When the Lights Went Out | Penguin Random House Canada
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When the Lights Went Out

How One Brawl Ended Hockey's Cold War and Changed the Game

Publisher: Anchor Canada
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.


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"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.