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January 3, 1974 – San Diego Gulls vs. USSR


San Diego Gulls vs. USSR National Hockey Team
January 3, 1974
San Diego Sports Arena
Attendance: 13,431

Western Hockey League Programs
40 pages


In December 1973 and January of 1974 the Soviet National Ice Hockey Team conducted a four-city tour of the Western Hockey League.  It may have been just a minor league tour, but the Soviets brought all of their top guns – one of the most remarkable international teams ever assembled.  The Soviet roster on this night included:

  • Four of the five all-time top scorers in the history of Soviet hockey (Valeri Kharlamov, Aleksandr Maltsev, Boris Mikhailov and Vladimir Petrov)
  • Two of the six players later named to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Team of the Century (Kharlamov and legendary netminder Vladislav Tretiak).

The Soviets rolled into Southern California to play the San Diego Gulls after making quick work of the WHL’s Phoenix Roadrunners (3-1) and Portland Buckaroos (8-3) in the first two games of the series.  A standing room only crowd of 13,431 packed the San Diego Sports Arena on a Thursday evening to get a look at the mighty Soviets.

Yuri Lebedev, a 22-year old forward who would later play against the U.S. “Miracle on Ice” team at the 1980 Olympics, was the star for the Soviets on this night.  He scored a hat trick and added two assists as the USSR drubbed the Gulls 11-3.

Kerry Bond, Bernie Gagnon and Jim Shires scored for the Gulls, who would go out of business along with the rest of the Western Hockey League a few months later in the spring of 1974.



January 3, 1974 San Diego Gulls Roster vs. USSR

January 3, 1974 USSR National Hockey Team Roster vs. San Diego Gulls



Written by AC

March 19th, 2013 at 2:19 pm


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