1987
1986-1987



4 1987 . How Swede it is! First world title in 25 years; Soviets say Canadians threw game // Montreal Gazette
4 1987 . "Team 'stunk,' Eagleson says after 9-0 loss // The Globe and Mail
4 1987 . Swedes rule the hockey world // The Vancouver Sun
2 1987 . Canada blasts Soviet ref // The Globe and Mail
30 1987 . Canada ties up Soviets with tight checking // The Ottawa Citizen
30 1987 . Eagleson battles fan - again // Toronto Star
28 1987 . Canada draws Soviets; Swedes in, Finns out Court ruling shakes up hockey playoff picture // The Globe and Mail
28 1987 . Froese to test 'hot hand' against Soviets // The Vancouver Sun
27 1987 . Hockey body courts chaos with West German protest // Toronto Star
25 1987 . Vienna court injunction stops IIHF from stripping West Germany of wins // The Ottawa Citizen
25 1987 .  Germans go to court over IIHF ruling // Toronto Star



How Swede it is! First world title in 25 years; Soviets say Canadians threw game.
4 1987 . The Gazette; Montreal, Que. 

Sweden 9, Canada 0

Soviet Union 2, Czechoslovakia 1

VIENNA (CP) - Swedish hockey players have taken plenty of abuse in the NHL for allegedly not being as tough as their North American counterparts, but they were both tough and good enough to win the world hockey championship yesterday.

It was Sweden's first title since 1962 - and they almost lost their chance for the gold medal this time in an off-ice controversy. In the preliminary round, West Germany had victories over Finland and Canada taken away for using an illegal player, but an Austrian court overturned the International Ice Hockey Federation decision. The ruling meant Sweden - not Finland - qualified for the medal round.

After crushing Canada 9-0 in the final day's first game, relegating Canada to a fourth-place finish, many of the Swedish players gathered in a lounge to watch the finale, in which the Soviet Union scored two late goals to nip Czechoslovakia 2-1.

It was the result Sweden needed to finish atop the standings in a deadlock with the Soviets with four points each. The big win over Canada gave Sweden the championship on goals differential. Czechoslovakia finished third.

"When I get back to New York I'm going to throw it in their face," yelled Anders Carlsson, popping the cork on a champagne bottle as the Soviet-Czechoslovakia game ended.

No more, says the member of the NHL's New Jersey Devils, can North American players treat him as an insignificant player. He's a world champion now!

"This is history, this is history" said forward Bengt Gustafsson.

Coach Tommy Sandlin, who sat alone in his team's dressing room during the Soviet-Czechoslovakia game, said hockey fans make a mistake if they question the intestinal fortitude of Swedish players.

"Hockey in the NHL is of a different style than we play," he said. "It is the difference in style that Swedish players might have difficulty adapting to. There is no problem with courage."

The late additions of Hakan Loob from the Calgary Flames and Tomas Sandstrom from the New York Rangers enhanced Sweden's lineup to the point it was good enough to win the title, he said.

Canada opened the medal round with an impressive 0-0 draw with the Soviet Union, but could not repeat that performance in its next game, a 4-2 loss to Czechoslovakia last Friday. It's chance for gold gone, Canada fell flat yesterday against a rugged Swedish team.

Canada had never been beaten as badly by a team from Sweden. A 6-0 loss in 1967 had been the worst previous result between the teams at a world tournament.

The Soviets were even more deflated than Team Canada players. They went through the entire tournament as the only unbeaten team.

They were enraged by Canada's performance. The Soviets knew that even if they defeated Czechoslovakia, they'd have no chance of bettering Sweden's medal-round goals differential.

"The Russians are mad at me," said Team Canada official Al Eagleson. "They said we went into the tank and threw the game.

"I said, 'No, no, no, even when it was 9-0 we were still trying to score."'

Some European journalists insinuated during a post-game news conference that Canada had let the Swedes run up the score.

"That's a tremendous insult to our intelligence and our mentality," Canadian coach Dave King told reporters. "If a person is saying that he has a small mind.

"By no means had they any intention of not playing their best hockey. They tried their best. We made a lot of mistakes and, gosh, every time we made a mistake the Swedes pumped the puck in the net.

"The Swedes were full marks for the win. They are a fine hockey team."

Thomas Rundquist, Mikael Andersson, Anders Eldebrink, Lars-Gunnar Pettersson, Bengt Gustafsson, Hakan Loob, Lars Molin, Tomas Sandstrom and Anders Carlsson scored for Sweden. Goaltender Peter Lindmark registered the shutout. He had to make only 12 saves.

Canadian goaltender Bob Froese made 26 saves.

Canada fell behind 3-0 in the first period and things only got worse.

NOTES - Canada's entry at the 52nd world championship would have done better had more players from the Olympic program been included in the lineup, says Sports Minister Otto Jelinek.

Coaches King and Guy Charron, goaltender Sean Burke and defenceman Zarley Zalapski were the only members from the Olympic program based in Calgary to play in the tourney.

"I am disappointed that there are not more Olympic players on the team," said Jelinek, who came to Vienna to watch the tournament. "The NHL players here are good players but, through no fault of their own, they are not an international hockey team.

