Guy Lapointe was one of the young defensemen on Team Canada
that ended up impressing everyone tremendously.
Lapointe almost declined his invitation to Team Canada. His
first wife was due to give birth to their first child that September. But Guy
did go and just missed the birth of his son.
"I did not go to Czechoslovakia [for an exhibition game
that followed the series win over the Soviet Union]," Lapointe said in a
Globe and Mail report in 1997. "I had to get home because my son was two
days old by then."
Guy played in 7 of the 8 games against the Soviets, including
the opening game in Montreal.
"Everybody was excited after we scored two goals," he said.
"We could see even after we got those goals we were in for a fight.
"They were in pretty good shape, but the most impressive thing was how
skilled they were. Usually you see two lines on a team, five, six or seven guys,
that are skilled. But every one of them had speed and could move the puck. It
was pretty impressive."
The Team Canada defensemen were unheralded both then and now for the effort
and intelligence they displayed. Facing the speedy and creative Russians and
their intricate passing plays was much more of an adjustment for the defensemen
than it was for the forwards. As the series went on, Canada's blueliners adapted
nicely and got much better, including Guy.
Guy missed game 4 in Vancouver due to a collection of bumps and bruises, but
by that time he had already cemented his spot on the rosters
Guy, known for his charisma and love of practical jokes, puts
the Canadian fan support the team received while in Russia as an equally
important memory as the victory itself.
The team had received literally thousands of letters and
telegrams from well-wishers. In addition, more than 3000 Canadian fans made
their way to Moscow, and boisterously cheered on their team without fail.
"I'm not sure we would have won without them," he said
in a very true statement.