A team from the Soviet Union made a stopover in Trail on Jan. 26, 1960 to face off against the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Cominco Arena. Photo: Trail Historical Society

A team from the Soviet Union made a stopover in Trail on Jan. 26, 1960 to face off against the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Cominco Arena. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: Soviet Union faces off against the Smoke Eaters

The Trail game in January 1960 was part of the Soviet’s first-ever Canadian exhibition tour.

Sixty-one years ago this month, a team from the Soviet Union called the Moscow Selects made a stopover in Trail to face off against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

(The Moscow Selects was a term used to describe an all star team put together from the teams in and around Moscow. It was considered a Soviet National Team B team that the Soviets used to give some of their players international experience.)

The Trail game in January 1960 was part of the Soviet’s first-ever Canadian exhibition tour.

About 5,750 fans packed the Cominco Arena to the rafters on January 26 that year to watch the Smokies defeat the Selects, 7 to 6.

The Trail team was the only Canadian team to win a game against the Selects during the Soviet tour.

“Padded with extra players from the Rossland Warriors and the Nelson Maple Leafs, the team did not disappoint their die-hard fans,” says Sarah Benson-Lord, from the Trail Museum and Archives.

“For many players, this was one of the most memorable games ever played in the arena thanks to the energy generated from the massive, roaring crowd, anxious to witness the first Soviet team play in Canada.”

Benson-Lord asks, “Were you in attendance at this game?”

Read more Trail Blazers: Remembering the Liberty Theatre

Looking at civic elections 90 years later



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