Russian Hockey on Brooklyn Ice? A Miracle!

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Team USSR beat the NHL All Stars to win the 1979 Challenge Cup at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Getty Images/Focus on Sport


Feeling nostalgic for the Cold War? Then head to Brooklyn this weekend for a completely un-ironic celebration of one of the reddest symbols of Communism — the Soviet Red Army hockey team. An exhibition game at the Aviator Sports and Recreation complex Sunday is meant to recognize the 50th anniversary of the USSR’s first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey. And though the team is perhaps the most historically unpopular one ever assembled — among Americans, at the very least — you wouldn’t know it from the publicity material for the game, which could have been published in Krushchev-era Pravda. “Historically, Russia and the former Soviet Union have produced some of the strongest, most talented and admired hockey players the world has known,” says a blurb on Aviator's Website. Organizer Alexander Vasiliyev insists that the game is completely void of politics and that the fans who attend — 90 percent of whom he estimates will be Russian — would agree with him. “These are really sports people,” he says. “They don’t care about the politics. They care about hockey.” Even, apparently, commie hockey. —Joe DeLessio

50th Anniversary of the First Victory of Team USSR at the Olympic Games [Aviator Sports]