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Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 World Juniors - 1/5 Wrapup

In the final day of the 2013 World Junior Tournament, Canada faced off against Russia for the bronze medal, while the defending champions Sweden took on the United States.

But first, to wrap up yesterday's Relegation Round action, Finland assured themselves a place in next year's tournament with a 8-0 win over Germany on Wednesday and Slovakia did the same with their 5-3 win over Latvia on Thursday, setting up a deciding game between Latvia and Germany.

Latvia did give themselves a glimmer of hope by scoring first, but 3 second period goals my Germany put them on track to safety. They sealed the deal with a pair of third period goals before Latvia scored a late goal to make the final score 5-2 for Germany, who remain in the Top Division, while winless Latvia is relegated to Division I Group A. Their place will be taken in 2014 by Norway, who outlasted Belarus to gain promotion.

The Bronze medal game between Canada and Russia was a spirited affair to say the least, with five goals in the first period alone. Russia jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes, but Canada got one back at 6:58, but less than a minute later, Kirill Dyakov chased Jordan Binnington from the Canada net with his first goal of the year at 7:54.

Before the period ended, Canada pulled within one when Jonathan Huberdeau scored on the power play at 15:51.

The Canadians evened the score on the power play at 3:16 of the second and the teams traded goals later on to send the game into the third period tied at 4-4.

Nail Yakupov's second goal of the game put Russia in command one minute into the third period, a lead that held up for half the period until Brett Ritchie third the game once more at 5-5.

Regulation finished without any more scoring, sending the game into overtime, where it would take just  1:35 for the Russians to delight the home fans and break Canada's medal streak at 14 years, dating back to 1999, when Valeri Nichushkin ended it in favor of Russia by beating Malcom Subban for the medal winner.

Russia Bronze 2013 WJC, Russia Bronze 2013 WJC

With the opening act now completed, Sweden and the United States took to the ice for the gold medal final. The United States controlled the opening period, holding the edge in shots 11-7, but could not solve Swedish goaltender Niklas Lundtröm so the period ended even at 0-0.

A late penalty against the US put Sweden on the power play to start the second period, and they cashed in at 1:09 when Filip Sandberg put Sweden on top 1-0.

Rocco Grimaldi got the Americans even with his goal at 7:42, a sharp-angled shot that somehow found it's way through and behind Lundström, who seemed to have the near side sealed off.

Less than 3 1/2 minutes later, Jacob Trouba held in a clearing attempt and launched it toward the goal, where it banked off of Grimaldi and changed direction enough to sneak past Lundström for a 2-1 United States lead at 10:27.

The strong United States defense stood strong, particularly goaltender John Gibson, and denied every attack for the remainder of the game, aided by the discipline of the US, as they only took a single penalty for the remainder of the game.

With Lundström pulled late in the game, Vince Trocheck maintained focus when a desperate Swede hurled his stick in an attempt to deflect the puck and buried it for a empty net goal to seal the victory with just 16 seconds remaining, allowing the United States to exhale and begin the celebration of their 3-1 victory and the third World Junior Championship gold medal in U. S. history.

USA WJC Gold 2013, USA WJC Gold 2013

It was a great result for the United States, having looked like anything but a winner following their 5-1 loss to Finland in the last tune up game and then losing to both Canada and Russia in the Preliminary Round, although by close 2-1 scores in both games.

They demolished Slovakia (a team that took Russia to overtime) 9-3 to secure their place in the Playoff Round and were officially on a roll when then destroyed the Czech Republic 7-0. They then shocked everyone, including their own supporters, with a 5-1 pasting of Canada in the Semifinals to advance to the Final, where they took care of business against Sweden to cap off a great run after their third place finish in the Preliminary Round.

US goaltender Gibson was named the tournament MVP and Trouba was selected as the Best Defenseman. Ryan-Nugent Hopkins of Canada was selected the Best Forward.

American Jake McCabe on defense and forwards Filip Forsberg of Sweden and John Gaudreau (USA) joined Gibson, Trouba and Nugent-Hopkins on the Media All-Star Team.

Here are the highlights from the gold medal final between the United States and Sweden.

Special mention must be made of the perpetual motion Russian cheerleaders, whose fuzzy white pom-poms never stopped moving over the course of the entire tournament. They smiled and looked engaged the entire time, changing into an endless array of outfits. Watching any other hockey for the rest of the season without them churning away in the corner just won't be the same.

Cheerleaders 2013 WJC, Cheerleaders 2013 WJC
Hey NHL owners, how about you rip out 60 of your most expensive seats so we can have some cheerleaders right up against the glass?