"They don't have the discipline for international hockey given the terrible officiating we've seen here. And they haven't had the opportunity to play as a team long enough.

"Dave King's national team is trained to play international hockey. I'm not a hockey expert, but all you have to do is look at the statistics to see that the national team won a silver medal at the Izvestia tournament in Moscow (last winter) against these same teams.

The minister added that having more members from the national team would have given the Olympic squad an extra advantage going into next year's Winter Olympics in Calgary. Jelinek predicted there will be 10 NHL players on the Canadian Olympic team . . .

Dino Ciccarelli did an about-face yesterday, criticizing King after praising the coach when the team arrived in Europe three weeks ago.

Ciccarelli agreed he and his teammates played poorly yesterday, but added that the the team's game plan was all wrong.

"With the talent on our team I didn't see why we had to check the Swedes and the Czechoslovakians (4-2 winners over Canada on Friday) like we did the Russians (0-0 tie Wednesday)," said Ciccarelli. "We laid back and laid back waiting for one or two breaks."

Ciccarelli was particularly annoyed that King usually sent out defensive-oriented players when the teams were each shorthanded.

"On 4-on-4 situations he kept putting checkers out," Ciccarelli said. "He did it through the entire tournament.

"He'd rather see a 0-0 game. He doesn't want to give anything up. I mentioned it to him when it was 5-0 for Sweden. He wasn't sure who he was putting out there a couple of times. I was yelling, 'We need goals, we need goals.'

"Finally, he let me play on a 4-on-4 during the third period. It was the first time in the entire tournament I got that chance."



"Team 'stunk,' Eagleson says after 9-0 loss
4 1987 . Houston, William. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. 

Vienna AUSTRIA -- BY WILLIAM HOUSTON The Globe and Mail VIENNA Canada's 9-0 loss to Sweden yesterday left it without a medal at the world hockey championship, but gave the Swedes the goal differential they needed to win their first gold in 25 years.

After the game, the Soviet Union accused Canada of throwing the match to keep it from winning its seventh championship in eight years.

"The Russians are mad at me," said Alan Eagleson, Hockey Canada's chief international negotiator. "They said we went into the tank and threw the game. I said no, no no. Even when it was 9-0 we were trying for a goal."

After the Canada-Sweden game, the Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia 2-1 to pull even with Sweden in points, each with four in the medal round.

Since goal differential - the difference between goals-for and goals- against - decides the winner, Sweden's 9-0 shutout gave it a comfortable margin of victory.

Swedish coach Tommy Sandlin refused to watch the tension-filled game between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

The Czechoslovaks needed a victory to take the gold and led 1-0 entering the third period. But in the second half of the period, the Soviets scored twice. The winner, by Igor Stelnov, came with 5:02 left in the game.

There is a certain paradox to the fact the Soviet Union was the only team to go undefeated in this tournament yet had to settle for a silver medal. The Soviets were 7-0 in the first round and then tied twice and won once in the medal round.

Another ironic twist was an earlier ruling by a Vienna court that resulted in Sweden gaining entry into the medal round.

Had the International Ice Hockey Federation been allowed to strip West Germany of two wins, one against Finland, the Finns would have advanced and not the Swedes.

The last gold for Sweden was in 1962 at Colorado Springs, when the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia did not show up, in support of East Germany, which was not allowed entry into the United States because of the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Sandlin said the addition of Hakan Loob and Tomas Sandstrom from the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames and New York Rangers put this team over the top. Bengt Gustafsson, the former Washington Capital, was the team leader, Sandlin said.

Czechoslovakia, with a win, a tie and a loss in the medal round, finished with the ronze.

For the fourth-place Canadians, it was another sad day in international hockey. In was their worst defeat at the tournament in 10 years, going back to 1977 when the Soviet Union beat them 11-1. Never before had Canada been as badly defeated by Sweden.

The previous low was in 1967 when Canada lost 6-0.

"We stunk out the joint," Eagleson said. "There was the letdown after the Czech game, but there was no excuse for 9-0. The other team played well and we were rotten."

What happened?

For one, the defensive play of the team, which had been its strong suit, collapsed. On five of Sweden's goals, Canadian players had control of a puck in their zone but failed to move it out.

Coach Dave King considered using Sean Burke of the Olympic team in goal, but came back with Bob Froese, who wasn't sharp.

Probably most critical was the fact there wasn't much on the line for the Canadians. Realistically, they were looking at a bronze, following their controversial 4-2 loss to the Czechoslovakia on Friday that the Canadians blamed on the officiating.

"Canadians are at their best when they play for the gold," King said. "A long-shot chance for a silver or bronze, unfortunately, didn't bring out the best in us.

"The Czech game took a lot out of the players. They went into the game expecting to do well and they felt the game was taken away from them, taken out of their hands."

It has been a long three weeks for the NHL players here and Zarley Zalapski, one of only two members of the Canadian Olympic team, suggested some were looking ahead to the day after.

"It was a combination of a few things," Zalapski said. "Obviously the Swedes played well and were highly motivated. Whereas, we were on the downside of the tournament after the game against Czechoslovakia.

