The Best Moment In Each National Team's History

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Weissy Baby, Aug 20, 2017.

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  1. Weissy Baby

    Weissy Baby Registered User

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    Every nation that ever competed in international hockey has had its best moment. For some countries its easy to figure out what it was, and for other nations it is difficult. Here are my suggestions for some of the better national teams. I'll let you tell me how I'm wrong.

    Canada: Probably the toughest since Canada has been so dominant in international hockey (at least when we care). I'm going to declare it a three way tie between the Henderson goal in the 1972 Summit Series, Lemieux's goal assisted by Gretzky to win the 1987 Canada Cup, and Sidney Crosby's golden goal to win the 2010 Olympic gold medal in Vancouver.

    Russia/ Soviet Union: There have been many great moments in Russian/ Soviet hockey, but from all the World Championships, Olympic gold medals I'm going to go with the 1981 Canada Cup victory because its the Soviets only best on best tournament win.

    U.S.A: The "Miracle on Ice" tops the list because it just has that American underdog spirit about that victory. I'll give an honourable mention to the 1996 World Cup victory over Canada.

    Sweden: Its the 2006 Olympic gold medal, and its not even close.

    Finland: Finland is difficult because they have finished second so many times, but don't have an Olympic gold medal or Canada/ World Cup to show for it. I'm going to go with the 1995 IIHF World Championship just because they beat Sweden in Sweden for the championship and that had to be sweet. Honourable mentions go to the 2011 World Championship, and the 2016 World Juniors.

    Czech Republic: It has to be the 1998 Olympic gold medal.

    Slovakia: The 2002 IIHF World Championship win is the nations high point since the breakup of Czechoslovakia.

    Switzerland: Its either winning silver in the 2013 IIHF World Championships, or upseting Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

    Belarus: The time they upset Sweden in the 2002 Winter Olympics and came fourth in the tournament.

    Latvia: That time they almost upset Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, even though they were heavily outshot.

    Great Britain: Surprisingly winning the 1936 Winter Olympic gold medal.

    Germany: I don't know, probably the silver at the 1930 IIHF World Championships.
     
  2. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    In the case of Germany I'd say without any doubt the 1976 Olympic bronze with Kühnhackl leading the way.

    Also the 2010 World Championships at home rank pretty high, with the world record attendance game against the United States and the 4th place finish overall.
     
  3. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    I'd suggest the 2002 Olympics were more important than the 2010 Olympics. The latter has two important things going for it - being on home ice (from Canada's perspective), and having a dramatic overtime goal in the gold medal game scored by (arguably) the league's best player. But 2002 was Canada's first Olympic gold medal in fifty years. There was also a theme of redemption (after losing to the Czech Republic in Nagano four years earlier, and also losing to the US in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey).
     
  4. feffan

    feffan Registered User

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    It may seem so, probably especially to north americans. But the especially the 1957, 1962 and 1987 World Championship golds are revered by many just as high.
    1957 winning in Moskva against the heavy home favourite.
    1962 beating Canada (their only loss... Sweden with no loss in points...) with one of the most classic swedish goaltending appaerances ever by Lennart "Klimpen" Häggroth, who according to the papers of the time saved 105 shots in that game. Also during the Canada game probably the most famous radio line in Swedish sports was said. "Den glider in i måååååål". After that win Arne Stromberg actually cut his medal in half at a gold smith and gave on half to Ed Reigle, who was credited with taking the swedish team to another level during his time as head coach 1957-1960.

    Then, from 1963 until Swedens win in 1987, Soviet won 18 gold medals and Czechslovakia 4. So the win in 1987, wich put Sweden back as a hockey power, was ridicilous big at the time. Some classis swedish players became national heroes there. And the confidence for the 1991, 1992 WC golds and 1994 OG gold came alot from there. Albelin played on that squad. He won his last Stanley Cup as a player as late as 2003, 16 years later... And Hasek was the All Star Goaltender of the tourney... He won the Cup 21 years later...
     
  5. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    Was 1972 and 1987 really the work of Canada's national team?
     
