January 23, 2007

1979 Challenge Cup - Game Two

Game Two: Momentum Shifts

The NHL was determined to win game two and capture the series, making game three meaningless. Things started out alright, but the Soviets would not cooperate.

The Soviets adjusted their game plan from game one. They were much more aggressive in their pursuit of the puck. As a result, much of the first period was played in the NHL's zone.

The Soviets opened the scoring when Sergei Kapustin slipped in a rebound from a Sergei Starikov point shot.

The NHL's New York Islander "Trio Grande" line answered the bell though. Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier score singles, both set up by Clark Gillies.

Gilbert Perreault used Darryl Sittler as a screen to up the score to 3-1 just 27 seconds in the second period. Speedy Mikhail Varnakov scored a minute and a half later, but Larry Robinson's goal at 5:06 restored the NHL's two goal lead.

With a commanding two goal lead, all seemed well in in New York. And the turning point of the series happened.

New York Ranger's rugged defenseman Barry Beck bodychecked Alexander Skvortsov so hard into the boards that the Soviet player's helmet popped off and he was left slumped on the ice. Beck was penalized for boarding, and the Soviet power play went to work.

The pinpoint passing and intricate weaving game the Soviets were known for finally came to life. Boris Mikhailov scored with 5 seconds left on the power play. Sergei Kapustin's second of the game then tied the score just 45 seconds later.

The third period was all Soviets. They gained the lead early in the frame, thanks to a two-on-one break. Sergei Makarov forced Ken Dryden to make a spectacular save, but the rebound bounced right to Vladimir Golikov who had an open net to work with.

The NHL did have some good chances to equal the score, but Vladislav Tretiak shut the door, looking particularly masterful on stops of Trottier and Guy Lafleur.

"They were masters of the game today," said NHL coach Scotty Bowman in an interview session afterwards. "They played about as perfect as they could, and they made us look very, very bad."

Watch the goals of game 2

February 10, 1979 - USSR 5 - NHL All Stars 4

First Period
1-USSR - Sergei Kapustin (Sergei Starikov) 8:10
2-NHL Mike Bossy (Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies 13:36
3-NHL Bryan Trottier (Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies) 18:21
Penalties: Vladimir Kovin 12:32, Gilbert Perreault 15:13

Second Period
4-NHL Gilbert Perreault (Darryl Sittler) 0:27
5-USSR Mikhail Varnakov (Aleksandr Skvortsov) 2:05
6- NHL Larry Robinson (Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne) 5:06
7- USSR Boris Mikhailov (Vladimir Petrov, Valeri Vasiliev) 17:02
8- USSR Sergei Kapustin (Viktor Zhluktov) 17:47
Penalties: Borje Salming 8:04, Barry Beck 15:07

Third Period
9-USSR Vladimir Golikov (Sergei Makarov) 1:31
Penalties: None

Shots on goal:
Soviet Union: 7 14 10 - 31
NHL All Stars: 5 5 6 - 16

Vladislav Tretiak (12/16) 60 minutes, 4 goals against
Ken Dryden (26/31) 60 minutes, 5 goals against

Attendance 17,438 at New York

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