The women's pre-Olympic hockey qualification tournament going on in Liepaja, Latvia, and Maribor, Slovenia, this week is pretty far, far off the radar, but it's hard to miss a boxscore like this.
Here's the Reuters brief from Saturday's game between Slovakia and Bulgaria:
Slovakia crushed Bulgaria 82-0 in a 2010 Winter Olympics qualifier in the Latvian town of Liepaja. Bulgaria conceded a goal every 44 seconds after losing 30-1 to Croatia and 41-0 to Italy.It's a good thing Canada's not in the group.
The game was 7-0 after five minutes, 19-0 after 10, and an incredible 31-0 after only one period. Down 77-0 with three minutes to go, Bulgaria put in its backup goaltender, who promptly let in another five goals on five shots in just 1:25 of playing time.
The game's final shots on goal were 139-0. Slovakia had 12 players record hat tricks, including one 10-goal scorer, one nine-goal scorer and four others with eight. Every skater was plus-22 or better, and forward Maria Herichova led the points parade with 18. Two Bulgarians finished the game minus-39.
The IIHF has some good info on Bulgaria's hockey prowess. A nation of about 7.4 million, they have just 299 registered hockey players and only three indoor rinks.
There are only 37 female players in the entire country. (Canada has about 74,000.)
And they say women's hockey isn't competitive internationally?
UPDATE Deadspin's having some fun with this one.
UPDATE "What the Slovaks did to us was kind-of an insulting mockery, and is not at all sportsmanlike," the Chair of the Bulgarian Hockey Federation Dobromir Krustev commented after the game.
Apparently there were fewer than 40 fans in the crowd for this barnburner. The score has also been confirmed as a record for a women's event.
UPDATE A few Bulgarian news sources are picking up the story today, and they're calling it "one of the biggest defeats in sporting history" and "nothing short of a national embarrassment."