February 05, 2010
1984 Olympics - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
The 1984 Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, who narrowly edged out Sapporo, Japan. Goteburg, Sweden was also in consideration.
The communist country of Yugoslavia, which no longer exists, cheered on the Soviet team. Calls of "Tretiak! Tretiak!" were common during games. The Soviets would not disappoint this time around, rolling through the competition uncontested. They posted a 8-0 record with 58 goals scored and just 6 surrendered. Igor Larionov joined his KLM linemates for his first Olympics. Other Olympic newcomers included Andrei Khomutov, Nikolai Drozdetsky, Vladimir Kovin and Mikhail Vasiliev.
Canada would once again finish outside of the medals, finishing fourth behind the Soviets, Czechoslovaks and Swedes.
Canada got inspiring goaltending from Mario Gosselin. The blue line was solid with future NHL stars J.J. Daigneault, Bruce Driver, Doug Lidster, James Patrick and Craig Redmond. The forward lines were made up of an interesting blend of mostly youngsters that 5 or 10 years later would have made for a real strong team: Russ Courtnall, Kevin Dineen, Patrick Flatley, Dave Gagner, Kirk Muller, Carey Wilson and team captain Dave Tippett would all go onto real solid NHL careers. Darren Lowe was also on the team, making him the first black hockey player to represent Canada at the Olympics.
As always in the Olympics in these days there was lots of controversy surrounding the eligibility of players. Although the Russians were continually allowed to use their absolute best players, amateur in name only, Canada was strictly clamped down on with player selections. Michel Petit, Kelly Hrudey, Mark Morrison and Don Dietrich were all unable to play, while special rulings were needed to allow Daigneault, Courtnall and Dan Wood to play.
After advancing through the preliminary round Canada's play during the finals was heartbreaking. Canada failed to score a goal in three games, losing key games to medallists Russia (4-0), Czechoslovakia (4-0) and Sweden (2-0).
No Miraculous Repeat
There was no repeat Miracle on Ice for the Americans, as they finished a distant seventh place. Most of the 1980 team moved on to the NHL, with onl hil Verchota and John "Bah" Harrington returning. The Americans did have alot of future NHL talent on their roster, most notably Chris Chelios, Pat Lafontaine, Al Iafrate, Corey Millen and Ed Olczyk, but they was no Olympic glory for them this tim around.
Other notable players at the 1984 Olympics included Dusan Pasek, Vladimir Ruzicka, Jiri Lala and Igor Liba of Czechoslovakia; Petri Skriko, Raimo Helminen, Kari Takko and Raimo Summanen of Finland; Bjorn Skaare and Petter Thoresen of Norway; Pelle Eklund, Thomas Rundquist, and Tomas Sandstrom of Sweden.
Here is the final minutes of the Soviet 2-0 win over Czechoslovakia. It was also the final Olympic game in the great Vladislav Tretiak's career: