A Golden Day for US Hockey
On this day in 1960, the US Men’s Hockey Team won the nation’s first hockey gold medal in Squaw Valley, California. The U.S. won all 7 games en route to the Gold Medal, outscoring their opponents 29-11. Ironically, the U.S. team included a player named Herb Brooks who was cut a week before the Games, but who would go on to coach the 1980 Olympic gold team.
The U.S. had won the Silver Medal at the 1956 Olympics and finished 4th at the 1959 World Championships with Canada, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia taking first, second and third.
The U.S. team opened against the Czechs by scoring 4 goals in the 3rd period to overcome a 4-3 deficit. A 12-1 drubbing of Australia put them into medal play.
After beating Sweden and Germany, the U.S. team would face the world’s top 3 teams in order over the next 4 days. They began by beating the two-time defending World Champions Canada 2-1.
Two days later they beat the defending Olympic Champions Soviet Union 3-2.
In their final game against the Czechs the next night, the U.S. fell behind 4-3 after two-periods. As with their first game, however, the U.S. responded with an explosive 6 goal third period to claim the Gold Medal with a 9-4 win.
The U.S. team almost struck gold again on this date in 2012, as they played Canada in the Gold Medal game in Vancouver. They had beat them 5-3 in the opening round, but would lose 3-2 in a thrilling overtime match up.