1985-86 Philadelphia Flyers Ron Sutter Jersey

Today, we continue our look at the six Sutter brothers to have played in the NHL.

The Sutter Family, The Sutter Family
The Sutter Brothers

The next Sutter to arrive on the scene was Ron Sutter, the fifth of the brothers, who made his NHL debut on November 28, 1982, Ron was the highest drafted of all the Sutter brothers at 4th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1982.

He added to the family legacy when he was named captain of the Flyers in December of 1989 through the end of the 1990-91 season, the third of the Sutters to wear the "C" along with Brian and Darryl.

Ron would play eight seasons with the Flyers, followed by two and a half with the Blues, a half season with the Quebec Nordiques, a half season with the Islanders and a stop in Boston with the Bruins,

He would then find a home with the San Jose Sharks for four seasons before closing out his career with the Flames in 2000-01. In all, Ron would play 1,093 games with 205 goals and 533 points.

Ron Sutter, Ron Sutter
Ron Sutter

Today's featured jersey is a 1985-86 Philadelphia Flyers Ron Sutter jersey. This style of Flyers jersey arrived during Ron's first season in Philadelphia and remained in use during his entire stay in Philadelphia and beyond, lasting until the change to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007 and would likely still be in use today if not for the change in manufacturer.

This jersey is a prime example of the use of Ron Sutter's full name on the back (FNOB for all you fans of Uni Watch), made necessary when twin brother Rich arrived in in Philadelphia where they played together from 1983 to 1986.

Philadelphia Flyers 85-86 jersey, Philadelphia Flyers 85-86 jersey

To begin today's video segment, this announcer really earns his pay. Listen and see if you can follow along!

Next, the third of the four part series on the Sutter brothers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

1981-82 New York Islanders Brent Sutter Jersey

Today we continue our look at the six Sutter brothers to have played in the NHL.

The Sutter Brothers, The Sutter Brothers
While some of the Sutter brothers were still active as players, others had moved into management

Brent Sutter, was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1980 and, while he spent the vast majority of his season with the Lethbridge of the WHL, became the fourth Sutter brother to play in the NHL when he made his debut on February 25, 1981 when he joined brother Duane in the Islanders lineup, the first time two of the Sutters were teammates in the NHL.

Duane and Brent Islanders, Duane and Brent Islanders
Duane and Brent played together for the Islanders from 1980-81 to 1986-87 - note the one color name on Duane's jersey while Brent's was two colors!

He split the following regular season between the Broncos and the Islanders, but by the time the playoffs rolled around, junior hockey was in his rearview mirror and Brent was part of the Islanders third consecutive Stanley Cup championship, a feat he and the Islanders repeated in 1983, which saw Brent score 21 points in 20 games.

Brent Sutter Stanley Cup, Brent Sutter Stanley Cup
Brent with one of two Stanley Cups he would win with the Islanders

Brent would go on to play 12 seasons with New York before a trade early in the 1991-92 season sent him to the Chicago Blackhawks where he would play seven additional seasons.

His finest season was by far in 1984-85 when he scored 42 goals and 102 points, a shocker since his next highest season totaled just 68 points!

His career would finish with 1,111 games played, 363 goals and 829 points to lead all the Sutter brothers in games, goals, assists and points.

Joining Brian, Duane and Darryl, Brent would be the fourth of the Sutter brothers to become a head coach. He began his coaching career after he purchased the Red Deer Rebels, the junior club each of the Sutters had played for on their way to the NHL. He was not only the Rebels head coach, but their General Manager as well.

During his second season behind the bench in 2000-01, Brent guided the Rebels to the Memorial Cup championship. After seven seasons, which also included coaching Canada to gold medals at the World Junior Championship in both 2005 and 2006, Brent joined his siblings as a head coach in the NHL when he took over behind the bench of the New Jersey Devils for two seasons before leaving to become head coach of the Calgary Flames, where he worked under his General Manger brother Darryl for half of his three seasons with the Flames.

Brent Sutter, Brent Sutter
Brent Sutter

Today's featured jersey is a 1981-82 New York Islanders Brent Sutter jersey as worn during his rookie season in which he won the first of two Stanley Cups in his career. Notice the inconsistency in the fonts between his #21 jersey with serifs on both digits when compared to Duane's #12 jersey from the same season as we featured here.

While in this case both jerseys have two color names, Brent's name lacks the period after his first initial, while Duane's has a period. This is the kind of detail differences which both confuse and perplex collectors of game worn jerseys, while also being quite helpful in dating and photo matching jerseys at the same time.