  6. Huokaus

    Huokaus Registered User

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    I think 1995 is it for Finland, no contest. Everyone (maybe a bit exaggerated, but still very many) still knows the players on that team and pretty much everyone is considered a national hero. Of course it being against Sweden in Sweden is the way we like it, too (we won the 2014 WJC against Sweden in Sweden too, and won the 2011 WHC against Sweden but not in Sweden). The final match is still shown in TV occasionally, and the commentary by Mertaranta is legendary. The magnitude of celebration was something something unheard of.

    I guess foreigners could view the Torino silver as the greatest accomplishment per se, but it hurts way too much. We'd rather celebrate a won gold from a tournament that's not that highly viewed by everyone than celebrate a bitter loss resulting in silver from a best-on-best tournament.
     
  7. Namba 17

    Namba 17 Registered User

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    USSR/Russia:
    1. AINEC - 1976 OG gold. The very same year USSR lost to CSSR at WC. OG was the main award for USSR, we had no rights to lose this tournament.
    The decisive game vs CSSR. After the first period USSR is 0 CSSR is 2. And then - simultaneously two minor penalties in the USSR team - it's 5 on 3 for full 2 minutes! When the score was 0-2! CSSR couldn't score, in the 2nd period USSR managed to equalize, but CSSR managed to score again, when it was 9 minutes before the end of the game. USSR scored twice, though, and got golden medals.
    But that was a GAME! Probably, the most dramatic game on OG hokey tournament ever:)
     
  8. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    It might seem so to a Canadian, but I don't think that's how it is seen in Sweden. I think this is more in line with how most would rank them:

    1. 1987 World Championships. This would be the biggest by far. No Western country had won the World Championship for 25 years. Winning over the Soviets with the Green Unit started a hockey craze in Sweden unlike any other. This tournament is as significant to Swedish hockey as the Miracle on Ice to US hockey.

    2. 1994 Olympics. Sweden's first Olympic win. Forsberg's shootout goal is probably the most famous Swedish goal of all time.

    3. Tie between 2006 Olympics and 1962 World Championship wins. The 2006 tournament was one last hurrah for Lidstrom, Sundin and Forsberg. The 1962 World Championship was the crowning achievement of Sweden's first golden generation in hockey, with Tumba, Pettersson, Stoltz, Nilsson, and Sterner on the team. Nilssons goal from the 1962 finals against Canada is STILL the second most well-known goal in Sweden, more than fifty years later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  9. crobro

    crobro Registered User

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    Poland defeating the soviets in 76 Winter Olympics
     
  10. Orange Dragon

    Orange Dragon Registered User

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    Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_at_the_1976_Winter_Olympics

    Surely there must be greater Soviet victory than defeating Czechoslovaks with flu.
     
  11. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Ya, those two for sure and also..... The Forgotten (and original) Miracle on Ice at the 1960 Olympics held at Squaw Valley... which you... "forgot" Weissy Baby. :D






    Edit to add: Team USA's Gold Medal win vs Canada in Womens Hockey, 1998 in Nagano Japan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  12. boyko10

    boyko10 44-11-9

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    '95 AINEC. But Turin is the best team we've ever iced. Nuppo tears still makes me die. HM to world cup 2004.
     
  13. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    It was actually in the World Championships held in Katowice that year, in the Olympics the Soviets had won 16:1 which surely was not the greatest moment for Polish hockey.

    But yes, the World Championships in 1976 at home including the victory over the Soviets is a good answer I think. It was also one of the first big events in the iconic Spodek arena that today symbolizes Katowice as a whole.

    The legendary match is available in YouTube in its entirety by the way, polecam!



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEIQOfrOHNs
     
  14. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    So Summit Series is best-on-best, but Challenge Cup 79 isn't?
     
  15. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    In my book it was. Replacing the Summit Series, Eagleson & the NHL coming up with this Best of 3 Series rather than an all All Star Game, all played in NY at Madison Square Garden. Made up of predominantly Canadians, there were also 3 Swedes playing for Team NHL All Stars, Salming, Hedberg & Nilsson. While the NHL All Stars came out strong in Game one winning 4-2, thereafter & Coached by Scotty Bowman, the wheels fell off, losing Game 2, then getting hammered in Game 3 6-0... and the Soviets btw starting Myshkin rather than Tretiak in that game, tested all of 24 times. Totally cruising to the win.... I recall this was in fact a pretty big deal to the Soviets, having handily beaten the best players of the capitalist NHL in the capital of the capitalist world of New York City.....

    Me, I thought it was pretty funny. That once again the brain dead Eagleson & his Buddy there, Loafer Boy, Helmet Haired NHL President John Ziegler thought this was a good idea. Arrogance. "Showcase the NHL & Beat Hell out of the Russians rather than the All Star Game". So they put together a disparate group of individuals, no "team" (Soviets playing together 11mnths of the year), no cohesion, underestimating the Mighty Red Machine once again, get annihilated, embarrassed by 6 goals to none. Zero. Nada.... The next time they tried that stunt was in 1987's "Rendezvous Series", and rather than 3 games, NHL shaved it down to 2. Team NHL All Stars winning Game 1 4-3, Soviets winning Game 2 5-3. No real winner. Participation Badges for all, no one loses (though on a goal differential the Soviets win by 1).

    So sure, 79 Challenge Cup a Big Deal to the Soviets & the Hockey World, Rendez Vous 87 not so much. Its too bad Eagleson, Wirtz & Campbell followed by Zeigler were running things in North America, the NHL, because as hockey minds go, justforgetaboutit. Crooks. Criminals. They didnt care about hockey, all about the $$$.... the Soviets never really faced a proper "team" of top end Canadian/NHL talent. That is not to take away from the Russians wins, players & coaches, we were all gypped, short changed by the powers that be on this side of the pond. As "great" as some feel all those games were beginning in 72 with the Summit, it all could have been so much "more", better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  16. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    For Canada it's 1972.

    I've seen the argument for 2002 over 2010 and it mostly makes sense, though I don't think that the 50 year Olympic gap was something that most people actually cared about. Certainly avenging two best on best losses was a big deal. Just personally I thought that 2010 seemed bigger. Part of it was that Canada had its worst ever performance in 2006, and part was that the opportunity to win the Olympic gold on home ice was essentially a once in a generation opportunity for Canada. It didn't hurt that it helped put Canada over the top for the gold medal record as well. For what it's worth, Pronger stated that for him 2010 was bigger. I would be curious to hear thoughts from Iginla and Hitchcock regarding which one was bigger for them.
     
  17. Henkka

    Henkka Registered User

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    Finland's best moment will be beating Canada in a Best-of-the-best Tournament final.

    Somewhere at Barkov/Laine/Ristolainen's peak this will happen.
     
  18. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    1. Henderson's goal in '72
    2. Gretzky and Lemieux's goal in 1987
    3. ....
    The 2002 Olympic gold medal was celebrated so much more. Sakic and Iginla combined for the tying and winning goals as Canada won the Olympic gold for the first time best on best in over half a century, making up for the huge 1998 letdown. Grandmothers were celebrating that one! 2010 and 2014 are lukewarm in comparison.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Sanf

    Sanf Registered User

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    Like said easily 95 WHC.

    There are even serious studies made how it helped Finland from economical depression and helped to lift the spirits in a difficult time. :)

    It really cemented hockey as number one sport in here. Actually the three previous WHC´s weren´t even televised in chanel that was available for all.

    It also changed quite a lot of the attitudes. When I was young optimistic kid hoping for a medal from the games everybody told me that we are going to lose to Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Canada and then it´s all over.

    Also the spontanious celebration that came out of it was very nonFinnish. I remember reading old Veli-Pekka Ketola book where he talks about the Cup parade in Winnipeg after they won the Avco Cup. He said something like "If they would dare to do this in Finland maximum of five people would come to the party throwing rotten tomatoes at them". And even exaggerated he had a point. :)
     
  20. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    For Russia/Soviet Union, I'd say game 1 of the Summit Series. That moment forever changed the landscape of the international game.
     
