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09-13-2012, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
According to the announcers, the Soviets requested Koharski because they thought he did a strong job in their earlier games.

A neutral country ref, Paul Stewart (USA), reffed game two.

Not that I expect that to hve ANY impact on the interweb conspiracy theories, though.
That is the truth. Its detailed quite well in the book "Gretzky to Lemieux: The Story of the 1987 Canada Cup". The Soviets felt the European refs were incompetant and unsuited for high-level play. They felt the Americans were very biased against them. They knew the Canadians would never agree to a Soviet ref. And Koharski had reffed a couple of their previous games in the round robin and they felt he'd done a fair and even job both games, so they actually proposed him for the finals.

The Canadians weren't thrilled with his reffing either - apparantly Gretzky called Koharski a traitor at one point after what he felt were some particularly bad penalties called against the Canadians.

Honestly, I thought he wasn't so bad. A lot of what he let go was just the way hockey was played in those days.

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