New York Islanders 81-82 Brent S jersey, New York Islanders 81-82 Brent S jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today is the second installment of the four part documentary on the Sutter brothers.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 World Juniors - 1/3

Dasherboard: Thursday's Semifinals at the 2013 World Junior Tournament began the United States defeating Canada by a score of 5-1, a shocking result based on how the Americans dominated the previously undefeated Canadians, who had yet to even be taken to an overtime.

Jake McCabe scored twice in the first period to put the US up 2-0 after the first period after outshooting Canada 12-8. John Gaudreau also added a pair of goals to extend his hot streak following his hat trick against the Czech Republic and two goals against Slovakia prior to that, giving him 7 goals and 9 points in his last three games.

The United States led 4-0 after two periods while holding a 26-18 advantage in shots. After Gaudreau made it 3-0 three minutes into the second, Jim Vesey's goal at 12:44 chased Malcom Subban from the Canadian goal for the first time all tournament.

Canada showed they weren't giving up with a goal four minutes into the third period, but the US held firm after that, with Gadreau's second on a breakaway sealing the victory for the United States.

In the second game, Sweden dominated the first period, needing just seconds to score on their first power play opportunity, and then scoring their second goal before the Russians even registered their first shot on goal. When the period ended, Sweden was leading 2-0 and held a 14-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Against the flow of play, Russia broke through with a goal seven minutes into the second period. Following that goal, the game finally came alive as both teams had multiple chances with the Swedish goaltender Niklas Lundström providing some stellar saves to keep the Russians at bay, including one late in the period where he had to look behind him to see if the puck had made it through.

And if you thought the second period was entertaining, the intensity only ramped up to an even greater level in the third period as the teams flew up and down the ice with the home fans really filling the intimately sized 8,000 seat Russian arena with their pleas for their squad to score, which were rewarded with the tying goal by Grigorenko at 7:32.

That goal proved to be the only one of the third period despite all the magnificent chances each team generated, only to be stopped by the strong play of both net minders. With the game tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation, the contest moved into the overtime, which ended scoreless, sending the game into a shootout, despite Nail Yakupov's last gasp dash at the buzzer.

In the shootout, both shooters were stopped in the first of three rounds, as were the second round pair, Sebastian Collberg converted for the Swedes past Andrei Vasilevski, who played great for Russia, before Lundström stopped Nikita Kucherov, sending the Swedes into the final to defend their championships from last year.

Sweden will now advance to face the United States in the gold medal final on Saturday following Russia vs. Canada for the bronze, which will be again televised on the NHL Network in the United States and on TSN in Canada.

1979-80 Chicago Blackhawks Darryl Sutter Jersey

Today we continue our look at the six Sutter brothers to have played in the NHL.

The Sutter Family, The Sutter Family
The Sutter brothers on the family farm with the Stanley Cup, with the three cup winners Duane, Brent and Darryl above

Darryl Sutter would make it three Sutters in the NHL with his debut two weeks after Duane, when he overcame his 11th round, 179th overall selection by the Black Hawks in the 1978 draft. Darryl would spend his entire career with Chicago, playing eight seasons in all, including being named the team captain in 1982 through the end of his career in 1987.

Darryl would complete his career with 406 games played, 161 goals and 279 points.

Darryl Sutter, Darryl Sutter
Darryl Sutter

He too, would go into coaching, returning to Chicago for the 1992-93 season. He would also coach the San Jose Sharks six seasons after three in Chicago, three more with the Calgary Flames, including a trip to the finals in 2004, and, after five years away from begin a head coach while serving as the Flames General Manager, he took over halfway through the 2011-12 season for the Los Angeles Kings, which ended with Darryl guiding the Kings to the Stanley Cup.

Darryl Sutter Stanley Cup, Darryl Sutter Stanley Cup
Coach Sutter lifts the Stanley Cup

Today's featured jersey is a 1979-80 Chicago Blackhawks Darryl Sutter jersey as worn during the early portion of his career prior to being named captain of the Blackhawks in 1982. This now iconic style was first introduced in 1955 and remains essentially unchanged since, often finishing on top of "Best Jersey" lists.

Chicago Black Hawks 79-80 jersey, Chicago Black Hawks 79-80 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today we begin the four part series, "The Boys Who Loved Hockey" about the Sutter brothers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 World Juniors - 1/2

Dasherboard: Wednesday's Quarterfinals in the 2013 World Junior Tournament was certainly a study in contrasts, as the United States built on the momentum gained with their dominating 9-3 win over Slovakia by hammering the Czech Republic 7-0, a team that was on a three game winning streak heading into the Playoff Round.

