From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, in honour of the United States’ 239th birthday, we look back at the first ever American Olympic Gold Medal in ice hockey, the original “Miracle on Ice” against the more powerful Soviet Union.
There was no colour television coverage, no announcer using a catch-phrase like “miracle on ice,” no celebration of the extraordinary over and above a remarkable gold medal. But make no mistake—when the United States won Olympic gold in 1960 in Olympic Valley, California, it was a much greater miracle than the one that occurred in Lake Placid 20 years later. In 1980, it was one game—a 4-3 win over the Soviet Union—that defined the American victory. In 1960, the U.S. had to defeat the top four teams in the world to win gold.
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