Was the WJC 2011 Gold Medal game the worst collapse in a championship game?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I mean in all of the big sports. Not just hockey and not just the World Juniors. We all witnessed that train wreck that was the 2011 Canadian team in the third period. No need to argue that. So here's the thing, I have honestly tried to think of another choke job that was worse in a deciding game. This means, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA final, Stanley Cup final, other WJCs, Olympics. But only in a championship or deciding game. The Miracle on Manchester and the Monday Night Miracle were not deciding the Stanley Cup (and I'll even take the 2011 game over the Monday Night Miracle as a worse collapse). Here is what I have so far:

    Canada had a 3-0 lead in the 3rd period only to lose to Russia 5-3. While solely looking at the championship game the only ones close are:

    2002 WJC - Canada had a 2-0 and 3-1 lead in the game over Russia. In about 10 minutes the game is 4-3 Russia. Final is 5-4.

    2004 WJC - Canada is up 3-1 going into the 3rd vs. USA. The Yanks scored a couple of goals and then the classic Fleury gaffe.

    Despite everything, none of them compare to the other night.

    NBA? None that I can think of.

    Stanley Cup final? The worst I can think is Game 7 of the 1971 finals. Chicago is up 2-0 then the longshot at center ice from Lemaire cuts it in half. In the 3rd period Henri Richard scores twice and the Habs win the Cup. A bitter pill, but not worse than the 2011 WJC.

    Super Bowl? I can't think of one that bad. Scott Norwood was just a wide field goal, not a collapse.

    World Series? The best I can think of is in 1986 when the Red Sox are one strike away from winning the World Series against the Mets up two runs. Then a single, another single, another single and a run and then with Mookie Wilson at the plate and the Red Sox still up by a run Bob Stanley throws a wild pitch, not a strike that would have ended the game (again), and the tying run comes home. Then the Buckner incident. Red Sox lose.

    Inernational hockey?
    Canada/Russia in Game 8 in 1972. Not a great period by Russia, but it was 5-3 not 3-0 going into the 3rd period.

    Canada/Russia 1981 Canada Cup. The Soviets had the lead but Canada was still in the game early in the 3rd period and then 5 goals and that was all she wrote.


    So by what I can think of, only the 1986 World Series holds a candle, and probably surpasses what we saw the other night as the biggest collapse by a team in a championship game. Any others?
     
  2. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Jean Van de Velde and Greg Norman in the British Open/Masters. It is hard to think of definitively bigger collapses in championship games of team sports.
     
  3. Kirikanoir

    Kirikanoir Registered User

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    2002 World Series
    San Francisco Giants vs Anaheim Angels

    Game 6

    San Francisco leads 3 Games to 2

    Going into the bottom of the 7th, San Francisco leads 5-0 and appears well on their to winning the World Series. They then proceed to give up 3 runs in the 7th and 3 more in the 8th and lose 6-5

    They then lose 4-1 in Game 7.

    And while its not quite the same Philadelphia`s Game 4 collapse vs Toronto in the 1993 World Series was pretty memorable.

    In spite of twice having 5 run leads including 14-9 in the 7th they give up 6 runs in the 8th and lose 15-14. Still the most amazing baseball game I have ever seen.
     
  4. unknown33

    unknown33 Registered User

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    Guess you don't follow soccer.

    Champions League Final 2005 Liverpool FC - AC Milan
     
  5. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Right, forgot about that one, that comeback was criminal. Very close to the 1986 Red Sox choke
     
  6. EventHorizon

    EventHorizon Bring Back Ties!

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    Exactly what I came in to post.
     
  7. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    It's gotta be the '86 Red Sox. How often does a team win a baseball game in which they're down two runs, with two outs, nobody on, and a two-strike count against the batter? It's got to be less than 1% of the time. But the Mets did that night to force Game 7. Often forgotten is that the Sox led that deciding game 3-0 midway through and eventually blew it in the later stages.

    2009 Grey Cup is worth a mention. Everyone remembers the too many men penalty that sealed Saskatchewan's fate. But they led the game by 16 points with just seven minutes remaining before imploding and allowing Montreal 17 unanswered to lose by one. I'd wager that is the biggest 4th quarter lead ever blown in a Grey Cup or Super Bowl, in fact I'd be shocked if it wasn't.

    I'd put last night's game somewhere in between these two in terms of probability of happening. The fact that Canada was heavily favoured going in is important. 3-goal leads are blown now and again between evenly matched opponents or if it's the underdog with the lead. Much less so when it's the favoured team with the lead.
     