The Americans will now advance to face Canada in the Semifinals on Thursday in a rematch of their Preliminary Round game which was won by Canada 2-1.

The Canada USA game will be on the NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada live at 3:00 AM eastern with repeats later in the day.

In perhaps the most entertaining game of the tournament to date, Switzerland gave Russia all they could handle by coming from behind to lead 3-2 late in the third period, only to have Russia tie the game with 1:39 remaining to send the contest into overtime. Switzerland then survived a Russian power play in overtime and took the hosts into sudden death in the deciding penalty shots before the Russians finally prevailed.

Group A winner Sweden awaits Russia in the second Semifinal on Thursday at 8:00 AM eastern, which will be on the NHL Network in the United States and on TSN in Canada.

1981-82 New York Islanders Duane Sutter Jersey

Today we continue our look at the six Sutter brothers to have played in the NHL.

The Sutter Family, The Sutter Family
The Sutter brothers

With the path to the NHL now having been established by brother Brian, Duane Sutter also travelled from Red Deer to Lethbridge on his way to the NHL following his selection by New York Islanders 17th overall in the 1979 NHL Draft.

Sutter's arrival on Long Island on November 30th, 1979 corresponded to the rise of the Islanders dynasty, as they would win the Stanley Cup in each of Duane's first four seasons, highlighted by his 21 points in 20 playoff games in 1983.

Duane Sutter Stanley Cup, Duane Sutter Stanley Cup
Duane hoisting one of his four Stanley Cups

After eight seasons with the Islanders, Duane was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he would play three more seasons to close out a career which totaled 731 games, 139 goals and 342 points.

Following his playing career, Duane would also become a head coach for a time following in the footsteps of his brother Brian once again, spending parts of two seasons behind the bench of the Florida Panthers.

Duane Sutter, Duane Sutter
Duane Sutter

Today's featured jersey is a 1981-82 New York Islanders Duane Sutter jersey as worn after brother Brent joined the Islanders, necessitating the use of his first initial "D" on the back. The Islanders would go on to win their third of four straight Stanley Cups this season.

This style was first worn in 1978-79 when the orange stripe moved to the bottom of the jersey and the sleeves gained white stripes to go with the orange ones, making the arms and waist now match. This style was worn through the Islanders dynasty and beyond until being replaced by the unloved Fisherman style.

New York Islanders 81-82 jersey, New York Islanders 81-82 jersey

photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video segment is Duane flattening Dave Hannan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Next, Duane doesn't take grief from anyone, fans included!

Finally, Duane and the Islanders win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup in 1983.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1984-85 St. Louis Blues Brian Sutter Jersey

There have been several instances of brothers playing in the NHL, such as Bobby and Dennis Hull, Maurice and Henri Richard and Phil and Tony Esposito, but even the largest families top out at three brothers, such as Peter, Anton and Marian Stastny or Aaron, Neal and Paul Broten, but 30 years ago on this date in 1983, Rich Sutter became the sixth of the Sutter brothers from Viking, Alberta to play in the NHL.

The Sutter Family, The Sutter Family
The Sutter family, father Joh, mother Grace and brother Gary (in the cap), who stayed at home on the farm rather than pursue a hockey career, although it's been said by the others he was the best hockey player in the group

The story of the Sutter brothers in the NHL began with Brian Sutter, drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 1976 NHL Draft after playing for the Red Deer Rustlers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League before moving on to the Lethbridge Broncos of the WHL. He would split his time between the Kansas City Blues of the CHL as well as making his debut with St. Louis on December 4, 1976, ushering in an era of the Sutter family in the NHL.

Brian would spend his entire career with the Blues, playing 779 games over 12 seasons with a high of 46 goals in 1982-83 and 83 points the following season. Entering his fourth season, Brian was named captain of the Blues, a position he would hold for nine seasons until his retirement due to a nagging back injury. The Blues would raise his #11 to the rafters on December 30, 1988 in recognition of his contributions to the franchise, which continued as he took over as the Blues head coach for the season following his retirement!

Brian Sutter, Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter

Today's featured jersey is a 1984-85 St. Louis Blues Brian Sutter jersey. This style of jersey was first used during Brian's 9th season with the Blues and was only used for one season. It featured the addition of the world "Blues" across the chest and a darker shade of blue than previously used.

The following season the waist stripe would move up off the bottom of the jersey to now have a white stripe below it as well as the addition of red trim on the striping along with a simplified font for the numbers and a change to one color block lettering for the names on the back. 

St Louis Blues 84-85 jersey, St Louis Blues 84-85 jersey
St Louis Blues 84-85 jersey, St Louis Blues 84-85 jersey
Today's video section begins with Brian exchanging blows with Randy Carlyle.