"Some of the guys probably did not have the right perspective entering the game. There were some mixed feelings, as to some of the trips we were going on. I don't think we were focussing on the game."

A problem for the Canadians during the tournament was scoring goals. This became more apparent in the medal round, when Canada was outscored 13-2.

Sweden went ahead 3-0 in the first period on goals by Thomas Rundquist, Mikael Andersson and Anders Eldebrink. Andersson was three feet offside at the blueline on his goal but the way things turned out it didn't really matter.

In the second, Sweden got two more, from Lars-Gunnar Pettersson and Gustafsson. In the third, goals were scored by Loob, Lars Karlsson, Sandstrom and Anders Carlsson.




Swedes rule the hockey world
4 1987 . Duhatschek, Eric. The Vancouver Sun; Vancouver, B.C.

VIENNA - Sweden won its first world hockey championship in 25 years Sunday with 22 players grouped around a television set - champagne bottles in hand - waiting for the conclusion of the Soviet Union-Czechoslovakia game.

As the seconds ticked off and Czechoslovakia's last-gasp attempts failed in a 2-1 loss, the corks popped, the celebration began.

Not since 1962 - a championship tainted by the absence of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia - have the popular Swedes been on top of the hockey world.

They were lucky and were the first to admit it. They qualified for the medal round only because a Vienna court intervened last week, stripping Canada and Finland of games they won by forfeit and giving Sweden the last spot in the final four.

They also finished the playoff round tied with the Soviet Union and won the title on an antiquated principle - a better goal average - after thrashing Canada 9-0.

"It's just a great feeling," said Swedish left winger Hakan Loob, his smile a mile wide. "This is a very, very big day for Swedish hockey."

The last time Sweden won a world championship, Loob was just 12 months old. Understandably, he didn't remember it especially well, but he was well-versed in the circumstances. The championships were held in Colorado Springs just after the Berlin Wall had been completed and the U.S. would not allow East Germany to compete. In a show of support for their Communist cousins, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union boycotted the event.

"I don't think Sweden's ever won a gold medal when everybody's been there," said Loob. "I'm not saying Canada's got the greatest team they can put on the ice here, but they had pretty competitive guys.

"This time, everybody's here and the Russians and Czechs have got pretty good teams."

It was the second most decisive defeat for Canada in the world tournament since the Canadians lost 11-1 to the Soviets two years ago. That team came back to beat the Russians 3-1 and win the silver medal.

The indignity for Canada continued after the game when a Soviet official and a questioning newsman accused Alan Eagleson and coach Dave King of tanking the game to prevent the Soviets from taking the gold medal.

By running up the score against Canada in Sunday's first game, Sweden all but eliminated the Soviet Union from the gold medal race even before the defending champions stepped on the ice. Since the first tie-breaker in the tournament was goal difference - and the two teams finished tied atop the medal-round standings with four points apiece - the Soviets needed a 10-goal margin over Czechoslovakia to win the gold.

The Soviets finished second in the tournament without recording a single loss (8-0-2).

"The Russians are mad at me," Eagleson said. "They said we went in the tank and threw the game. I said: No, no, no, even when the score was 9-0, we were trying to score a goal."

Later, he called the Soviet's displeasure with Canada "the only good thing to come out of this."

King took the charges more seriously. "That's a tremendous insult. That insults our intelligence and our mentality very much. If a person's saying that, then they've got a small mind. They obviously don't understand Canadians because in that game today, it was almost overworking that cost us, not underworking.

"Everybody played in tunnels today. Nobody read each other very well. Our players, by no means, had any intentions of not playing their best hockey.

"We made a lot of mistakes and every one we made, they put in the net."

Team Canada's minds were clearly on their upcoming vacations in the Greek islands or their returns home - not on the issue at hand.

"Everything went wrong in one day," said Vancouver Canucks' winger Tony Tanti. "It's happened to everybody before. Too bad it had to happen now."

Discussing the game, Loob said: "We were fortunate to get off to a very good start and it just carried on. It's really hard for the Canadians to be in fourth spot and then get down 3-0 or 4-0 right away. If the situation had been reversed, we might have been in the same position."



Canada blasts Soviet ref
2 1987 . Houston, William. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont.

Vienna AUSTRIA -- BY WILLIAM HOUSTON The Globe and Mail VIENNA Canada's hope for a gold medal at the world hockey championship disappeared yesterday in a cloud of controversy and gloom, as the team fell 4-2 to Czechoslovakia.

Bitterly, the Canadians blamed the officiating for a large measure of their problems. However, they did not get gold-medal calibre goaltending from Bob Froese and many scoring chances were bungled.

Still, the players and spectators felt the officiating by Soviet referee Nikolai Morozov was the centrepiece of the game that resulted in Canada's disheartening defeat.

Late in the game, the crowd at the Wiener Stadthalle threw debris at Morozov amid a constant roar of boos and whistles.

When the teams lined up at the end of the game, the Canadian players stared menacingly at Morozov, uttering remarks, as he retreated from the centre line to the more welcome Czechoslovak side of the ice.

