Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Didn't Remember this-Did You ? & With a Verdun Maples Leafs Team at That

Although I don't recall this incident,especially since it involved the Verdun Maple Leafs (albeit a '74 version of the team) I used to watch them at the Verdun Auditorium in the 60's & they were great also produced some very big future NHL stars. but a kicking incident like this was just a no-no ,at least where we all came from. However over the years I seem to think there were others usually involving the Russians, didn't even Pavel take a boot at someone & that was years later maybe decades. Anyway I thought it may be of interest to some of you,if not for nostalgia sake alone, also if you click on te pages 'home' button at the bottom of the article it will bring you to a summary of the 1972 Summit Series........was there anything more exciting than that .......


here's the article:

Russians Suspended For Life After Hockey BrawlVancouver Sun, March 14, 1974
Montreal (CP) - A promising young Russian hockey player has been suspended for life and two coaches for a year each as a result of a brawl involving the Canadian midget hockey champions.
Reports of the suspensions, imposed by the Central Red Army Sports Club, were carried by Montreal newspapers today. The writers were in the Soviet Union accompanying the Verdun Maple Leafs. The midget team has been on tour playing games against top Soviet teams in several locations.
The Montreal Star and the French-language dailies, La Presse and Montreal-Matin, all reported that co-coaches Anatoly Firsov and Anatoly Galamosov have been suspended for one year.
The Star further reported that Viktor Ovaskin, who had all the qualifications to make future Russian national teams, has been suspended for life for kicking Verdun's John Bethel during the second game of the series.
Last Friday, during that game, one of the most serious brawls in the history of international hockey competition occurred and apparently the Soviet Union frowns on this type of incident.
Firsov is a former star forward with several world champion Russian teams and also was a member of the Soviet Union's gold medal Olympic Squad.
When the Verdun team returned to Moscow from Riga Wednesday, it was by Col. Dimitri Goulevich, one of the top officials of the Central Red Army Sports Club. he Russian official held a short meeting with Brian McKeown, the chef-de-mission of the Verdun team.
The Russian official told McKeown that he apologized for the incident and that the decision to suspend the two coaches and Ovaskin had been made last Saturday.
We as your hosts are very ashamed this happened to our guests; never before has there been an incident like this in the Soviet Union."
McKeown asked Goulevich why such action had been take and was told: "There's a great deal of pride at the Central Red Army Sports Club and, when something like this occurs, our image as a whole is affected. Also it isn't a good thing for the Soviet Union. 
McKeown was reported to have told the colonel he felt "very badly" and Goulevich told him not to.
"We jumped the gun when we thought they didn't regard kicking as seriously as we do in Canada," McKeown said. "Their rule also calls for automatic disqualification."
The incident occurred when a fight broke out near the penalty box and when the Verdun player gained the upper hand, Ovaskin, who was already in the penalty box serving a major, jumped out and went to his team-mate's rescue.
Both players benches cleared and a real fight ensued.
When order was restored, Bethel was found to have a gash over his eye from a kick administered by Ovaskin and Jim Mann had a large welt on his stomach from another kick.
The Central Red Army Sports Club had a video tape of the game and, while the film did not reveal who kicked Mann, it was clear Ovaskin was the player who kicked Bethel.
"There's no excuse for players to kick with skates," Goulevich said.
"As far as we are concerned the coaches are responsible for the control of every player and our coaches lost control."
McKeown reportedly feels that both teams share the responsibility.
"We must share the responsibility. Two wrongs don't make a right. Our player was first off the bench and if their coaches lost control, so did ours."

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