Next, Brian KO's Paul Baxter with one punch, earning himself a trip to the penalty box.

Finally, an overview of the hockey playing brothers from 1994.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 World Juniors and 2012 Spengler Cup Monday Update

First up on today's busy schedule of games was the Group A match in the 2013 World Junior Championships between Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Entering the contest, the Czechs were had 6 points to Switzerland's 5. The first period ended up even at 1-1 with the Czechs scoring twice in the first seven minutes of the second period for a 3-1 lead, but the Swiss countered with a pair of power play goals in the third period to even the score at 3-3 after 60 minutes.

With both teams now earning a point in the standings, it was time to decide who would move on to the medal round as overtime began. The game was decided after 1:39 when Tomas Hertl of the Czech Republic scored to win the game and advance the Czechs into the Playoff Round, while the Swiss would have to wait until the conclusion of Finland's game later in the day to learn their fate.

The next contest looked to be a a good one on paper, as the United States was facing off against Slovakia, who had taken Russia to overtime, while the US had fallen to the tournament hosts in regulation, albeit by a 2-1 score.

After the teams traded goals 14 seconds apart early in the first period, the Americans put their heads down and streaked out to a 5-1 lead within the next ten minutes. Slovakia got a goal back before the period ended only to see the US add three more to their lead to 8-2 at the end of the second period.

The game finished 9-3 for the United States, securing their place in the Playoff Round and sending Slovakia into the Relegation Round with Germany, but with a nice head start as they carry over their 2 points from their game with Germany.

The third game of the day saw Sweden taking on Finland, with the Finns now down by a point in the standings to Switzerland, and needing at least a point to advance. Those hopes were dealt a severe blow when Sweden streaked out to a 3-0 lead within 14 minutes only to have Finland come roaring back to tie the game 3-3 with three goals in eight minutes.

Sweden retook the lead with a goal at the 16 minute mark of the second and added another before the second period ended. While Finland took one back 40 seconds into the third, it was as close as they would get, as Sweden pulled away for a final score of 7-4 to send Finland to the Relegation Round along with Latvia.

In the final game of the day, a packed Ufa Arena saw Canada take the honors in Group B with a 4-1 win over Russia on the strength of two first period power play goals and the goaltending of Malcom Subban. The win puts Canada into the semifinals, along with Group A winner Sweden.

Wednesday's Quarterfinals pit the Czech Republic against the United States in the first game at 4 AM eastern, followed by Russia taking on Switzerland at 8 AM.

In the Relegation Round, Finland's win over Latvia and Slovakia's overtime win over Germany carry over to the standings, putting Finland with 3 points, Slovakia with 2, Germany with 1 and Latvia with none. Expect Finland and Slovakia to be safe with their head start in the standings, with the key game being Germany vs. Latvia on Friday, with Germany holding the advantage of having a point in the standings going in, requiring Latvia to win to stay in the Top Division for next year.

Meanwhile, Canada's good day continued at the 2012 Spengler Cup when Patrice Bergeron scored just 46 seconds into the championship final. Less than halfway into the first period Ryan Smyth extended the lead to 3-0 before Davos, playing it's fifth game in five days, scored before the period was over.

Smyth and John Tavares built the lead to 5-1 in the second period and Jason Spezza and Tavares scored in the third period to make the final score 7-2 after Davos added a second goal with 2:31 to play.

Ryan Smyth Spengler Cup

It was Canada's 12th Spengler Cup since 1984 and first since 2007.

Canada Spengler Cup

The Spengler Cup

In addition to the ongoing World Junior Championship, this is also the time of year for the annual Spengler Cup tournament. Founded in 1923 by Dr. Carl Spengler to promote teams from German-speaking portions of Europe who may have been ostracized in the aftermath of World War I, the Spengler Cup is hosted by HC Davos of Switzerland.

The Spengler Cup, The Spengler Cup

The tournament is an invitational tournament and the oldest such tournament in the world.

The games are held between Boxing Day and New Year's Day with all games being held at the 7,080 seat Vaillant Arena in Davos.

Vaillant Arena, Vaillant Arena
The Vaillant Arena in Davos, home of the Spengler Cup

The invitees over the history of the tournament are a who's who of of powerful European clubs as well as an eclectic mix of unusual and unexpected teams.

The original winners of the Spengler Cup in 1923 was the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club of England, which was made up of Canadian students. Berlin SC of Germany won the second edition in 1924 before Oxford University reclaimed the cup in 1925 and Berlin SC again in 1926.

