76 OG : Big Red Machine Continues To Roll


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The four-times consecutive Olympic champion squad from the UNION of SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS pose for a proper team photograph just after being awarded the coveted set of gold medals by I.O.C. big-wigs during the official ceremony for the 1976 Winter Games ice hockey competition at the Olympiahalle in Innsbruck, Austria.
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For the very first time ever at the Winter Olympics, the ice hockey team of the U.S.S.R. at the ’76 Innsbruck Games was not steered by ANATOLI TARASOV, the legendary “Father of Soviet Hockey” who had been replaced as trainer of the national team after the 1972 Winter Olympics in the wake of a dispute with the powers that be in the Soviet Sports Committee over cash bonuses.

It was, of course, BORIS KULAGIN of the Moscow-based Soviet Wings (Krylya Sovetov) club who had been in charge of the U.S.S.R. national side ever since his appointment ahead of the 1974 IIHF World Championships. But the listing for the above photograph is inaccurate, then, as the coach assisting Kulagin was actually KONSTANTIN LOKTEV of CSKA Moscow, who had taken over the powerhouse army club from Tarasov to start the 1974/75 hockey season. Both Kulagin and Loktev had taken their Soviet domestic clubs on the historic tour of North America to face professional National Hockey League teams just a couple of months prior to the 1976 Winter Olympics in Austria.

All of the gold medal-winning Soviet players at the ’76 Innsbruck Games had also participated in that landmark meeting with the NHL clubs.

’76 SOVIET UNION Olympic squad
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Vladimir PETROV – 28 – ctr …….. CSKA Moscow …….. 6 ga 6 go 3 as 9 pts
Boris MIKHAILOV – 31 – rw ……… CSKA Moscow …….. 5 ga 3 go 1 as 4 pts
Valery KHARLAMOV – 28 – lw ….. CSKA Moscow …….. 6 ga 3 go 6 as 9 pts

Vladimir SHADRIN – 27 – ctr …….. Spartak Moscow ….. 6 ga 10 go 4 as 14 pts
Viktor SHALIMOV – 24 – rw ……… Spartak Moscow ….. 6 ga 7 go 5 as 12 pts
Alexander YAKUSHEV – 29 – lw … Spartak Moscow ….. 6 ga 4 go 4 as 8 pts

Viktor ZHLUKTOV – 21 – ctr …….. CSKA Moscow …….. 6 ga 2 go 6 as 8 pts
Alexander MALTSEV – 26 – rw ….. Dynamo Moscow …. 6 ga 7 go 7 as 14 pts
Sergei KAPUSTIN – 22 – lw ……… Soviet Wings ………. 6 ga 6 go 1 as 7 pts

Boris ALEXANDROV – 20 – lw …… CSKA Moscow ……. 5 ga 2 go 3 as 5 pts

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Gold medalist BORIS ALEXANDROV (11) of CSKA Moscow was one of a only a very select few of all the Olympic ice hockey players from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics who was not Russian. After the fall of the old U.S.S.R., the 20-year-old winger who had begun his senior career in the Soviet system with Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk was later appointed the national team trainer of his native Kazakhstan. Alexandrov was the only skater for the Soviet Union not to appear in the de facto Gold Medal Match with Czechoslovakia on the final day of ice hockey competition at the 1976 Winter Games at Innsbruck.
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Gennady TSYGANKOV – 28 – def …. CSKA Moscow ……. 6 ga 1 go 2 as 3 pts
Vladimir LUTCHENKO – 27 – def …… CSKA Moscow ……. 6 ga 0 go 2 as 2 pts
Alexander GUSEV – 29 – def ……….. CSKA Moscow ……. 6 ga 1 go 2 as 3 pts
Valery VASILIEV – 26 – def ………….. Dynamo Moscow … 6 ga 1 go 2 as 3 pts
Yuri LIAPKIN – 31 – def ………………. Spartak Moscow …. 6 ga 1 go 3 as 4 pts
Sergei BABINOV – 20 – def ………….. Soviet Wings …….. 6 ga 2 go 2 as 4 pts

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26-year-old defenseman VALERY VASILIEV (6) of Dynamo Moscow, who appeared at the Olympics for the Soviet Union three times in his distinguished career and before captaining the 1981 Canada Cup champion team, did much to solidy the U.S.S.R. blueline during the 1976 Winter Games hosted by Innsbruck, Austria.
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Vladislav TRETIAK – 23 – gk ………… CSKA Moscow … 4 ga 240 min 2.50 avg
Alexander SIDELNIKOV – 25 – gk …… Soviet Wings ….. 2 ga 120 min 2.00 avg

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Soviet Union goaltender VLADISLAV TRETIAK (20) of CSKA Moscow, one of nine returning players from the title-winning team at the 1972 Sapporo Games, scored the second of what would be a hat trick of Olympic gold medals over the course of his accomplished career with strong work between the pipes for the U.S.S.R. at the 1976 Winter Games hosted by Innsbruck, Austria.

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