The Soviets would capture the gold medal, led by Valeri Kamensky, Vladimir Konstantinov, Igor Kravchuk, Mikhail Tatarinov and Alexander Semak.
Other notables in the tournament include Michal Pivonka from Czechoslovakia, Jyrki Lumme from Finland, Ulf Dahlen and Calle Johansson from Sweden, and Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Soctt Young, Craig Janney and Jimmy Carson from the bronze medal winning United States, the first American team to ever medal in tourney history.
The host Canadian team would win the silver medal, losing a memorable gold medal game against the Soviets.
Canada's key players include Shayne Corson, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, Scott Mellanby and Luc Robitaille, with Sylvain Cote on defense and Craig Billington and Sean Burke in net.
But I will always remember this tournament as my introduction to "The House," Jim Sandlak.
Sandlak served as Team Canada's captain, and he had a brilliant tournament. He devastated the opposition with heavy bodychecks while scoring 5 goals and 12 points in 7 games. For his efforts he was named as the tournament's top forward.
I am surprised to learn that, as of the time of this writing, Sandlak's most famous moment is not readily available on YouTube. In the gold medal game against the Soviets Sandlak annhialated Soviet center Alexander Semak with a thunderous hit.
Despite the hit, Semak had the last laugh. He scored three goals that night, leading the older Soviets over the enthusiastic Canadian kids.
Scouts dr00led over Sandlak's size, physical play and heavy shot. My Canucks would make him the 4th overall pick in the summer of 1985. He was so highly touted that the Canucks thought he was a better prospect than Cam Neely. They infamously traded Neely and a 1st round pick in 1987 off to Boston for Barry Pederson.
Sandlak never would develop like those who saw him back in '86 thought he would. He would play 549 NHL games, but never got off the third line. His cannon of a shot hit the glass behind the net far more often than the twine behind the goalie. He lacked vision and creativity to do much other with the puck than fire away. He also lacked maneuverability to be an effective hitter in the NHL.
Yet early in 1986 Jim Sandlak was the talk of the hockey world.
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