The International Hockey Lineal Championship stayed with Team USA for the majority of 2017, with the 2017 World Junior champions holding the IHLC for eight of a possible twelve games in 2017, including carrying the title into the medal round of the current 2018 tournament.
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, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, we feature the opening game of the tournament, a stunning Soviet victory in Montréal.
After all the opening spectacle died down, all the commemorative pennants were handed out, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dropped the puck and the national anthems were sung, hockey fans throughout Canada (and the Western world) were expecting Team Canada, a collective NHL all-star team boasting the likes of Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich and Ken Dryden, to put a drubbing on the Soviet team, made up of unheard “amateur” players who played hockey only as part of their army or police service. This was to be an easy sweep for Team Canada, to show the world once and for all who truly owns the game.
Oh, how wrong Canada was. The Soviets were for real, and they proved it with a drubbing of their own, to take Game 1 of the Summit Series, along with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
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 American Independence Day, we look back at the final tilt between Team USA and Canada at the 1996 World Cup Of Hockey, where the Americans won their first ever “best on best” world title.
When the NHL decided to revamp the Canada Cup in 1996, hosting the tournament in cities across the globe and expanding to eight teams in the first post-Soviet “best on best” tournament, many scoffed at the idea, seeing this as simply a renaming of the tournament Canada had become known to dominate, winning four of the five previous Canada Cup tournaments.
Team USA, however, had other ideas. Not quite on the scale as the “Miracle On Ice” in terms of the unlikelihood, but still the biggest American hockey victory in a generation, the U.S. won the third game of the best of three final 5-2 over Canada, on enemy ice, to capture their first World Cup Of Hockey, and also retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.