By Greg Wyshynski
NHLSarok, a hockey blog based in Slovakia, has posted three videos on YouTube from the now-legendary women's ice hockey Olympic qualifier that saw Slovakia squeak out an 82-0 victory over Bulgaria.
The box score (.pdf) chronicled the carnage; seeing these videos provides some valuable (and painful) context for this embarrassment. Eighty-two goals seem a little more reasonable when you witness Bulgaria's defensive system; which involves either skating with beer league-level velocity, or standing around picking daisies while Slovakia shoots at a goalie with the reflexes of a corpse.
Again, we hate to kick a national women's ice hockey team when it's down, but we'd love to set up a series of match races between the Bulgarian players and the Mites on Ice that skate between periods of NHL games. We can even set the whole thing to reggae music, just like they do for the kids.
Video No. 1 begins with the score tied 0-0, which incidentally was the last time anyone associated with Bulgarian women's ice hockey felt an emotion with a tangential resemblance to hope.
The second video skips all the way to 77-0, at which point Bulgaria has decided to reject the concept of goaltending and play with six skaters -- a wise decision, as pulling the goalie has fueled many a rally. Although not many that would require a goal every five seconds.
Video No. 3 features -- we kid you not -- a Bertuzzi-like attack from behind from a Slovakian player (!) against a foe from Bulgaria during a stoppage in play. Slovakia's Anna Dzurnakova was given a misconduct and a match penalty for the roughing from behind, and what passes for a women's hockey brawl followed. The clip ends with the scoreboard infamously reading: 82-0.