Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Claude Robillard Centre, Montréal, Québec; Palace of Sports, Sherbrooke, Québec; Pavillon de l'Éducation Physique et des Sports de l'Université Laval, Québec, Québec
Date Started: July 20, 1976
Date Finished: July 28, 1976
Format: Round-robin tournament.
Four of the six participating teams came from the 1975 World Championships, in which the DDR had beaten host nation USSR, with Hungary and Romania following suit. These four were completed by the host nation (Canada) and Japan, which won a tournament with African and American teams.
While a round-robin only competition, the draw of the tournament was matched with the teams' abilities. After four rounds, the Soviets had won all four matches, but could still lose the gold if they lost to East Germany. Similarly, the bronze medal was to be decided between Hungary and Romania - Hungary could even earn a silver if both matches would turn out to be a high-scoring affair.
The unofficial "final" started well for the Soviets, leading all the way to the half-time signal, with the score 7-5. But the East German women started the second half strongly, and pulled ahead 8-7. With the match in the balance, the DDR team likely lost it on penalty shots, missing important opportunities at 8-8 and 9-10. The final score was 14-11. The star Soviet player was Zinaïda Turchyna, scoring half of her team's goals in this match. A veteran on the team, she was married to the team coach, Igor Turchyn. The best scoring player on the German side was Roswitha Krause, with four. She was also the only player in the event to win her second Olympic medal. Back in 1968 she had competed in swimming, and had claimed a silver medal with the East German 4 x 100 m freestyle relay squad.