  21. feffan

    feffan Registered User

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    As my post above indicates, I agree. I didn´t rank them, but your ranking is good - even if I would put the 1957 as an 3C as well. And you put in quite a few vital things I missed :)

    And I agree with the 1994 OG. By the general public it´s probably seen as greater than 2006 by most not born 90´s and later in Sweden. That Salo save with his leg on Kariya and the Forsberg goal is part of a magical swedish sports summer, with the bronze in soccer that summer also seen as one of the mayor accomplishments in swedish sports history. The 2006 gold has that Lundqvist-save in the last minute, but nothing else as classic. But it´s Forsbergs goal that´s a postage stamp, not something from the 2006 squad...
    And that 2006 gold was almost more an relief over here. The golden generation had since the World Cup in 1996 been expected to win everything. The 1998 and 2002 OG:s made the 2006 more of a "finally..." than a "woha, we´re the best ever...".
    Kind of like the USA World Cup is their greatest achievement in the sport, but the Miracle is probably generally higher regarded because of the surrounding circumstances.
    I would guess it´s a culturell difference I often see when discussing the sport with especially NA:s. Winning is the important thing there, but in many European countries the cinderella stories that almost won are hold in just as high regard. The accomplishment according to what conditions you had to work with. For example both the swedish loosing game against Brazil in soccer in 1994 and Denmarks loss against Brazil as well in 1998 where held in just as high regard as the achievement of a team like Brazil winning in 1994. Urugay and Forlan in 2010 falls under that as well. In a David and Goliath-battle and the smaller one puts up a big fight, even if the bigger one wins, the small one is held in high regard.

    On the outside and just becouse of broderley love, the greatest game ever by Tre Kronor by most Swedish fans will probably be the Finland game in 2003 in Helsinki. The 1-5 to 6-5 game. Lasse Granqvists commentating that game and his voice cracking in the end and just leaving the radio booth to his co-commentator because he couldn´t grasp it all is legendary here as well. In soccer that´s the Germany - Sweden in Berling, 4-0 to 4-4. Also voiced by Lasse Granqvist.

    So if it´s "moments", many swedes will bring up games or situations instead of tournament wins.

    On a side note, to me the greatest game Tre Kronor has played is Canada - Sweden in the semi finals in 1996. A game Sweden by a small marginal outplayed Canada, but had the luck on the wrong side. If Alfredsson or Garpenlöv had just had the marginals with them there, that probably would for me be the greatest moment. The 2nd golden generation breaking out.


    Fun thread Weissy Baby!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  22. Sanf

    Sanf Registered User

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    One of the well not most bitter memories, but in the huge series of disapointments before our first medal. :)

    Finland lost the bronze medal with weaker goal differential (if that is the right term) in the games between Germany, USA and Finland. All end up in same points. German had 7–6 (1,166), Finland had 9–8 (1,125). If that would have been WHC´s Finland would have won the Bronze. There team with more goals would have won it.

    Not taking anything away from Germany. Good tournament. :)
     
  23. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Winning the Summit Series in 1972 for Canada. Also a shout out to the 2002 men's olympic team. First men's olympic team in 50 yrs. to win Olympic Gold in hockey.
     
  24. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I mean, you can't not choose the Miracle on Ice for Team USA.

    That said, I do think the 1996 World Cup was more of a watershed moment for the national program as a whole. That was the point where the USA demonstrably became a threat for international titles in any given year.
     
  25. Namba 17

    Namba 17 Registered User

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    Continue.
    2. WC-1978. Two years in a row SU lost to CSSR on WCs. That was a decisive moment in a battle between two superpowers. The first game on a tournament between these two - and USSR LOST to CSSR. Disaster was as close, as it could be. Before the last game of the WC CSSR felt themselves pretty comfortable - to win WC USSR needed not just to win the last game against CSSR (their second meeting on this WC), but to win by at least two goals.
    USSR won that game 3-1, created two masterpieces - Petrov-Mikhailov-Petrov goal and Balderis goal.
     

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