Hockey is going strong, but we at Last Word on Hockey are still going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for September 15, featuring the 1987 Canada Cup.
Today in Hockey History
Canada Beats USSR in 1987 Canada Cup
1987: Canada beats the Soviet Union, 6-5, in Game 3 in one of the best series ever played. The USSR jumped out to a three-goal lead, but Canada took a 5-4 lead. Alexander Semak ties the game at 12:21 of the third period for the Soviets.
A third overtime is likely, but Mario Lemieux scores off a pass from Wayne Gretzky with 1:26 left in regulation for the win. Gretzky gets tournament MVP honours after 18 assists and 21 points in nine games. Lemieux is the beneficiary of most of these assists, including game-winners in Games 2 and 3.
Other Notable Events
1960: Montreal Canadiens great Maurice Richard retires after 18 seasons with the Habs. He retires after winning eight Stanley Cups and finishes as the NHL’s all-time leader with 544 goals, including 50 in 50 games during the 1944–45 season.
1976: Darryl Sittler scores 11:33 of overtime to give Team Canada the inaugural Canada Cup with a 5-4 win over Czechoslovakia in Game 2. Czechoslovakia rallies twice and takes a 4-3 lead, but Bill Barber ties the game with 2:12 left in regulation. Sittler’s goal brings the Montreal Forum fans to their feet in the first best-on-best tournament.
1987: The New Jersey Devils trade Greg Adams and Kirk McLean to the Vancouver Canucks. New Jersey gets Patrik Sundstrom and the Canucks’ fourth-round choice in the 1988 NHL Draft. It’s the first significant move for new general manager Lou Lamoriello.
2000: The Canucks name Markus Naslund as the new team captain. He serves as the team’s captain until 2008 when he signs with the New York Rangers. Naslund is second behind Stan Smyl for longest tenure for a Canucks captain.
2004: Commissioner Gary Bettman announces the lockout of its players and cessation of operations by the NHL head office. The entire season would be lost.
2018: The Boston Bruins beat the Calgary Flames, 4-3, in a shootout in the first game of the NHL China Games in Shenzhen. Jake DeBrusk gets the winner in the fourth round of the shootout in the first of two games. It’s the league’s second time traveling to China to play games.
Happy Birthday to You
1917: Alf Pike
1952: Richard Brodeur
1953: Ken Houston
1955: Ralph Klassen
1958: Joel Quenneville
1979: Patrick Marleau