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IIHF Men's World Hockey Championships
World Championships Artifact
World Championships Photo The 1991 World Championship in Finland marked the last time Soviet players would wear the famous letters "CCCP" on their chests. The political breakup of the Soviet Union meant that the longtime hockey power would play as Russia after 1991. Future NHL star Mats Sundin scored the winning goal to give Sweden a 2-1 victory over the Soviet Union in what turned out to be the gold medal clinching game. Earlier that day, Canada, still hoping to create a three-way tie for first in the final medal round standings, trounced the United States 9-4 in what developed into one of the biggest farces in international hockey history. Canada needed to beat the United States by five goals to remain in contention for the gold medal. The Americans, on the other hand, needed a win by any margin to stay in the hunt for the bronze medal. The Canadians led 7-4 when U.S. coach Tim Taylor pulled goalie John Vanbiesbrouck in the final minute in an attempt to win the game. Canada made it 8-4 when Steve Larmer fired the puck almost the length of the ice into the empty net and Jamie Macoun made it 9-4 with one second left in the game, giving the Canadians the five-goal margin of victory they needed. Both the Swedes and Soviets were livid that Taylor would pull his goalie when he needed to score four goals in less than one minute. It didn't matter much anyway, because Sweden upset the Soviets 2-1 to win the gold medal outright. Canada won the silver medal and the Soviet Union the bronze. The United States stunned Finland 2-1 on the final day of the first round to prevent the hosts from making it to the final round. It was a bitter disappointment for Finnish star Jari Kurri, who had taken a year off from NHL competition and played in Italy, so that he would be available to represent his country in the World Championship. Ironically, before the tournament even started the IIHF had approved a new format for the 1992 world tournament in Prague, one in which for the first time there would be playoffs and sudden-death games for both the bronze and gold medals.
1991 Turku Summary
Click on a team below to see its roster and stats.
Rank Country Games Wins Losses Ties Points GDF GF GA
1 Sweden 10 5 0 5 15      
2 Canada 10 5 2 3 13      
3 USSR 10 7 1 2 16      
4 USA 10 3 5 2 8      
5 Finland 10 6 3 1 13      
6 Czechoslovakia 10 4 6 0 8      
7 Switzerland 10 2 7 1 5      
8 Germany 10 0 8 2 2      

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