  8. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    Memphis lead Kansas by 9 with 2:12 left in the 2008 NCAA Basketball Championship
    Houston Cougars, 1983 NCAA Final
     
  9. mco543

    mco543 Registered User

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    I'll throw in a mention for the Miami Heat - Dallas Mavericks NBA finals. The Mavericks had a commanding 2-0 series lead and gigantic lead in game 3 which they blew, they got blown out in game 4, blew another big lead in game 5, and then pissed away game 6 on their home court to close out the collapse of losing 4 straight. Not exactly a single game collapse by one enormous collapse spread out over the course of 4 games.
     
  10. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    13 points with 6 minutes left.
     
  11. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    Boston led the Lakers by 13 points in Game 7 last year
     
  12. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    The fact that the WJC is being discussed in context of the Super Bowl, NBA finals, world series and champions league is just.....:facepalm:
     
  13. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    The World Junior game we have a good excuse...our 7 top players were in the NHL. Hard for any team to win without its 7 best players. I am surprised Canada got as far as it did.

    The '81 Team Canada was one of best teams ever formed. The Gretzky, Lafleur, Perrault line all in the prime. The Bossy line was 2nd line shows how deep that team was. If it had a weakness it was in net. Canada had a bad game which can happen to any team just look at the Russians a year earlier in 1980 Olympics?
     
  14. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    I thought you said the big sports. What's the WJC doing in this discussion?

    I thought of the 2000 Portland Trail Blazers blowing a 15 point lead to the Lakers in the 4th quarter of Game 7...but I guess that was the conference final, even if everyone knew the champions were coming out of the West.

    The 2005 Champions League final was definitely a worse collapse. The loser also blew a 3 goal lead, but collapses/comebacks are more common in junior hockey than at the top level of soccer. And it was on an infinitely bigger stage.
     
  15. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    We're on a hockey site, no? The WJC is a pretty big tournament in our eyes even if it ignored in America.
     
  16. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    The NBA examples should probably have an asterisk beside them, especially this one. It's quite likely the game was at least influenced by the officials, and possibly flat-out rigged. I think Tim Donaghy even mentioned that specific example of series that were predetermined by the commissioner's office.
     
  17. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    I forgot about that, but you're right. Say what you will about the NHL and the way they run things, but at least there haven't been any issues like that.

    Sure, I guess in Canada we could define the WJC as a major event/sport. I still think it's weird. And then you almost have to include NCAA sports.

    Leaving that aside, I think the fact that it's junior hockey makes it less significant. Collapses/comebacks are just more common with younger players. I'd put it behind several other collapses that have been mentioned.
     
  18. kaiser matias

    kaiser matias Registered User

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    This being the History of Hockey section I'm surprised no one has mentioned the 1942 Finals, the only seven game championship series to have one team lead 3-0 only to lose the next 4.
     
  19. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    ....

    I wouldn't consider the 2006 NBA championship a collapse because the officiating was so incredibly bad. I honestly have a hard time considering the Heat the champions that year as it just seemed so ridiculously rigged in their favour.
     
  20. Scott1980

    Scott1980 Registered User

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    Some of the famous collapses in hockey came in non championship games and even non playoff games. The Habs and the Rangers 3 years ago. The Leafs and Blues (Nov 29, 2000). Oilers and Kings April 8, 1982. Bruins and Habs in the 1971 playoffs.

    One that is sometimes forgotten is Canada / USSR game 5 of that series. It looked like Canada was going to tie the series up 4-1 with 11 minutes to go.

    World Series? Game 4 of the 1929 World Series. No question!
     
  21. mco543

    mco543 Registered User

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    Andy Van Hellemond but that story was pretty much buried and under reported.

    edit: The officiating in the Heat/Mavs final may have been bad but Dallas made tons of mistakes and screwed up a lot all by themselves in the closing minutes and seconds of those Heat wins. One that immediately comes to mind is Josh Howard calling their last time out between Heat free throws or something similar.
     
  22. Maupin Fan

    Maupin Fan Hot Air

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    I would say that the 2009 Frozen Four Championship Game between BU and Miami where Miami gave up 2 goals in the last 59 seconds to allow BU to force overtime and ultimately win was a worse collapse than the WJC.
     
  23. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Outside of hockey I'll say the Yankees losing the 2004 ALCS after being up 3 games to none on Boston and having a lead in Game 4.

    Inside hockey I'll go with a stacked Edmonton team losing a playoff game to L.A. after having a big lead early in the game.
     
  24. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I don't think any of the basketball examples really apply. Anyone who follows that sport would lose track of the times a team comes back from 15 points down to win the game.

    The basketball equivalent of the WJC would be surrendering a 25-point lead in the 4th quarter (pro) or a 30-point lead in the second half (college). I can't think of a time that has happened in a championship game.
     
  25. Uncle Rotter

    Uncle Rotter Registered User

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    Really? Coming from 9 points behind in the last 2 minutes is common? So Edmonton losing a 5 goal lead to Los Angeles in the 3rd period is like blowing a 50 point lead in basketball?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

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