Alexander Sidelnikov

Alexander Sidelnikov had the loneliest job of all Soviet players. He, along with Viktor Zinger and Alexander Pashkov, was the backup netminder and never had a chance to play in the series as he played behind the great Vladislav Tretiak.

"Although I didn't play in the series, it helped me a great deal. I played center in junior and when I became a goaltender, I used to move out of the net a lot, trying to intercept passes. Our coaches wanted me to stay within the crease. After the series they let me play my own style. We had seen the best goaltenders in the world and each one of them had his own style," he said on the back of a 1991 hockey card put out by Future Trends Enterprises.

Unearthing information about which backup goalie dressed for which game has proven difficult. Sidelnikov dressed as the back up strictly in the 5, 7 and 8 games in Moscow. Pashkov dressed for game 6 while Zinger backed up all game sin Canada.

I'm unable to confirm whether or not Sidelnikov made the trip to Canada with the rest of the team. 


                   GP   W   L   T   GAA   S%
A. Sidelnikov        0   0   0   0   0.00 0.00
Career Biography
As in the 1972 Summit Series, Alexander Sidelnikov rarely was able to play for the national team in international competition. He may have been the second best goalie in Russia during the 1970s, but he was nowhere near as good as the number one guy - Vladislav Tretiak. Then again, there were very few goalies in North America who were on Tretiak's side.
Sidelnikov, who played for Krylia Sovetov when not backing up on the national team, would only get "gimme games" in such tournaments like the World Championships. In other words, the mighty Soviets would give Tretiak a break only if they were playing a truly weak opponent - second class hockey nations such as Poland or East and West Germany.
One of the most famous games in which Sidelnikov played as during the World Championship in 1976. Team USSR lost its opening game to Poland 6-4. Just a couple years back the Soviets destroyed Poland 20-0, but this defeat created quite a stir among hockey fans and the Soviet powers-that-be. 
Of course, everybody blamed Sidelnikov. However he was the easy scapegoat in this case. Perhaps the great Valery Kharlamov got it right when he said: "Sidelnikov? What the hell does he have to do with that? We should win games like this even if we have a snow shovel for a goalie"