After the Soviet come-from-behind victory in Game 5 to take a commanding 3-1-1 series lead, you would have expected Team Canada to be demoralized and dejected and Russia would have gone for the kill.
Canada had felt like they were finally coming into form. Remember this was the beginning of the professionals' seasons, and unlike the Soviets who trained almost year round, the Canadians were just coming into game shape. And remember also that while the Russians knew all about the Canadian game, the Canadian knowledge of the Soviet strategy was nonexistent entering the series. Now, after five games, Canada felt they were prepared to play the Soviets.
The first period wasn't dominated by Esposito or Mahovlich, or by Yakushev or Kharlamov, but rather by two guys named Kompalla and Bata. They were the two referees from West Germany that were so brutally bad that it was charged that they were blatantly biased against the Canadian players. Canadian players were repeatedly sent to the penalty box for questionable and phantom penalties. Phantom offsides were being called as well. Somehow the Soviets were rarely being called for penalties, though. You can chalk it up to cultural differences in the differing styles of hockey. By the end of the game, the penalty minutes were 31 for Canada, just four for Russia.
Fortunately Team Canada's penalty killing was in top shape for this game, as the Soviets possessed a lethal power play.
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