Squaw Valley ’60 : Christian Shoots Down Soviets

United States forward BILL CHRISTIAN shoots the puck past Soviet Union goalkeeper NIKOLAI PUSHKOV with five minutes remaining in the third period for the winning goal in the American's 3-2 upset victory over the USSR at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley, California.

United States forward BILL CHRISTIAN shoots the puck past Soviet Union goalkeeper NIKOLAI PUSHKOV with five minutes remaining in the third period for the winning goal in the American's 3-2 upset victory over the USSR at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley, California.

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“Tommy had knocked the puck out of the corner and Roger took a shot…I was getting shoved around in front of the net…The puck came out, and I put it back in.”

’60 Olympic hero BILL CHRISTIAN — “The First Miracle On Ice” by Kevin Allen

In front of a jampacked crowd at open-air Blyth Arena in Squaw Valley as well as a national television audience on a Saturday afternoon, 19-year-old TOMMY WILLIAMS picks up a loose puck to the left of USSR goaltender NIKOLAI PUCHKOV. The youngest of the American squad and the only Squaw Valley U.S.A. Olympian to claim a future regular National Hockey League place circles and starts along the boards behind the Soviet net. Confronted by a defender, Williams centers the puck.

ROGER CHRISTIAN, having assumed a dangerous position in the slot, sweeps the puck at Puchkov’s goal with his first touch.

Puchkov stops Roger’s shot but, although apparently covered by a USSR defender in front, brother Bill, the smallest of the U.S. players, is able to locate the disc and deposit such in the Soviet Union goal :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdUsoyZy2aA&feature=PlayList&p=39223EECA14DEC79&index=0

Bill Christian’s second strike of the game gives the United States a 3-2 lead with 5:01 to go in the third period. 

The Soviets would make serious efforts to tie the score for the remainder of the contest. But former University of Minnesota goaltender JACK MCCARTAN, who had turned aside 38 shots in the United States’ 2-1 upset of Canada two days earlier, would not oblige. With the partisan crowd firmly behind him, McCartan finishes with twenty-five saves against the USSR.

And, thus, the Soviet Union fall to the United States for the first time at a major international ice hockey tournament.

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“Perhaps we would have won on a neutral rink, but naturally it is the right of spectators to cheer their team as much as they can and we just had to bear that handicap.”

NIKOLAI ROMANOV, Soviet Minister of Sport in attendance at Squaw Valley

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