January 23, 2007

1979 Challenge Cup - Game Three

Game Three: Machine-like Destruction

The Soviets had long ago set a goal of becoming the best in the hockey world. Throughout the 1970s they had proved they were almost equal to the best from the NHL, if not equal nor better. But they never had that decisive blow to the NHL to symbolically indicate their ascent to the top of the hockey world.

That changed on February 11, 1979, as the Soviets blew away the NHL All Stars 6-0 in the finale of the Challenge Cup.

One reporter refused to call it a game, instead referring to it as a clinic put on by the Soviet players. They were better in every aspect of the game - skating, stickhandling, shooting, goaltending, you name it.

The Soviets pulled off a huge surprise at the beginning of the game by benching their living legend Vladislav Tretiak in favor of the unknown (in North American especially) Vladimir Myshkin in nets. It was clever ploy by coach Viktor Tikhonov, who figured the team would feel the pressure to play their most perfect game if they had the inexperienced Myshkin behind them instead of Tretiak.

The NHL also made a goaltending change, bringing in Gerry Cheevers to replace Ken Dryden. Cheevers, who allowed 6 goals on 19 shots, admittedly played "terrible," though it made no difference since the NHL All Stars couldn't get a single puck past Myshkin.

Watch The Goals From Game Three

February 11th, 1979 - USSR 6 - NHL All Stars 0

First Period

No Scoring

enalties: None

Second Period
-USSR Boris Mikhailov (Aleksandr Golikov) 5:47
2-USSR Viktor Zhluktov (Helmut Balderis, Valeri Vasiliev 7:44
Penalties: Don Marcotte 6:27, Valeri Vasiliev 10:48, Vladimir Myshkin (served by Irek Gimaev), Bryan Trottier 12:27

Third Period

Helmut Balderis (Irek Gimaev) 8:44
4-USSR Vladimir Kovin (Aleksandr Skvortsov, Mikhail Varnakov) 10:21
5-USSR Sergei Makarov (Sergei Kapustin) 12:44
6-USSR Aleksandr Golikov 14:46
Penalties: Boris Mikhailov 14:22

Shots on goal:
Soviet Union: 6 6 7 - 19
NHL All Stars: 7 7 10 - 24

Vladimir Myshkin (24/24) 60 minutes, 0 goals against
Gerry Cheevers (13/19) 60 minutes, 6 goals against

17,500 at New York

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