Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Olympic Ice Stadium, Innsbruck
Date Started: February 3, 1976
Date Finished: February 14, 1976
Format: Qualifying round placed teams into final and consolation round-robin pools.
Seven months after the 1972 Winter Olympics, the world got the chance to see if the Soviet ice hockey leviathan was the equal of the best NHL teams. Canada and the Soviet Union played a summit series of eight games, four in Canada, and four in Moscow. After five games, the Canadian NHL stars were trailing, with only one win and one tie. To pull out the series they had to win the final three games in the Soviet’s rink. All Canadians from that era know where they were on September 28, 1972, when Paul Henderson scored the final goal of the eighth game, to allow Canada to defeat the USSR in the game, and the series.
But the IOC still did not allow professionals to compete and Canada again eschewed sending a team to the Innsbruck Winter Olympics. Led by forwards Valery Kharlamov and Aleksandr Yakushev, goalie Vladislav Tretyak, and the huge defenseman, Boris Mikhaylov, the Soviets again won the gold medal, defeating Czechoslovakia, 4-3, in the final game.