscow, however, as Team Canada led 4-1, only to have the Soviets come back to win the game 5-4, putting them ahead three games to one, along with a tie.

Game 6 went better for Team Canada, despite having 31 penalty minutes called against them versus only four assessed to the Soviets, Canada would win 3-2 in a game that would feature a pivotal moment in the series, as Bobby Clarke would fracture the Soviet's best forward Valeri Kharlamov's ankle with a deliberate slash.

Canada would even the series at three games each by winning Game 7 by a score of 4-3, with Paul Henderson scoring the winning goal with a shade over two minutes left in the game, setting up a decisive Game 8.


While the series was supposed to be "a friendly" series of exhibition games with no overall winner, the tie result in game three left an odd amount of games to divide between the two sides and the Soviets proclaimed that even if Game 8 ended in a tie, they would be the winners on the basis of scoring one more goal in the series.

In an effort to ensure the best possible chance for a Soviet victory, they orchestrated a change in officials the night before the decisive game, choosing to replace the previously selected Swede and Czech referees with the West German pair that were responsible for the great discrepancy in penalty minutes in Game 6. Canada threatened to leave Moscow without even playing Game 8 if that were the case and a compromise was reached where the the Soviets hand picked their favorite West German Josef Kompalla, while the Canadians got to choose the Czech ref Bata.

Sure enough, just three minutes into the game Canada was two men short and gave up a power play goal. At 4:10, J. P. Parise was given yet another minor and his reaction earned him a ten-minute misconduct. Now enraged, Parise's threatening outburst got him thrown out of the game as a game misconduct was added on.

Phil Esposito would even the game once the hockey resumed to tie the game at 6:45 and then the teams would trade goals by Vladimir Lutchenko and Brad Park to finish out the first period tied at 2-2.

The Soviets would use a little home ice advantage to score in the first minute of the second, as the puck was fired over the goal, only to take a large rebound off the mesh netting that topped the boards rather than the plexiglass of North American arenas. Vladimir Shadrin would put the puck behind Ken Dryden after it landed back into the area in front of the Canadian goal.

Bill White would score for Canada halfway through the period, only to have the Soviets score just over a minute later to regain the lead and then again once more on the power play at 16:44 to take a 5-3 lead into the third period.

Phil Esposito would ignite the Canadians with a goal at 2:27 of the third to pull Canada back within one. Esposito again charged the net and Yvan Cournoyer was able to put the rebound past Vladislav Tretiak at 12:56, only to have the Soviet goal judge not turn on the goal light, but the goal did count to tie the game. Again, a tie would allow the Soviets to claim a series victory.

With the game no winding down in the last minute of play, Cournoyer intercepted a Soviet clearing attempt and passed to Henderson, but the pass was behind him and he was tripped on the play, which sent him crashing into the end boards to the side of the goal. At that point Phil Esposito, who was following the play, put the puck softly in front of the goal where Henderson, now back on his skates and coming from behind the net was able to jump on the loose puck and swat it towards Tretiak, which he blocked with his leg, allowing Henderson a second shot at glory, which he put over the sprawled Soviet goaltender to give Canada the series victory with only 34 seconds remaining in the contest.

Photobucket

The success of the 1972 Summit Series led to an attempt at a repeat in 1974 with a team made up of players from the WHA and eventually evolved into the Canada Cup tournament, which again led to the current World Cup of Hockey. It also influenced many aspects of how the game was approached and played in North America, with off-season training now becoming important, as well as various strategy differences in puck possession and player positioning.

Today's featured jersey is a 1972 Team Canada Paul Henderson jersey as worn during the four games in Moscow.

This jersey came up for public sale for the first time ever at auction in June of 2010 on ClassicAuctions.net, a leading online auction website based in Quebec, Canada. Fears immediately were voiced from many corners of the hockey world that this historic jersey would fall into the wrong hands - such as those of a trading card company like Be A Player or Upper Deck, who have made a business out of cutting up historical sports artifacts into hundreds of small pieces in order to create collectible trading cards.

Notable previous losses of significant items include the only set of goalie pads worn by Georges Vezina and a 1925 New York Yankees Babe Ruth jersey among the dozens of items that have been desecrated for the sake of short term profits by card companies.

The concern and publicity over the possible threat to "the most significant artifact in the history of the game of hockey" eventually saw the jersey sell for a record shattering $1,275,707, far outstripping the reported $250,000 paid for a Wayne Gretzky game worn jersey and the $191,000 for a Bobby Orr rookie jersey.

The winning bidder, Canadian real estate developer Mitchell Goldhar, not only preserved the jersey from possible destruction, but returned it to Canada from where it had been located in the United States, but took the iconic Canadian sweater on a tour of the country in an effort to share it with the citizens of the nation where everyone remembers where they were when Henderson score his dramatic goal. One of the highlights of the jerseys return to Canada was having Henderson don the jersey once again.

Canada 1972 Henderson jersey

photo courtesy of Classic Auctions


There is much more than can be written and examined about this series, it's significance and it's impact, and in fact many have done just so, as there are a number of books available on the subject as well as DVD sets of the games.