"He was scared at the end," Tony Tanti said. "He felt we were going to go after him."

Many people probably would not have blamed the Canadians if they had.

Morozov's officiating was a shabby spectacle, even by the inferior standards of this tournament.

The play was clutch and grab by both sides. But from the sixth minute of the second period to the 17th minute of the third, during which Canada tied the game but then fell behind, the Canadians were assessed six of seven minor penalties.

Counting a double misconduct penalty to captain Mike Foligno, Canada received 10 penalties to Czechoslovakia's five. There were eight minors given to Canada and five to Czechoslovakia.

Morozov's incessant whistle eventually became Canada's swan song and, at 16:57 of the third period, they retaliated.

With the score 4-2 for Czechoslovakia, James Patrick was given a tripping penalty. Before the faceoff, Morozov gave Canada another minor, a delay of game penalty.

There was no warning to get the players on to the ice and Keith Acton felt it was the linesman who was slow getting the puck in play.

With Canada facing a two-man disadvantage for two minutes, Foligno charged at Morozov for an explanation.

Morozov grabbed him and shoved him away. Furious, Foligno persisted, yelling at Morozov, pointing his glove in Morozov's face and then his stick. Foligno's body made contact with Morozov and Foligno was handed a gross misconduct - a 10-minute penalty and a game misconduct.

"I was yelling at him," Foligno said. "I was trying to ask him, 'What the heck are you doing, giving a delay of game without any warning?' He just pushed me right away.

"I think the International Ice Hockey Federation has to take a real good look at what has happened here and reassess the situation regarding Morozov's ability."

Foligno said the Canadian players came to the tournament with the attitude that they would be respectful of the officials, but that Morozov made it impossible last night.

"There's a certain amount you can take," Foligno said. "There comes a time when you have to let the people here know that there's something wrong. We let them know by attacking him. And with the people throwing things at him, we weren't alone in our feelings."

Left winger Tanti, playing in his third consecutive world championship, said: "I've never seen anything like it. It was 2-1 and then we tied it and then all of a sudden we get five or six penalties. We were getting hauled down in front of the net, cross-checked and interfered. It was the biggest joke I've ever seen."

Defenceman Craig Hartsburg said he expected the players' complaints to be viewed skeptically in Canada.

"The people back home," Hartsburg said, "are going to be saying, 'Here we go again. We've heard all their excuses.' But you (reporters) were here and you saw it."

There seemed to be some legitimate questions being asked by the Canadians.

Ulf Lindgren of Sweden was scheduled to referee the game, but a kidney injury made it impossible for him to work. Two days ago, it was decided that Morozov, the designated backup, would work the game. But the Canadians were not told of this until the pregame warmup yesterday.

The players also wondered why two of the three medal-round referees are from the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, Lindgren being the third.

The Canadians, Soviets, Czechoslovaks and Swedes are in the medal round, but no North American referee was chosen to officiate.

Alan Eagleson, Hockey Canada's chief international negotiator, said each team, before the tournament, agrees to five referees for the 10 games. The Canadians accepted Morozov.

In the past, however, the teams in the three-game final had the right to veto one official. That no longer exists, although Eagleson favors returning to the former system.

Regarding Morozov's grabbing and pushing Foligno, Eagleson said the Canadian team has issued a "strong protest to the IIHF.

"In the National Hockey league, a referee would be immediately suspended for doing that," he said.

Some of the Canadian players were asking themselves whether coming here was worth the trouble.

"You don't want to say a lot about it, but you're here and you accept the rules and everything else," Acton said. "But today it was kind of tough."

Tanti said: "Everyone (the players) is saying, 'Why do we come here year after year?' If it wasn't for the Canada Cup, I don't think we would. It doesn't make sense. . . . All we want is a fair chance, but the IIHF is all (deleted) up.

Canada dug itself a hole early in the game without the help of Morozov. Froese let in a bad goal by David Volek at 4:12 of the first period. It was a low shot from about 30 feet.

The score was tied a few minutes later on a power play when a shot from the point by Larry Murphy went in past Dominik Hasek. Tanti appeared to tip it at the crease, but Murphy was given the goal.

The Canadians hurt themselves again just past the midway point while they were on a power play. The puck hopped over Murphy's stick, giving Jiri Dolezal a partial breakaway. He shot from about 35 feet and the puck went between the pads of Froese.

Froese played acceptably for the remainder of the game, but missed opportunities and the dubious officiating kept Canada from winning the game.

Acton tied the score in the second period. But in the third, Peter Rosol put Czechoslovakia ahead 3-2.

After an interference penalty to Foligno, a Czechoslovak power-play goal by Dusan Pasek clinched the victory.

Canada plays Sweden tomorrow and still has a chance for the silver medal. The bronze would seem more likely.



Canada ties up Soviets with tight checking
30 1987 . Duhatschek, Eric. The Ottawa Citizen; Ottawa, Ont.

Canada 0, Soviets 0

VIENNA - The most telling moment of Wednesday's thrilling 0-0 tie between Canada and the Soviet Union came with less than two minutes remaining and the underdogs from across the ocean in control of the game.

Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov walked to the end of his bench, leaned over and lost his cool - screaming something, no one knew exactly what - at the Canadian players.

"Part of the game plan was to let some frustration set in," said defenceman Larry Murphy.

"I think it did."

The goalless tie - the first in a world hockey championship since a 1982 game between the Soviets and Czechoslovakia - provided more drama and tension than any previous match of the 1987 world tournament.

The Canadians made no secret of the way they would play. They needed good defence, good goaltending and minimal interference from the referee.

From the moment Swedish official Ulf Lindgren stepped on the ice, things went Canada's way. Lindgren called only eight minor penalties. Six were offsetting, so that meant only one power-play chance per team.

The non-interference pact, so unusual for a European official, allowed the Canadians to take a patient approach to the game. It resembled a chess match as much as it did a hockey game. Coach Dave King used a couple of tactics over and over - Troy Murray took every faceoff to the right of goaltender Bob Froese, Keith Acton took every faceoff to Froese's left.

Their edge in faceoffs gave the Canadians possession of the puck after practically every whistle. Whenever possible, Froese froze the puck.

The Canadian wingers stayed wide in the neutral zone, so that the Soviet players could not get into the attacking zone without finding a player stationed between him and the puck carrier.

The end result: Only 22 shots against Froese, perhaps the easiest game of the last 15 years for a Canadian goaltender facing the Soviet national team.

"Some people said afterwards: That's the least number of chances they'd ever seen the Soviets get in a game," said defenceman James Patrick.

The Soviets' best chance to score came in the third period when Sergei Svetlov ducked in behind the Canadian defence, forcing Froese into a good save. Froese also showed a good glove hand on Sergei Priakhin in the first minute of the second period.

Otherwise, the Soviet chances came from the perimeter where Froese, a good percentage goaltender, calmly turned them aside.

Towards the end of the game, Tikhonov took the unprecedented step of juggling his lines. He double-shifted Sergei Makarov, benched four of his younger players and used centre Igor Larionov sparingly when the teams were playing less than full strength.

Tikhonov did not limit his outbursts to the Canadian players. He spent most of the second half with his back to the ice, lecturing one player after another.

No one on the Canadian side could believe what they were seeing. Tikhonov's performance gave them heart because it proved their disciplined, close-checking style was getting to the Soviets.

"They were frustrated," added Dino Ciccarelli. "Tikhonov was yelling at Makarov on their bench. They were arguing back and forth."

In the third period, Tony Tanti and Dino Ciccarelli each had excellent chances.

Tanti hit the crossbar on the Canadian power play - a wrist shot from about 10 feet. Later in the period, Ciccarelli hit the post from close range.

"My heart just dropped," Ciccarelli said. "The guys were talking about erasing Paul Henderson's famous film clip. It was so close."



Eagleson battles fan - again.
30 1987 . Toronto Star; Toronto, Ont. 

VIENNA - Alan Eagleson, chief international negotiator for Hockey Canada, was involved in an altercation with a spectator during the second period of last night's world championship game between Canada and the Soviet Union.

Perhaps the most jittery viewer in sport, Eagleson seldom stays in his assigned seat during a game, viewing it from an assortment of vantage points.

The Eagle, who has a history of defending Canadian hockey's honor at these events, was in his seat about 10 rows from the boards when referee Ulf Lindgren of Sweden failed to call what Eagleson felt was a penalty against the Soviets. He ran down to the boards, banged on the glass with his fists and shouted at the official.

Witnesses claim that when Eagleson was on his way back to his seat, he had an argument with another spectator, an unidentified man from Finland, and the Finn's face was scratched in the scuffle.

The ushers quickly quelled the battle and the Finn didn't press charges.

American suspended

Scott Young, the talented young forward with the U.S. team here, will be suspended from international hockey for 18 months - which includes the '88 Olympics in Calgary - after two positive substance tests.

The tests revealed that Young had used Ephedrine, a common nasal decongestant. The drug is on the International Ice Hockey Federation's list of banned substances.

The positive test occurred after a 4-2 loss to Czechoslovakia and because of it, the U.S. team will be credited with a 4-0 defeat.




Canada draws Soviets; Swedes in, Finns out Court ruling shakes up hockey playoff picture
28 1987 . Houston, William. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. 

Vienna AUSTRIA -- BY WILLIAM HOUSTON The Globe and Mail VIENNA Canada begins the medal round of the world hockey championship against the Soviet Union tomorrow after a court decision that knocked the Canadians back to last place in the four-team field.

A Vienna judge, Dr. Fritz Klebermass, yesterday turned down an application by the International Ice Hockey Federation to overturn a court injunction obtained by the West Germans last week.

As a result, Canada lost two points it had been awarded earlier when the IIHF voted to strip the West Germans of two victories, against Canada and Finland, because they had used an ineligible player.

After West Germany's forfeiture of the two games, the West German hockey association obtained an injunction overturning the IIHF ruling.

The IIHF was confident it could persuade the court to vacate the West German injunction yesterday, but instead it was upheld.

