1980 Soviet Hockey Team
Much is made of what a scrappy group of overachievers the U.S. team was in 1980. That’s true. But there are two sides to every coin, and the collapse of the Soviets was nothing short of epic. After all, they had won 21 straight Olympic contests, they had defeated a team of NHL All-Stars 6-0 in 1979, and crushed this same U.S. team in a 1980 exhibition game, 10-3. But after the US scored a goal with one second left in the first period to tie the score at 2, the Soviet coach replaced goalie Vladislav Tretiak. Tretiak was considered by many to be the best goalie in the world, and the move raised the spirits of the U.S. team, which saw that it was getting under the Soviets’ skin. Nonetheless, the Soviets took a 3-2 lead into the third period. But the U.S. scored a power-play goal to tie it, then Mike Eruzione hit a slapshot to give the U.S. the lead. The Soviets panicked, and started to play wildly. After several tense minutes, the U.S. pulled off the shocker. The Soviet newspaper, “Pravda,” made no mention of the game the next day.—Johnny Goodtimes (AP Photo/Douglas Ball)
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.