In addition to the usual video highlights, here is a link to the CBC archives of radio and TV footage relating to the series, which give some insights into how the event was viewed at the time especially the shock of the loss in Game 1.

Finally, here is Henderson himself, telling the story from his unique point of view of the series and his famous goal.


Monday, September 24, 2012

2009-10 Croatia National Team Igor Lazic Jersey

While the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are still 17 months away, the competition has already begun!

Surprisingly enough, the Olympic Preliminary Qualification Phase for the Games, to be held in February of 2014, began a week ago with Group K qualification play in Zagreb, Croatia.

33 teams have applied for the 12 spots in the Olympics, with 9 of those places being already guaranteed to the nations ranked 1-9 following the World Championships earlier this year, meaning the remaining 24 must participate in a qualification process to determine which fortunate three others will have the thrill of participating in the actual Olympic Games.

Hosts Croatia (currently ranked 30th in the IIHF World Rankings), Serbia (31), Mexico (34) and Israel (40) participated in a round robin schedule to determine which of the four nations would advance to play in Group G of the Olympic Pre-Qualification tournaments in two months time from November 8th to 11th.

Serbia Israel 2012, Serbia Israel 2012
Serbia and Israel began the road to Sochi in the opening game of the Preliminary Qualification Phase

Croatia prevailed with three easy wins, 9-2 over Mexico, a 15-2 blowout over Israel and secured their place in the next phase with a 6-2 win over Serbia (their closest rival but a country with only three indoor rinks) to make their final goal totals 30 for and just 6 against.

Croatia Mexico 2012, Croatia Mexico 2012
Croatia opened their qualification efforts with a 9-2 win over Mexico

Group G will now consist of host Hungary (ranked 19th), the Netherlands (24), Lithuania (25) plus Croatia, who currently compete in Division IIA, one level below the Netherlands and Lithuania and two below Division IA Hungary in the IIHF World Championships ladder system.

“It will be a lot different from this tournament because here we were the best team and in Budapest we will have stronger opponents,” Croatian forward Petar Trstenjak said, “but I hope we will have a bigger roster and that we won’t lose by high scores.” in a quote which illustrates the enormous task and long odds of Croatia even advancing past the next phase, much less making the actual Olympics.

At the same time as play in Group G, Groups H and J will be competing, with Group H being hosts Ukraine (20), Poland (23), Estonia (26) and Spain (29), while Group J, appropriately held in Japan, consists of Great Britain (21), Japan (22), Romania (27) and South Korea (28).

The winners of Groups G, H and J will not be advancing to the Olympics just yet, however, as they must participate in another phase of the competition, the Final Olympic Qualification, which will take place from February 7th to 10th in 2013.

Things get much tougher for those teams advancing from the Pre-Qualification Round Groups G, H and J, as they are slotted into Groups D, E and F, where teams ranked 10-18 await.

Group D is being hosted by Germany (10) and will consist of Austria (15) and Italy (16) plus the addition of a winner from the previous round, to be determined by their ranking.

Group E sees Latvia (11) hosting France (14) and Kazakhstan (17) plus a qualifier while Group F will take place in Denmark (12) with Belarus (13) and Slovenia (18) waiting the final qualifier.

Only then will the winners of those three groups gain an entry into the actual 2014 Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi a year later where Russia (1), Slovakia (6) and the United States (7) in Group A, Finland (2), Canada (5) and Norway (8) in Group B and the Czech Republic (3), Sweden (4) and Switzerland (9) in Group C await the final three survivors of the three step qualification process which began last week in Croatia.

While little publicized and virtually unknown in North America, the Olympic qualification tournament can provide some some of the most dramatic moments, particularly in Groups D, E and F with an actual berth in the Olympics on the line, as making it to the games in as good as a gold medal for the participants of the lower ranked nations and is a source of tremendous pride for all involved to compete at the highest level on sport's biggest stage against the world's best.

The most memorable game in Olympic qualification history took place in January of 2005 to decide who would advance to Torino, Italy in 2006. Group B held in Riga, Latvia saw Belarus gain two points in the standings by defeating Poland, while Latvia knocked off Slovenia 2-1. Belarus took care of Slovenia the next day 7-2 while Latvia kept pace by beating Poland 3-1, setting up the final winner-take-all game against Belarus.

Belarus opened the scoring of the deciding game at 5:16 of the first and stretched their lead to two at 12:06 before Latvia answered at 18:33. The second period was played even, with each team scoring one with Belarus going back up by two at 1:49 before former Boston Bruin Grigori Panteleev scored 18 seconds later to return the margin to one in favor of Belarus.

Belarus put themselves in a good position to win the group and advance with a goal at 9:11 of the third to make the score 4-2 for Belarus.

Now in desperation mode, Latvia pulled goalie Edgars Masalskis during a Latvian powerplay with just six minutes remaining in the game and down by 2 goals. The gamble paid off as Latvia scored at the 15:11 mark to reduce the margin again to 1.

