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 Russian National Day, we feature the Red Army’s first major international title, and their debut IHLC matchup, against Canada to finish the 1954 World Championship.
There is no question that 1954 was the start of the modern era of international hockey. Prior to the World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, that year, Canada ruled the ice lanes uncontested. Indeed, from 1920 to 1954, it lost only two significant games, one to the United States at the 1933 World Championship and one to Great Britain at the 1936 Olympics.
But in 1954, the Soviet Union made its first appearance in international hockey, and it did so in a blaze of glory. The Soviets had only started playing “Canadian hockey” (as opposed to European bandy) in 1946, and just eight years later that nation’s top players and managers believed they were ready to play against the world – and win.
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