IIHF president Gunther Sabetzki said he was surprised at the ruling and suggested the decision wouldn't have been reached anywhere but in Austria.

"We have the impression it is only possible here in Austria," he said. "I do not believe in our country (West Germany) a court would overrule our rules.

Toronto lawyer John Sopinka, who is a director of Hockey Canada, helped the IIHF choose its Austrian lawyer and prepare the presentation. He said he was astounded by the decision.

"I find it incomprehensible the court would stick its nose in a thing like this," Sopinka said.

Last night, the tournament directorate voted 11-2 to accept the court ruling, with the two dissenting votes coming from Finland and Switzerland.

Canada really hasn't lost much, because it had qualified for the medal round on Sunday, anyway, when it defeated Finland 7-2.

The big loser is Finland, which would have advanced had West Germany's injunction been overturned. Now the Finns are relegated to sixth place in the consolation round, while Sweden gets into the medal round.

With Finland and Canada both losing their two points, Sweden jumped to third place, behind the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

Hakan Loob of Swedish team said, "This is great for us. But we don't want to celebrate too much. They might change it again tonight."

It has been a confusing issue, with politics overshadowing the sport and the tournament. For a while, there were two sets of standings. One had the West Germans without its four points. The other included the four.

For the past week, Sabetzki has been on the firing line. There have been calls for his resignation, plus a report from West Germany of a death threat. Sabetzki's home in Dusseldorf has been placed under police protection.

Sabetzki said last night that one of the results of this dispute will be a strengthening of IIHF rules.

"As you can see, we don't have the right rules," Sabetzki said. "We have no (appeal process). And we must make them for the future, so there is more protection for the federations."

The trouble started last Wednesday when the Finnish hockey federation produced evidence that a player on the West German team, Miroslav Sikora, had competed for Poland at the 1977 IIHF junior championship in Czechoslovakia.

IIHF rules state a player cannot compete for one country at an official IIHF championship after playing for another in an earlier world event.

In its injunction, the West German association argued that the IIHF had given them permission, in the form of a letter, to use Sikora.

Before the tournament, the West Germans asked IIHF secretary general Jan-Ake Edvinsson for the go-ahead to use Sikora, and provided documents of Sikora's playing record.

In investigating Sikora, Edvinsson did not learn he had played in the 1977 world junior championship, because there was no record of his involvement in the dispatch given Edvinsson by the West German association.

As a result, Edvinsson sent back a letter, giving the West Germans permission to use Sikora and wishing them luck with their new player.

It was the IIHF letter, giving consent, that won the injunction for West Germany and resulted in the IIHF's failure to have it overturned yesterday. Sikora, however, will not be allowed to play in the tournament.

The Canadians took yesterday off. In the morning, the players' wives arrived. Team pictures were taken in the afternoon, and in the evening, Michael Shenstone, Canada's ambassador to Austria, held a reception in honor of the team at his residence.

The final two games of the first round were played last night. West Germany defeated Switzerland 4-3 and Czechoslovakia downed the United States 4-2.



Froese to test 'hot hand' against Soviets
28 1987 . Duhatschek, Eric. The Vancouver Sun; Vancouver, B.C. 

VIENNA - Now that the preliminaries are over and only two groups - the Soviet national team and the Vienna provincial court - completed the round robin undefeated, the real action can begin.

Canada, bidding for its first world hockey championship in 26 years, will open the medal round Wednesday against the Soviets with an improving team that played much better than its 3-3-1 record would suggest.

In past years and past competitions, Canada has had starrier lineups in the world tournament - Wayne Gretzky and Glenn Anderson played in 1982, Mario Lemieux played in 1985 - but they may never have had a more well-rounded team.

In keeping with the philosophy adopted for Rendez-Vous '87, Canada didn't just grab the final NHL statistics and select the top 20 available scorers. They took a little of verything: scoring, checking, physical players, penalty killers, power-play specialists and one outstanding face-off man. The result is a team better than the sum of its parts.

But is it good enough to defeat the Soviets?

"I think we can play with the Soviets," said coach Dave King, diplomatically. "I think we can play a better game than we did the other night against them (a 3-2 loss).

"If we start strong and get good goaltending, then I think we have a shot in a one-game situation.

"That's always a critical factor against them - goaltending."

The burden of providing the aforementioned goaltending will fall on the slim shoulders of Bob Froese, the New York Rangers' netminder. Froese netted his chance to play when Sean Burke struggled against West Germany - giving up two bad goals - and then played just fair two days later against Sweden.

So Froese made his debut against the Soviets and played brilliantly, particularly in the second period, when the Russians dominated, but scored only one goal. It took two unstoppable tip-in goals, the last with under five minutes remaining, for the Soviets to shrug off the resolute Canadian challenge.

In some ways, it would appear difficult for King to switch from Burke, his goaltender on the national team, to Froese, an unknown quantity. Not so.

"You use the guy who's playing best at the time," said King. "Froese played two good games and he will likely start the next one. Sean played well and I think he's a tremendous keeper, but the other guy's got a hot hand.

"We're not here to rotate goalies. We're here to play the guy who's playing well."

King called Froese a "very good pro goalie.