1923 Spengler Cup Canadians, 1923 Spengler Cup Canadians
The Oxford University Club, comprised of Canadian students

Hosts HC Davos took their first championship in 1927 and LTC Prague were the first Czechoslovakian winner in 1929 and again in 1930. Diavoli Rossoneri of Milan added Italy to the list of winners in 1934 and repeated in 1935.

HC Davos 1920's, HC Davos 1920's
HC Davos in the 1920's

An era of Swiss dominance arrived in 1938 when HC Davos took their 4th title. World War II kept the tournament from being played in 1939 and 1940, but Davos picked up where they left off by winning in 1941, 1942 and 1943. Zürcher SC continued the winning Swiss ways in 1944 and 1945, giving Switzerland six titles in a row and seven out of the previous eight.

HC Davos 1940, HC Davos 1940
HC Davos in 1940 during the Swiss run of dominance

LTC Prague reeled off three titles in a row from 1946 to 1948 and the tournament was not played in 1949. HC Milano Inter took back to back wins in 1953 and 1954, the last of five titles for Italian clubs. Rudá Hvēzda Brno of Czechoslovakia won in 1955 before the tournament was not held in 1956, the last time the Spengler Cup was not held and one of only four times since 1923 the cup has not been awarded in it's history.

After HC Davos added two more titles in 1957 and 1958, ACBB (Athletic Club Boulogne-Billancourt) Paris won three consecutive cups to add France to the list of winners.

Sparta Prague won in 1962 and 1963 followed by EV Füssen of Germany became the last western team to take home the cup for the next 20 years, as the Czechoslovakian and Soviet teams would dominate the competition going forward.

Dukla Jihlava would win in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1978 and 1982 and HC Slovan Bratislava would win a trio of titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974 for Czechoslovakia along with the Czechoslovak Olympic Team in 1975.

1975 Spengler Cup, 1975 Spengler Cup
1975 Spengler Cup action

Lokomotiv Moscow would become the first Soviet winner in 1967 and again in 1969 followed by SKA Leningrad in 1970, 1971 and 1977. The USSR B team won in 1976, Krylya Soveov Moscow (Soviet Wings) in 1979 followed by Spartak Moscow in both 1980 and 1981, with Dynamo Moscow's first title coming in 1983.

1966-67 Dukla Jihlava team, 1966-67 Dukla Jihlava team
Dukla Jihlava, winners of the Spengler Cup in 1966

1984 saw the debut of Team Canada at the Spengler Cup, which resulted in their first of 11 titles to date. The team representing Canada at the Spengler Cup was originally comprised of the Canadian National Team, a club which remained together for an entire season under the "Programme of Excellence", which began in 1983 to represent Canada at such tournaments as the World Championships, the Spengler Cup and prepare for the Olympics, rather than the current format of All-Star teams who only come together days before such competitions.

The Canadian "Programme of Excellence" lasted until 1998, when the NHL began shutting down to allow it's players into the Olympics every four years, at which point Team Canada at the Spengler Cup began to be comprised of Canadians playing professionally for club teams in Europe and occasionally North American minor leaugers, who were brought together as a squad to stand for Canada.

Spartak Moscow downed Canada in 1985 and the Canadians defeated Soviet clubs in 1986 and 1987 to claim three titles in four years. The United States broke through for their only victory with a "USA Selects" squad in 1988.

Spartak Moscow won the final two times for the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1990 before the political upheaval led to the breakup of the Soviet Union, which saw CSKA Moscow win under the flag of Russia in 1991.

Although Swedish clubs had long participated in Davos, Färjestad BK's wins in 1993 and 1994 were Sweden's first titles following seven runner up finishes dating back to 1950.

The Canadians reeled off four wins in a row from 1995 to 1998, which included the participation of the Rochester Americans of the AHL in 1996, the first North American professional club to take part in th competition. Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks) then became the first German team to win since 1964 when they took home the title in 1999.

Klner Haie 1999, Klner Haie 1999
The Cologne Sharks show off their 1999 Spengler Cup

Hosts HC Davos delighted the home fans by winning the tournament for the first time since 1958, a span of 42 years, when they won in 2000 and repeated the feat in 2001.

The Canadians returned to the top in 2002 and 2003 before Davos won again in 2004 before Metallurg Magnitogorsk became the first Russian club to win the tournament in 14 years with their championship in 2005.

Canada Spengler Cup 2007, Canada Spengler Cup 2007
Curtis Joseph celebrates Canada's 2007 championship

Since then, Davos in 2006, Team Canada in 2007, Dynamo Moscow in 2008 preceded Dinamo Minsk becoming the first team from Belarus to capture the Spengler Cup in 2009, the 12th country represented  with a championship.

