Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): Blyth Memorial Arena, Squaw Valley, California; Eastern Rink, Squaw Valley, California
Date Started: February 19, 1960
Date Finished: February 28, 1960
Format: Round-robin pools, followed by medal and consolation rounds.
Many people look back at the 1960 Winter Olympic ice hockey event, and assume the Soviet Union was a heavy favorite. But that belied recent tournament history. Sweden had won the 1957 World Championship, with the USSR second. Canada had won the 1958 and 1959 World Championships. With Czechoslovakia, it was thought that any one of four teams could have won the 1960 Olympic ice hockey gold medal. The Canadian team was again the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen as the Allan Cup champions, the Whitby Dunlops, declined the invitation to skate in the Olympics.
The United States was represented by a young team of players from Boston and Minnesota and was not expected to challenge for the gold medal. They played an 18-game tour prior to the Squaw Valley Games, winning 10, tying 4, and losing 4 games, hardly scaring anyone. But in their first Olympic match, they upset Czechoslovakia, 7-5, and advanced to the medal round. On February 27, the Americans faced the Soviets, and prevailed 3-2, led by the goaltending of Jack McCartan. The next day the Americans again met the Czechoslovak team, and trailed 4-3, after two periods. In the US locker room between periods, Soviet player Nikolay Sologubov came in and showed the US players that they should take oxygen to give them more stamina for the final period. They did so, and trounced the Czechs in the 3rd period, winning 7-5.