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When the Lights Went Out: How One Brawl Ended Hockey's Cold War and Changed the Game [Paperback]

Gare Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 16 2007
When the Lights Went Out tells the story of a moment in the 1987 World Junior Championship that forever changed the lives of the players involved, and ignited a debate that has yet to subside about the way the game is meant to be played.

When Team Canada skated onto the ice that night in Piestany, Czechoslovakia, they thought they were 60 minutes away from a gold medal. Future superstars like Brendan Shanahan and Theo Fleury, pitted against Russians like Alexei Fedorov and Alex Mogilny, dreamed of returning to Canada in glory. Instead, they were sent home empty-handed, bearers of a legacy that would follow them throughout their careers.

No one who saw it will ever forget it. The mere mention of Piestany evokes the image of twenty fights breaking out all over the ice as players rushed to their mates’ defence, of haymakers, stick-swinging, and even kicking, of a referee skating off the ice in shame.

ESPN hockey writer Gare Joyce tells the story of the game that marked the last time Canadian and Soviet players squared off as enemies, rather than potential team mates in the NHL. It tells the stories of the combatants on the ice. Of the coaches behind the bench. Of officials, international hockey executives, members of the media and even politicians who were caught up in the intrigue.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details


Product Description

Review

"A superb piece of storytelling that details one of the most infamous games in Canadian hockey history. An engrossing read.”
—Damien Cox, The Toronto Star

"As smart as he is stylish, and as ingenious as he is thorough, Gare Joyce is one of this continent's master craftsmen of sporting prose. He is as fine a writer as can be found in any field."
—Jeff MacGregor, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated

"It's taken twenty years for someone to turn the lights back on in Piestany. Leave it to Gare Joyce to make it worth the wait."
—Chris Jones, Esquire

“[Joyce] offers incredible depth and insight into his subjects, even tracking down the unfortunate referee who oversaw the game. . . . He goes beyond the tale of the tape to document Canada’s improvement in team discipline at future World Junior tournaments, the difficulty of getting to grips with how the ’87 Russians feel today about Piestany, and the impact this one game had on individual lives for decades to come.” —IHWC.net

“A painstaking account of the brawl at the 1987 World Junior championships between Canadians and Soviets - the last time the two hockey superpowers faced each other as Cold War rivals. Gare Joyce is often said to be one of the best sports writers on the continent, and his engaging and colourful style proves it.”–Russell Smith, in The Wyre (xyyz.ca)


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gare Joyce is a writer on the masthead of ESPN The Magazine. He is also a writer-at-large for Toro Magazine, a sports correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and a contributor to several other magazines including Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, and The Walrus. He has won three National Magazine Awards and been a finalist 19 times. He has written two books, Sidney Crosby: Taking the Game by Storm and The Only Ticket Off the Island: Baseball in the Dominican Republic.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars write more books on hockey, please! March 26 2008
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Gare Joyce moves right up to the top of the hockey writing pyramid with the greats like Roy MacGregor and Damien Cox. Great premise to start from and an infamous game we all remember in Canada.

The great thing is Joyce does all the usual background setup but also views the whole incident from different angles--the CBC broadcast crew there and at home, the CAHA and IIHF officials, the on-ice officials and the two teams' players and staff. It's one of the first books that helps us understand the fates of all involved and it's fascinating to see where so-called can't miss "stars" like Jimmy Waite and Everett Sanipass went awry post-Piestany.

The stuff on Pierre Turgeon is oddly interesting when you think of how long he played in the NHL, the points he put up and how soft a player he truly was hence the lack of "ultimate" success. We all know bits of Brendan Shanahan and Theoren Fleury's off-ice lives but this fills in the picture plus updates us with their thoughts right through to Nagano 98. I also found Alexander Mogilny's story as intriguing as the demise of Bert Templeton (at least on a wider NHL or int'l stage).

I don't know whether I agree that this particular game ended hockey's Cold War as that took years but it certainly changed the way Canada approached the WJC...for the better.

The whole book was a fresh approach to understanding pro and junior hockey and how it is organized/run.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars write more books on hockey, please, Gare! Nov. 12 2011
By Brian Maitland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Gare Joyce moves right up to the top of the hockey writing pyramid with the greats like Roy MacGregor and Damien Cox. Great premise to start from and an infamous game we all remember in Canada.

The great thing is Joyce does all the usual background setup but also views the whole incident from different angles--the CBC broadcast crew there and at home, the CAHA and IIHF officials, the on-ice officials and the two teams' players and staff. It's one of the first books that helps us understand the fates of all involved and it's fascinating to see where so-called can't miss "stars" like Jimmy Waite and Everett Sanipass went awry post-Piestany.

The stuff on Pierre Turgeon is oddly interesting when you think of how long he played in the NHL, the points he put up and how soft a player he truly was hence the lack of "ultimate" success. We all know bits of Brendan Shanahan and Theoren Fleury's off-ice lives but this fills in the picture plus updates us with their thoughts right through to Nagano 98. I also found Alexander Mogilny's story as intriguing as the demise of Bert Templeton (at least on a wider NHL or int'l stage).

I don't know whether I agree that this particular game ended hockey's Cold War as that took years but it certainly changed the way Canada approached the WJC...for the better.

The whole book was a fresh approach to understanding pro and junior hockey and how it is organized/run.
2 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Irritatating Sept. 13 2007
By V. Sirotkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a biased, xenophobic account of the infamous 1987 WJC USSR-Canada game. This would be fine, though as the author is clearly rooting for one team. Unfortunately, his chauvinistic bias resulted in several major factual errors so glaring that it is difficult to trust him on the other outrageous claims in the book.
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