The Cold War may be over, but the ice wars have far from cooled.
Instead of a former battle of political maneuvers in an arms race, the war which continues today has been waged on hockey rinks across Canada and Russia. In 1972, Canada played the former Soviet Union in an eight-game series of hockey superiority. Political connotations aside, the first Summit Series was a battle of our system against the Soviets’ structure – with the score being settled through wins rather than war.
To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Canada / Russia Summit Series, Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, and in conjunction with the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, have created the 2007 Super Series. This one-time only event will see the two rival hockey nations compete in an eight-game series in late August/early September, and will contain the best Under-20 World Junior players from each country.
The Super Series will begin with four games in Russia (August 27th, 29th, 31st, and September 1st) and the last four games in Canada (September 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th). While Games 5, 6, and 7 takes place in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Red Deer, respectively, the last game of the series – which may very well prove to be the most important one – will be held Sunday, September 9th at GM Place.
TWO COUNTRIES STEEPED IN RIVALRY
The hockey rivalry between these two northern nations has been going strong for decades. Canada and Russia have met in five of the last six gold medal championship games at the past six World Junior Championships. Canada has won three straight World Junior Championships (2005, 2006 and 2007), beating Russia in all three championship games.
The inaugural Summit Series took place in 1972, and saw Canada come out on top with 4 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie against the then Soviet Union. The ’72 series also saw “the goal heard ’round the world,” where Paul Henderson’s last-minute series-winning goal in game eight sealed a remarkable comeback victory over the Soviet squad.
COACH WITH THE GOLDEN TOUCH
The Head Coach for the Canadian team at the upcoming Super Series will be Brent Sutter, who spent the 2006-2007 season with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels, and was recently named as the new Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils. Sutter, a two-time gold medal winner as Head Coach of Canada’s National Junior Team, will be joined by assistant coaches Peter DeBoer (Head Coach of the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL) and Benoit Groulx (Head Coach of the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL).
B.C. BOYS IN THE MIX
Of the 26 players on the Canadian squad, six are from British Columbia, all with impressive Junior and International careers. Some notable homegrown talent includes:
Forward from New Westminster, BC
6’2, 170lbs, 08/14/1989
2006-07 Team: Burnaby Express (BCHL)
NHL Draft: Phoenix ’07 (1, 3)
The phenom from New Westminster, B.C. was rated the number one North American skater by Central Scouting at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and was the third overall selection by the Great One’s Phoenix Coyotes. In 53 games with the Burnaby Express of the BCHL, Turris collected 66 goals and 55 assists, for 121 points. He also reached the 50-goal plateau in 39 games, and was named the BCHL’s Most Valuable Player. Turris represented Team Canada at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships in Finland, and recorded three goals and two assists in six games on the way to their gold medal victory.
Forward from Vancouver, BC
6’3, 220lbs, 06/07/1988
2006-07 Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)
NHL Draft: Boston ’06 (2, 50)
Playing for the 2007 Memorial Cup Champions Vancouver Giants, Milan Lucic proved he was more than just an enforcer in the 2006-07 season. Tallying 68 points (30 goals, 38 assists) in 70 regular season games, Lucic ultimately took home the team MVP, Top Scorer, Humanitarian, and Number Two Star of the Year Awards. The hulking forward who plays a physical game, is no stranger to dropping the gloves, and will likely be used by the Canadian squad to keep the Russians in line. Drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Lucic will serve as Captain of the Vancouver Giants in the 2007-08 season.
Forward from Port Coquitlam, BC
5’11, 180lbs, 09/23/1988
2006-07 Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
NHL Draft: Boston ’07 (1, 8)
Teammate of recent Canucks draft picks Taylor Ellington and Dan Gendur of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, Zach Hamill was selected by the Boston Bruins as the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. This past season, Hamill won the 2007 Bob Clarke Trophy, given to the top scorer in the WHL. Described by Central Scouting director E.J. McGuire as a “Daniel Briere or Patrick Kane type of guy,” Hamill was used as a power-play specialist by the Silvertips. A member of the gold medal squad at the 2005 Under-18 Junior World Cup, Hamill recorded seven goals and six assists in 11 games.