"He isn't a guy who makes a lot of TV saves. He makes the game as simple as he can for himself. He really seems to be patient in the nets. He's not flashy, but he stops the puck."

Ultimately, Canada will need a superior game from Froese to defeat the Soviets. Earlier in the tournament, they proved they could play with Sweden and were as good as Czechoslovakia. The Soviets present a much larger test.

Although Soviet tours through North America are commonplace, Froese said the game against the Russians was his first international experience. Until joining the Rangers this season, Froese played his whole career in the Philadelphia Flyers' organization, a team that no longer plays exhibitions against touring Soviet teams.

Froese said the international style is "different than what you're used to back home. The main thing is that you stay mentally alert, that you don't commit yourself too much. In the NHL, you could maybe commit and the guy will shoot it into your pads. Here, they're not going to do that."

Asked if Canada could win the gold medal, Froese replied: "We have to believe we can do it all. If we don't believe that, then we won't do it. We have to listen to our coaching because they know more about it than we do. If we play the way they want us to, I'm sure we'll be successful."

Pittsburgh Penguin's centre Dan Quinn added the team is entering the medal round on a high note.

"The most positive thing that happened was that our last game of the tournament was our best game of the tournament.

"We played good defensive hockey against Finland and we scored seven goals."

King thought the team would be mentally prepared for Wednesday's game.

"Psychologically, Canadians have no fear of playing anybody. Sometimes you'd say: Are they foolhardy? But that's what makes us good at times. Canadians love the challenge of going on the ice against a very good hockey team. We respect them - but we don't go out in awe of anyone. We go out and try to win. It's part of our personality, part of our Canadian mystique."



Hockey body courts chaos with West German protest.
27 1987 . Frank Orr Toronto Star. Toronto Star; Toronto, Ont.

VIENNA - Although the happening was a first, a hockey trend hardly was started here yesterday. If it were, then imagine these words as a precede to the National Hockey League standings in the newspaper: "These standings are as ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada."

The standings in the world hockey championship as issued by the International Ice Hockey Federation yesterday were not the official ladder of the eight-nation tournament as tabulated according to the IIHF rules.

A note at the bottom of the page in two languages said: "Standing according to decision by court Landesgericht Wien."

That's the high court of Vienna, which, on Friday, granted an injunction at the request of the West German Hockey Federation to block the IIHF's stripping of wins by the West German team over Finland and Canada because that team used an ineligible player.

The IIHF had given victories to the Finns and Canadians after each was beaten by West Germany, because the latter had used winger Miroslav Sikora in the wins. Sikora had played for Poland in a long- ago world junior championship and IIHF legislation declares that a player can't do that, then join the national team of another country in the senior world event later on.

Angry reaction

Of course, the West Germans and the media in that country reacted angrily to the decision, because the team had a chance to qualify for the medal round in the tournament for the first time and, perhaps, earn a berth in this year's Canada Cup tournament ahead of Finland. Canada and the U.S. have two spots in the six-team event and the other four go to the top European teams in the world championship.

What rankled the West Germans and became the basis for the granting of the court injunction was a letter from IIHF secretary- manager Jan-Ake Edvinsson granting permission for Sikora to play in the tournament. An IIHF source claims that the application for clearance didn't contain the whole story on Sikora's background.

Since the IIHF decision to take away the points, the tournament has been played with a mind-boggling whirlwind of rumbles, charges and counter-charges swirling around it. It's not exactly a great status symbol to hockey's world championship that Viennese newspapers have been forced to carry two sets of standings, one in which the IIHF decision is applied, the other the way the courts have ordered things to be done.

If the IIHF folks had published a standing the way they feel it should be, it would have been viewed as a defiance of the injunction and the court could have closed down the arena where the games are played.

Here's the way the two standings look because no matter which one becomes official when the legal processes are exhausted, the controversy will rage on a long time.

Two standings

Court ordered: Soviets 14 points, Czechs 9, Sweden 8, Canada 7, Finland 6, U.S. 4, West Germany 4, Switzerland 0.

IIHF official: Soviets 14, Czechs and Canada 9, Finland and Sweden 8, U.S. 4, West Germany and Switzerland 0.

Two games - Switzerland-West Germany, Czechoslovakia-U.S. - today close out the round-robin.

The IIHF plans to appeal the injunction today and, if necessary, seek one of its own in a higher court. But the problems for the international body, which has been making good progress in its building of the sport, will continue, no matter which way the decision goes.

If the IIHF earns the right from the courts to run its own show and use the "official" standing, then Finland would qualify for the medal round because it won the game against Sweden. That would bring the Swedes strongly into the protest business.

If, somehow, the courts decide the standings, then Sweden would be in the medal round and the Finns, who launched the protest against Sikora's eligibility in the first place, would be out.

Thus, there's been some heavy lobbying for support. For instance, Sweden sought backing from Canada while the Finns, who initiated the protest that wiped out a rather embarrassing defeat of Canada by the West Germans, figure to have the Canadians in their corner automatically.

