MOSCOW – Former Soviet national team player Vladimir Vikulov passed away on Friday in his hometown of Moscow. He was 67.
Vikulov played internationally in the ‘60s and ‘70s and formed a line with Viktor Polupanov and Anatoli Firsov under Coach Anatoli Tarasov.
He only started to play ice hockey at the age of 15 with the CSKA Hockey School but thanks to his extraordinary skill level he earned his spot in the Soviet league in just three years and represented the national team at the 1966 IIHF World Championship.
Vikulov won Olympic gold in Grenoble 1968 and Sapporo 1972 along with six IIHF World Championship titles between 1966 and 1975. He was on the All-Star Team in 1971 and 1972 and played for the Soviets in the 1972 Summit Series and the 1976 Canada Cup, his last international event.
In these international competitions Vikulov notched 58 goals and 43 assists in 85 games.
In domestic play, Vikulov was part of the army team CSKA Moscow from 1964 to 1979 winning 12 national championships before ending his career with SKA Leningrad (St. Petersburg). He was among the top-20 goal scorers in the Soviet league with 283 career goals in 520 games.
For his services he received the Order of the Badge of Honour, the Medal For Labour Valour and was a Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR.