HAMILTON, ONTARIO, SEPT. 13 -- Mario Lemieux's third goal of the game after 30 minutes 7 seconds of sudden-death overtime carried Canada to a remarkable 6-5 victory over the Soviet Union tonight in the longest struggle in the history of international hockey.
As a result, the Canada Cup will be decided in a third game here Tuesday. The Soviets won Friday's opener in Montreal by the same score in 5:33 of extra time.
Brian Propp started the winning play by passing the puck out from behind the net to Washington's Larry Murphy. He fed Wayne Gretzky at the right post and Gretzky, after his initial shot was blocked by Evgeny Belosheikin, fed Lemieux near the left post for a tap-in.
The Soviets forced the overtime when Valeri Kamensky eluded four Canadian defenders to score a sensational goal with 64 seconds left in regulation time.
The first period was played at an incredible tempo, with Canada unloading 17 shots on goal, the Soviets 13. Canada grabbed a 3-1 lead with goals by Normand Rochefort, Doug Gilmour and Paul Coffey, plus an assist from referee Paul Stewart, who disallowed an apparent Soviet score.
Canada dressed one player less than the maximum, with Rick Tocchet joining Kevin Dineen and Claude Lemieux on the injured list. Coach Mike Keenan juggled his defensive pairings, after Doug Crossman and Ray Bourque were burned for five goals each on Friday.
The pace slowed in the second period and so did the fortunes of Canada, which slipped into a 3-3 tie until Mario Lemieux's eighth goal of the tournament at 16:32 provided a one-goal margin at the intermission.
A penalty to Crossman for holding enabled the Soviets to close the gap, Viacheslav Fetisov connecting from the left point at 12:11 on a drive that caromed into the net off Fuhr's stick. Canada's touted power play backfired a few minutes later, after Sergei Nemchinov was chased for holding Glenn Anderson. Just 13 seconds into the shortage, Vladimir Krutov tied the game, hitting the far corner from the right wing circle following some superb stickhandling by him and Makarov.
It was the Soviets' third shorthanded goal in three games against Canada.
Lemieux's go-ahead score came on a two-on-one with Gretzky against Vasili Pervukhin. Gretzky, on the right wing, made a fine pass to Lemieux, who one-timed it high on the short side.
After Anatoli Semenov rattled a post, Bykov created a 4-4 tie at 4:45 of the third period. Khomutov was tripped by Craig Hartsburg, maintained control of the puck while on his knees and passed to Viacheslav Bykov in the right wing circle. His backhander beat Grant Fuhr on the short side.
When Semenov batted his own rebound into the net with a high stick, Stewart quickly ruled no goal.
After Lemieux slashed Khomutov without a penalty, it appeared that Stewart had put his whistle in mothballs. At 9:52, however, he chased Alexei Gusarov for hooking Propp and this time Canada's power play came through.
Belosheikin blocked a shot by Coffey, but Gretzky shoved the rebound through the crease and Lemieux rapped it inside the left post at 10:14.
An incredible individual effort by Kamensky with 64 seconds left forced the overtime. Kamensky eluded two Canadian forwards near the blue line, split defenders Rochefort and Crossman and, as he fell to the ice from the force of Rochefort's attempted tackle, flipped the puck over Fuhr's left shoulder.
The Soviets outshot Canada, 12-9, in the first overtime period. Although both teams had good chances to win, the Soviets came closest.
Igor Larionov backhanded the puck into Fuhr at the finish of a three-on-one that left Belosheikin skating out to celebrate, in belief the game was over. When Yuri Khmylev's shot off the rear boards came out in front, Sergei Priakhin was just wide with the rebound. And Fuhr made a great stop on a screened shot by Alexei Kasatonov, skating down the middle.