Normally we’d be in the closing in on the mid-way point of the regular season, however, we’re in a different world. Last Word on Hockey is 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 January 4th, featuring the infamous Punch-Up in Piestany.
Today in Hockey History
Canada, USSR Have Punch-Up in Piestany at 1987 World Juniors
1987: Tensions boil over between the Canadian and Soviet squads in a massive brawl that involved most members of both teams. Everything came to a head when Pavel Kostichkin took a two-handed slash at Theo Fleury. The benches cleared and officials could not separate the teams.
Officials tried shutting off the lights, but it didn’t stop the fighting. Both teams were disqualified from the tournament. Canada was trying to play for the gold and needed a five-goal win to get the top prize. Finland was awarded the gold, host Czechoslovakia got silver and Sweden took bronze.
Other Notable Events
1988: Borje Salming of the Toronto Maple Leafs is the first European trained player to appear in 1,000 NHL games. He gets two assists in a 7-7 tie with the Vancouver Canucks as he’s the fifth player to get 1,000 games for Toronto.
2017: The United States rallies to beat Russia, 4-3, in a shootout at the World Juniors in Montreal. Troy Terry scores three times in the shootout to set up a showdown with the rival Canadians. Julien Gauthier scores twice as Canada beats Sweden, 5-2, in the other semifinal.
Happy Birthday to You
1973: Greg de Vries
1984: Jiri Hudler
1999: Nico Hischier