From the Prague Spring to the Ice War. Hockey players of Czechoslovakia dealt with the Russians
In 1968, the troops of five Warsaw Pact countries, including the USSR, were brought into Czechoslovakia in order to stop the liberalization process in Czechoslovakia, the process of reforms initiated by the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubcek – the so-called Prague Spring.
iReactor wrote about it.
The Ice War and the revenge of the Czechs for the “Prague Spring” began in the late 1960s. Anti-Soviet sentiment in Czechoslovakia then was outrageous, and the hockey rink was the only place to deal with the Russians. In each match, the players of the Czechoslovak national team dreamed of turning the sticks into a real machine gun. It was not without aggression and fights. A separate tournament was even “prepared” for the Czechoslovak-Soviet showdown.
In the spring of 1969, Czechoslovakia was supposed to host the World Cup. The International Ice Hockey Federation realized that the fights between these teams would be supported by political overtones, and could not allow the “escalation” of the conflict between the two states. Against this background, it was decided to move the tournament from Czechoslovakia. But here the MJH had some problem.
The match between the teams of the two countries still took place, but already in Sweden, where the teams played twice. The USSR lost both meetings, and for the first time in history, the Red Machine lost to the same opponent twice. For Czechoslovakia, this victory was equivalent to winning the World Cup itself. Although it is quite possible, it was much more important for them to achieve national revenge than whether to pick up the cup.
In the second match, in which Czechoslovakia won with a score of 4:3, Yaroslav Holik, imitating a machine gun during the goal celebration, “shot” the bench of Soviet hockey players. Almost all the players tried to prove themselves against the Russians, and already at the next tournament, Vaclav Nedomansky decided to spit in the face of Alexander Maltsev. All this did not prevent the USSR from winning the 36th and 37th draw, spoiling the “sweet revenge” of the Czechoslovaks for many years.