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Canadians, Soviets in Hockey Brawl, Are Disqualified

January 05, 1987

The Canadian national team and the Soviet Union were disqualified from the world junior hockey tournament after a bench-clearing brawl in the second period of their game Sunday at Piestany, Czechoslovakia.

Dennis McDonald, director of operations for the Canadian team and a technical director of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Assn., said the decision was reached by officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation after meeting for 35 minutes.

Canada was leading, 4-2, at 13:53 of the second period when the melee erupted in the Canadian end.

Within moments, both benches cleared and, under international rules, all players participating in a fight are automatically ejected from a game.

Canada, with a 4-1-1 record and nine points, needed to beat the Soviets by five goals to win the gold medal. The Soviet Union had a record of 2-3-1 and was out of the medal race.

Once the brawl began, the game officials--from Norway, Finland and Poland--appeared to be confused and eventually skated off the ice. At one point, the arena lights were turned off in an attempt to stop the fighting.

The decision to disqualify the Canadians and Soviets from the tournament gave Finland its first gold medal in the 11 years of the event. Earlier in the day, Finland improved its record to 5-1-1 and 11 points by defeating Czechoslovakia, 5-3.

Murray Costello, president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Assn., said: "We have worked very hard to put together a team that could play with discipline. To have this happen is to mar the reputation of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Assn."

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