Dinamo Minsk Spengler Cup 2009, Dinamo Minsk Spengler Cup 2009
Dinamo Minsk becomes the first club from Belarus to win the Spengler Cup

SKA Saint Petersburg won in 2010, the fourth for the team, as they won three times in the 1970's while known as SKA Leningrad.

SKA Spengler Cup 2010, SKA Spengler Cup 2010
SKA Saint Petersburg celebrate in 2010

HC Davos defeated Dinamo Riga in last year's finals to win their fifth since 2000 after their long drought dating back to 1958.

Davos Spengler Cup 2011, Davos Spengler Cup 2011
HC Davos gathers after winning their 15th Spengler Cup last year

Participants this year include, as always, the hosts HC Davos and HC Fribourg-Gottéon of Switzerland, Adler Manheim of Germany, HC Viktovice Steel from the Czech Republic, Russia's Salavat Yulaev Ufa and a particularly loaded Team Canada, who have a stacked lineup thanks to the availability of many players who would normally be occupied in the NHL if it were not for the ongoing lockout.

Spengler Cup logo, Spengler Cup logo

Among those notable names on the Team Canada roster this year are: goaltender Jonathan Bernier, and forwards Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, John Tavares, Jason Williams, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and veteran Ryan Smyth.

Tavares vs Kane, Tavares vs Kane
John Tavares battles with Patrick Kane during the 2012 Spengler Cup

Still, the other clubs will benefit from locked out NHL players, as Davos has Joe Thornton, Patrick Kane and Loui Eriksson while Fribourg has goaltender Corey Schneider, Patric Hornqvist, Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais on their roster.

Joe Thornton Davos, Joe Thornton Davos
Joe Thornton, wearing the flaming helmet to identify him as the leading scorer

The six clubs were then divided into two groups of three, who play two games each to determine the seeding for the Knockout Stage.

In two very competitive groups, as no team went undefeated in their two games, HC Vitkovice placed first in Group Torriani while Team Canada came out on top of Group Cattani to advance to the Semifinals, held yesterday.

Team Canada met Fribourg-Gottéon, who defeated Adler Manheim in the first quarterfinal 5-2. Canada advanced to the finals with a 5-1 win on Sunday thanks to a pair of goals by Matt Duchene. Jason Spezza, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Carlo Colaiacovo also added goals for Canada.

Canada's opponents will be HC Davos, who downed Viktovice Steel 5-4 to reach the final after having previously eliminated Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the second quarterfinal on Saturday by a score of 7-5.

If you are up early enough, the final game is being televised in Canada on TSN2 at 5:55 AM Eastern Time.

Today's featured jersey is a 2009 Dinamo Minsk Ville Peltonen jersey as worn when Dinamo became the first team from Belarus to win the Spengler Cup when they defeated HC Davos 3-1.

After the previous club in Minsk folded due to financial issues in 2001, the current Dinamo Minsk was born in 2003 and joined the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2008-09 season after winning the Belarus Extraliga championship in 2007 and the Belarus Cup in 2005 and 2006. Their popularity has made them the best attended club in the KHL.

Teams often wear special jerseys just for the Spengler Cup tournament, resplendent with numerous advertisements not normally found on their domestic league jerseys, such as Minsk forgoing their usual Belarusian/Russian sponsorships in favor of Würth, a German maker of power tools, automotive hardware and fasteners among other items.

Dinamo Minsk 2009 jersey, Dinamo Minsk 2009 jersey
Dinamo Minsk 2009 jersey, Dinamo Minsk 2009 jersey

Today's video segment begins with highlights of HC Davos winning the Spengler Cup in 2000, ending their 38 year drought. Notice the previous version of the championship trophy with the glass globe on top.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 World Juniors - 12/30

Dasherboard: On Saturday in the 2013 World Junior Tournament Sweden defeated Latvia 5-1 and Russia blanked Germany 7-0 as expected.

Today's action saw Finland edge feisty Switzerland 5-4 in a shootout, which left the two teams tied at 5 points apiece in Group A.

Canada played a strong defensive game and made 2 first period goals hold up for a 2-1 win in regulation to remain atop Group B with a perfect 3-0 record.

The Americans second loss in a row without a point leaves them tied with Slovakia at 3 points each as Slovakia outlasted Germany in overtime 2-1 to take two of the three available points.

Also in Group A, the Czech Republic won over Latvia to keep pace in their quest to advance to the Playoff Round.