Eagleson at work

"We (the IIHF) are really hoping to get a reversal of the injunction in court," said Gord Renwick of Cambridge, a vice- president of the world body. "The court only heard the West German side of the matter and we're confident that our side of the situation will change things. But if the court ruling stands up, then I suppose the IIHF will have to live with that decision."

Alan Eagleson, Hockey Canada's international negotiator and a man with considerable clout on the world shinny scene, is working behind the scenes with Toronto lawyer John Sopinka, who's been helping to gather evidence for the case today. A Vienna lawyer will represent the IIHF.

Eagleson feels the bitterness caused by the protest and its ramifications will be deep and destructive, especially for Gunther Sabetzki, the IIHF president who, as a West German, is caught in the middle of the crossfire.

"The Swedes want our help but what can we do?" Eagleson said. "Luckily for Team Canada, we got the win we had to have yesterday (7- 2 over Finland) to put us in the medal round either way.

"Sabetzki is in a terrible situation, one where it's tough for him to win. If he goes along with the majority of the IIHF directorate, then he'll catch hell from the West Germans. If he backs the West Germans, then he's going to catch it from the IIHF."

The most unusual thing about the whole mess? For once, and maybe the only time, no one is blaming the Soviets for anything. They just rolled along, sweeping all seven matches in the round-robin, outscoring their foes 48-12. Those numbers are official. No court can change that. In fact, Canada, 3-2 losers to the comrades in the round-robin, appear to be the only injunction in the way of another Soviet gold medal.



Vienna court injunction stops IIHF from stripping West Germany of wins
25 1987 . Duhatschek, Eric. The Ottawa Citizen; Ottawa, Ont

VIENNA - Alan Eagleson's lawyer checked in Friday.

Just in time, as it turned out.

The most interesting story of the world hockey championship - Sikoragate as it is now known - took a new twist Friday when the Viennese provincial court issued an injunction against the International Ice Hockey Federation, preventing the IIHF from stripping the West German hockey team of its two wins.

The IIHF's executive council made Germany forfeit victories against Finland and Canada for using an ineligible player, Miroslav Sikora, a Pole.

But the Germans, using a battery of lawyers, put that decision on hold and threw the tournament - already badly lagging in the credibility department - into an uproar.

The IIHF directorate held an emergency meeting immediately after Friday's game between Canada and the Soviet Union. Walter Bush, the U.S. representative, said members were put under a gag order because the matter was before the courts. The executive council will meet again today to decide what action should be taken to change its original decision.

The Austrian court, in its restraining order, gave the IIHF two options: either reinstate Germany's two wins or throw the team out of the tournament. The only way the Germans could get action so quickly was to prove to the court that the IIHF's verdict - a compromise designed to save the tournament - went against its own bylaws. Under IIHF rules, the Germans should have been disqualified and dropped to the B pool for the next world championship.

Eagleson volunteered to replay the game between Canada and West Germany. "We'd do it tomorrow morning if they wanted to. Our team would be happy to play them again.

" But ... they used an ineligible player in the tournament. The rule is very clear. It says they should be suspended and sent down to the B pool. I thought (the IIHF) was very kind to Germany. "

John Sopinka, Eagleson's lawyer and a Hockey Canada board member, said: " I don't know why they would want to bring the courts in it. They're liable to completely ruin the tournament if the court grants an injunction. Then nobody knows who's in and who's out.

"It's questionable whether a court should get involved in this sort of thing because court proceedings are so notoriously slow," Sopinka said. "This is really not the sort of thing a court could deal with."

(Eric Duhatschek is a reporter for the Calgary Herald.)



Germans go to court over IIHF ruling
25 1987 . Frank Orr Toronto Star. Toronto Star; Toronto, Ont

VIENNA - The executive committee of the International Ice Hockey Federation faces a tough session today to iron out the latest wrinkle in the West Germany upheaval.

On Wednesday, acting on a protest by Finland, the IIHF stripped the West German team of wins over Finland and Canada because it used an ineligible player, winger Miroslav Sikora.

Sikora had been a member of the Polish team in the 1977 world junior championship, and IIHF rules state that no player can play for one country in a world junior and another country in the global senior event.

The decision set off an enormous uproar in West Germany because the team had a shot at a spot in the medal-round for the first time. IIHF president Gunther Sabetzki is from that country.

The new twist came last might when the West German Hockey Federation obtained a restraining order from the High Court of Vienna, blocking the removal of the points. The Austrian news service reported that the injuction was granted on the grounds that the IIHF acted outside its own rules in its decision.

IIHF rules state that using an ineligible player means a team loses any points it has won and is automatically moved to the B pool in the world event. The IIHF board had taken away the two wins and given those points to Canada and Finland, but in a special ruling it had not applied the B pool demotion.

Even if Finland and Canada lose the restored points, the team that wins their game tomorrow will be in the medal round.

"West Germany used an ineligible player and the rules on that are very clear," said Alan eagleson, chief international negotiator for Hockey Canada. "We wouldn't mind playing them another game if it can be arranged. But I'm very disappointed that West Germany decided to get the courts involved in international hockey. I'm sure the IIHF can delay any final decision in the courts on what happens until long after the tournament is over."



 



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