Defenceman from Burnaby, BC
6’2, 209lbs, 09/24/1988
2006-07 Team: Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
NHL Draft: Washington ’07 (1, 5)
Selected by the Washington Capitals as the fifth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Alzner will add some defensive prowess to the Canadian contingent. Described as the personification of a stay-at-home defenceman, Alzner also has a strong shot from the point when needed. In the 2006-07 season with the Calgary Hitmen, Alzner received The Coaches' Award and Defenceman of the Year. A member of the gold-medal winning team at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championships, where he helped Canada win their third straight gold medal with six consecutive wins and only seven goals against in the tournament, Alzner also won gold at the 2005 Under-18 World Cup.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE?
While the majority of fans in Vancouver will undoubtedly be cheering for the Canadian boys, there is one reason to root for the Russians.
Continuing the Canucks’ custom of searching for Russian diamonds in the rough in the later rounds, Ilja Kablukov was selected by Vancouver as the 146th overall pick at this past NHL Entry Draft. A native of Moscow, Kablukov spent the 2006-07 season as a forward in Russia’s CSKA (translated as Central Sport Club of Army).
Described as a strong skater and a big-man who will fill out his frame, Kablukov may be out for blood at the upcoming Super Series after the Russian squad he was a part of was left out of the medal round at the 2006 U-18 World Junior Championships. Though he primarily is used as a defensive specialist, his scoring potential is there, making him a dangerous opponent.
WHEN IT ALL GOES DOWN
With the years of rivalry between these two hockey super powers, the 2007 Super Series will undoubtedly prove to be a hard-fought affair in the quest for national bragging rights. Don’t miss your chance to cheer on Canada’s best junior players in this one-time only international event.
Tickets start at $17 and are available through Ticketmaster now. Be there Sunday, September 9th at 4 pm at GM Place, and show Russia how loud the best hockey fans in the world can be!
1972 Summit Series: Canada (4 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie)
1974 Summit Series: Soviet Union (4 wins, 1 loss, 3 ties)
1976 Canada Cup: Canada (1 win)
1979 Challenge Cup: Soviet Union (2 wins, 1 loss)
1981 Canada Cup: Soviet Union (1 win, 1 loss)
1984 Canada Cup: Canada (1 win, 1 loss)
1987 Rendez-Vous: (tied 1 game each)
1987 Canada Cup: Canada (2 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie)
Total Series Won: Canada 4, Soviet Union 3 (1 tie)
Total Games Won: Soviet Union 13, Canada 12 (5 ties)
Total Goals Scored: Soviet Union 124, Canada 109
Total Shots on Goal: Canada 916, Soviet Union 818
The Canada/Russia Super Series, a one-time eight-game series featuring the best Under-20 players from Canada and Russia, will take place from August 27th to September 9th.
Don't miss your chance to watch Canada's best junior players take part in hockey history in this very unique international hockey event.
GAME #8 – Sunday, September 9 (General Motors Place – Vancouver, BC) Tickets are available now, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 604.280.4400 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca. Ticket prices range from $17.00 to $37.00, plus service charges.
2007 Super Series Site
Team Canada’s Roster
Kyle Turris Highlights
300K | 700K
Karl Alzner Highlights
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Zach Hamill Highlights
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1.89 – goals against average over the past two seasons for Leland Irving of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips
4 – players who won a gold medal with Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden, (Irving, Alzner, Gagner, Marchand) defeating Russia 4-2 in the gold medal game on January 5, 2007
4 – host cities, which have held the IIHF World Junior Championship (Vancouver – 2006, Red Deer – 1995, Saskatoon – 1991, Winnipeg – 1999)
7 – players who were members of Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Finland (Doughty, Schenn, Boychuk, Esposito, Gillies, Sutter, Turris)
9 – 2006 NHL draft picks on Canada’s roster –Bernier (LA, 1st Round, 11th Overall), Wishart (SJ, 1, 16), Giroux (PHI, 1, 22), Irving (CGY, 1, 26), Emmerton (DET, 2, 41), Lucic (BOS, 2, 50), Mason (CBJ, 3, 69), Marchand (BOS, 3, 71), Pyett (DET, 7, 212)
10 – players that have taken part in the World Under-17 Challenge
13, 7, 5, 1 – players on Canada’s roster from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Canadian Junior A Hockey League, respectively
18 – players with Under-18 program experience (17 with the Summer Under-18 program, 10 with at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship)
39 – games it took Kyle Turris to score 50 goals with the B.C. Hockey League’s Burnaby Express
72 – goals for John Tavares with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s Ontario Hockey League record for goals in a season by a 16-year-old
93 – points for Zach Hamill of the Everett Silvertips, the most in the Western Hockey League