1:47 later the Latvians thrilled the home crowd by getting the equalizer at even strength, leaving just three minutes to decide who would claim the final remaining spot in the Olympics. Alexsandrs Semjonovs then sent the home fans into rapture by finishing the comeback and punching Latvia's ticket to Italy just 33 seconds later to complete the three goal outburst in two minutes and twenty seconds in what would become known as "The Miracle in Riga", considered by some the greatest achievement in Latvian sports since they regained their independence in 1991.

Today's featured jersey is a 2009-10 Croatia National Team Igor Lazic jersey as worn during the IIHF Under 18 World Championships Division II. The red and white checkered pattern of the Croatian coat of arms makes for a unique element regularly incorporated into the design of their national team jerseys, which are often quite striking.

The Croatian National Team first participated in the World Championships in 1993 in Pool C play. They made steady progress as they established their program, rising from an initial ranking of 31st in 1994 to 24th in 2001, which included winning Pool D in 1997.

With the new organization of the World Championship structure, Croatia began in Division I in 2001 and has spent seven years in Division I (with a best finish of 4th) and five years in Division II, which they have won twice (in 2005 and 2007) and where they have resided for the last two years.

Croatia 09-10 jersey, Croatia 09-10 jersey
Croatia 09-10 jersey, Croatia 09-10 jersey

This particular jersey is from our friends at WorldHockeyJerseys.com, the number one source of game-worn jerseys from national teams of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Nick and Mike have supplied us at Third String Goalie with a number of our jerseys, including those from Estoina, Great Britain, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain. To view all their current auctions, please click here.

Today's video is the magnificent Latvian comeback that would become known as "The Miracle in Riga" which would propel them into the 2006 Winter Olympic hockey tournament.


At the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Latvia was placed in Group B with Slovakia, Russia, Sweden, the United States and fellow qualifier Kaszakhstan. Goaltender Arturs Irbe played brilliantly and held the United States to a 3-3 tie in their opening game, but they were then defeated four straight times to finish last in their group. They ended the tournament classified 12th out of 12 teams, but nothing could erase the excitement of "The Miracle in Riga" and no one, and we mean no one, has a better time at the games than the fans from Latvia, who were only there thanks to a miracle.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

2004-05 Warroad Warriors Zach Larson Jersey

The Minnesota Wild is conducting a vote on their facebook page to determine what is the best jersey in the state of Minnesota.

Wild Best Jersey Contest, Wild Best Jersey Contest

The 45 nominees range from the professional ranks, which would include the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota North Stars and the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA and numerous college choices in not only Division 1, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, Bemidji State and St. Cloud State, but from the lower NCAA divisions as well.

Then there are the many high schools who field both boys and girls teams represented and even youth hockey jerseys as well as some rec hockey beer league or pond hockey teams nominated.

The submission phase has now ended and the contest has entered the voting phase, and this is where we need your help to get our nomination through to the next round.

We chose a classic old-school jersey from the legendary Warroad Warriors high school program. Warroad, hailing from northern Minnesota on the shore of Lake of the Woods just six miles from the Canadian border, is a regular participant in the annual Minnesota State High School hockey tournament, having made 21 state tournament appearances, dating back to 1948, with four championships won, those coming in Class A in 1994, 1996, 2003 and 2005.


To view and vote for our entry, simply click here.


The particular jersey we nominated was worn from 2001 through the midway point of the 2008-09 season, which included the 2005 championship season when the Warriors went undefeated with a 29-0-2 record.

Current St. Louis Blues forward T. J. Oshie is the all-time leading scorer in Warroad history with 104 goals and 137 assists for 241 points in just 93 games. Oshie led the entire state of Minnesota in 2004-05 with 37 goals and 100 points.

Warroad Warrior T. J. Oshie

Other notable hockey players to come from Warroad include Dave Christian, a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 gold medal winning USA Olympic team, who would go on to play 15 NHL seasons with Winnipeg, Washington, Boston, St. Louis and Chicago, Dave's father Bill Christian and uncle Roger Christian, who won gold medals in the 1960 Olympics, and Henry Boucha, a 1972 silver Olympic medalist, who would play for Detroit, Minnesota, Kansas City and the Colorado Rockies of the NHL.

This is a classic looking jersey in the style and colors of the old Boston Bruins jerseys of the mid 70's to the mid 90's and is one of the few remaining schools to use a Native American nickname and imagery, while others such as Grand Rapids, Minneapolis Southwest and Burnsville have discontinued their use. The use of the Warriors name by Warroad High School is approved by the local Ojibwe band of Chippewa Indians who designed the logo used on the Warriors jerseys which has allowed it's continued use.


Warroad Warriors 2001-2008 jersey photo WarroadWarriors2001-2008F.jpg
Warroad Warriors 2001-2008 jersey photo WarroadWarriors2001-2008B.jpg

You have until September 30th to support our choice by simply clicking this link to vote for the Warroad Warriors and their gorgeous jersey in the style of the old Boston Bruins jerseys from 1974-1995 paired with the striking vertically arched lettering and classic Indian head logo. Yes, there are some other fine jerseys to choose from, but we'd really appreciate your support for our nomination for what we feel is a jersey that has it all, classic colors, striping lettering and logo - the best jersey ever worn in the State of Hockey.

 

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