1977 World Hockey Championships - Vienna

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by cam0426, Apr 19, 2011.

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  1. cam0426

    cam0426 Registered User

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    I am working on a book that will tell the story of Canada's very controversial return to the World Championships in 1977 (they last competeted in that tournament in 1969.) This will be my first book since my 2009 book on the 1974 Canada/Soviet Summit.

    Their return was marred by two lopsided defeats at the hands of the Soviets (11-1 and 8-1) brutal play (Phil Esposito chasing Stig Salming off the ice waving his stick at Salmings' heads, Walt McKechnie firing a puck at an official, Wilf Paiment having numerous mental meltdowns and taking a series of terrible major penalties, Carol Vadnais urged on by his old Bruin teamate Wayne Casman to "get a Swede" in retailation for Cashman's injury in Stockholm in 1972, butt-heading Lars Erik Ericsson and sending Ericsson to the hospital with internal injuries, etc.) The other side of Team Canada saw them rebound from a slow start to crush Sweden 7-0 in the medal round, and beat Gold Medal winners CSSR 8-2 in the medal round. They received fantastic goaltending from Tony Esposito, fine defensive play from such players as Rick Hampton. Dennis Kearns, Greg Smith, and Dallas Smith and forwards like Phil Esposito, Jean Pronovost, Ralph Klassen, and Ron Ellis (who ended a two year retirment to play in the tournament) all impressed with their superb play.

    I am wondering if anyone here would be willing to share any articles or information they have on that tournament with me?

    Thank you,

    Craig Wallace
     
  2. Anderson9

    Anderson9 Registered User

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    Yes, I remember that tournament. Goonery aside, it was the best Team Canada to ever represent their country at WCs. It was a poor game plan and indiscipline ruined their chances against CCCP.

    Btw if the championship had been played in the format accepted since 1983, ie a medal round contested by four top teams, Canada would have been world champions in 1977...
     
  3. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    There was a medal round contested by the four top teams in 1977 as well. The format isn't different. But the points from the first round were taken into account, that's the difference between 1977 and 1983.
     
  4. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Better than in 1982? Better than in 1985? Okay, if you say so.

    I Haven't seen the 7-0 win over Sweden and 8-2 win over CSSR (both in the medal round), but was it a case of Canada being that good or Sweden and Czechoslovakia just being that bad? If I remember correctly, in his book Phil Esposito says something like they were a crap team who could intimidate opponents (except USSR).
     
  5. nutbar

    nutbar Registered User

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    I recall reading that after one game in that tournament, a frustrated Phil Esposito threw his helmet (which everybody had to wear in full IIHF events) into the crowd at Günther Sabetzki. Some woman sitting nearby caught it instead and was thrilled that Espo gave her his helmet.
     
  6. cam0426

    cam0426 Registered User

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    I thought they were a very solid team - talent wise. They had world class goaltending with Tony Esposito who played very well. On defense, Rick Hampton, Greg Smith, Dallas Smith and Dennis Kearns played as well as they were capable of and played very clean as well. Forwards such as Wayne Merrick, Ralph Klassen, Ron Ellis, Jean Pronovost and until he got hurt Guy Charon gave it everything they had and were very clean players. The issues came from players such as Wilf Paiment who while playing well (he was their 2nd leading scorer) took unbelievable stupid, very damaging penalties. At one point Coach Johnny Wilson considered sending him home - which says something considering Paiment was scoring well. Eric Vail, Walt McKechnie, Carol Vadnais, Phil Esposito (who did play well), and Rod Gilbert (of all people!) all gooned it up. The team imploded in both games versus the Soviets. Considering they beat Sweden 7-0 and the world champions Czechs 8-2 they clearly had talent. But they went at the Soviets like a SS Division rolling through a Soviet village in 1941 and they paid for it dearly. I watched Soviet players laughing at players such as Paiment when they committed yet another "meat head penalty."

    Craig
     
  7. cam0426

    cam0426 Registered User

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  8. Jungle

    Jungle Registered User

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    1977

    Hi Craig, how is the book progressing? I was at the world championships in 1977 working on behalf of Carling O'keefe, doing a film of " Canada's return to International Hockey". I covered the event but we never finished the film because of all the negative publicity. I sent all the 16mm negative to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but I think I might have the 1/4'' audio tapes at home here some where. (no promises). I think I have some good stories to tell, since I interviewed players at the official reception at the Canadian Embassy, attended the team party and the official closing banquet, which a couple of us had to motivate the team into attending. By the end my crew and I were the only press allowed into the Team Canada dressing room.

    Jim
     
  9. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    It wasnt hard for canada to win after they ran the czechs and swedish goalies, injuring key players and physically wearing down their opponent with disgusting play. It was a terrible year for hockey.
     
  10. cam042686

    cam042686 Registered User

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    Jim I put it on hold as I got tied up on another project. But I would love to chat with you about it as this will get done.

    Craig
     

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