In the Group A standings, Sweden leads with 8 points while the Czechs are second with 6 points, followed by Finland and Switzerland tied at 5 each in the ultra tight group. Sweden takes on rivals Finland today while the Czech Republic faces off against Switzerland. There's any number of scenarios which could take place tomorrow, with one of those four clubs being left without a chair when the music stops.

Group B is more settled, with Canada and Russia playing to win the group and earn the valuable bye that goes with it, as both will move on to the Playoff Round. The US and the Slovaks will settle the fight for the third playoff spot in their winner-take-all game and the loser drops into the Relegation Round with Germany and Latvia.

The USA vs. Slovakia game will be on the NHL Network in the United States live at 5:00 AM eastern and repeated again at 8 PM.

Canada's game vs. Russia will follow at 9:00 AM with a repeat at 5:30 PM.

TSN in Canada will also have the USA/Slovakia game live at 5:00 AM and Canada/Russia live beginning at 8:30 AM with repeats at 12 noon, 7:30 PM and 11 PM.

Reader Submission - 2003-04 Columbus Blue Jackets Tyler Wright Jersey

Our latest reader submission comes from Charles Cordle, and it's a valuable lesson in doing your research into game worn jerseys, a search in this case with some surprising and detailed results!

Here is Charles' fascinating story about his jersey and and the unique series of events that he was able to discover about his special jersey.
In mid December of 2011 I won a game worn Tyler Wright 3rd jersey off of eBay.  The jersey did come with a COA from the Blue Jackets but had no information on it as to what game(s) it had been worn in.  The jersey also did not have a set tag.  The only thing I could be sure of was that it had been worn sometime during the 2003-2004 season since it was a Koho branded jersey and this was the only season that these jerseys were branded as such.

After having no luck photo matching the jersey I decided to ask the seller if he had any additional information on history of the jersey.  He was only able to tell them that he got the jersey from a member of gameworn.net whose name he did not remember and that he had gotten the jersey directly from the team.  With this information I decided to do a search of gameworn.net to see if the original owner had ever made a post about this jersey.

I was able to find to find a post dated 10/13/03 (same date as the debut game for the 3rd jerseys).  The post read as follows.

The team actually gave away 8 of the new 3rds. Local radio station 610 sponsored a special ticket deal with the team, and had a contest where a player called in each day the week before the game, and asked a trivia question. The person who answered the question correctly got 2 seats in Executive Suite #1 for the game, and the jersey off the back of the player they answered the question for.  
The winners watched the game from the fully catered suite, and then were taken down to a room just off the locker room where the sweaters they had won were presented to them by Geoff Sanderson. The Game-worns given away through the contest were: Marc Denis, Geoff Sanderson, Daryl SydorTyler Wright and Jody Shelley  
You might ask how I know all that. That's because I'm wearing the Tyler Wright jersey I won as I type this. It's officially game worn, but as he was injured 1:48 into the game, there isn't a lot of wear. I'll provide pics later this week, and www.610wtvn.com will have pics once they get them developed. Like I said, the jersey isn't hammered, but the fact that it was worn for the inaugural 3rd jersey game makes it cool to me.  
Additionally, there seems to be no indicator of any kind inside the jersey itself that it was customized, and carries no game worn tag. None of the jerseys worn for that night did, however the team is providing COA's for them upon request.”  
Reading that a Tyler Wright jersey was given away that night and that the jerseys did not have any type of set tag or markings I decided to dig some more.  I now ran a search of all of the posts from the author of the quote above and was able to find a for sale posting for the Wright jersey he had along with a post from the buyer of the jersey. The buyer turned out to be the same person that I had gotten the jersey from on eBay. 
Being able to track down the history of this jersey made me very happy.  Also to find out that it had been worn on the ice during the first period of the game that the jersey debuted made it ever more special to me since I had attended that game and remember how much excitement there was for the Blue Jackets to finally have a 3rd jersey. 
To view more of my Blue Jackets Jersey collection and to see a complete history of the Blue Jackets Jerseys please visit my site at: www.sites.google.com/site/columbusbluejacketsjerseyguide/

Thanks to Charles for taking the time to photograph his jersey and share the story of the unique origins of his jersey which originated as a prize in a radio contest. We really appreciate the efforts involved when our readers take the time and effort to share their jerseys.

Be sure to take the time to look through Charles' jersey collection on his website. It's really extensive and well done. You can really tell he's passionate about his team and knows his stuff. Plus, he has an eye for unique jerseys with extra patches, something we always appreciate.

If you have a jersey in your collection that you'd like to share with us and your fellow readers, please submit your pictures and a story to go with it, no matter how brief or detailed, to spyboy1@gmail.com and we look forward to seeing your favorites!


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