Six Unanswered Spurred U.S. Sextet

CZECHOSLOVAKIA (red shirts, blue pants) face-off against the UNITED STATES (white shirts, red pants) on the final day of competition at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA (red shirts, blue pants) face-off against the UNITED STATES (white shirts, red pants) on the final day of competition at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

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The UNITED STATES, after consecutive wins over Canada and the Soviet Union, still had to face CZECHOSLOVAKIA in a final, early morning match at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.

Several Americans were reportedly so excited after the USSR win that they had trouble sleeping prior to their final game. United States JACK MCCARTAN, the unquestionable star of the last two U.S. shows, is said to have “seen nothing but flying pucks at him all night”. Perhaps a bit nervous, McCartan and the United States conceded a goal after just eight seconds the next morning to start the match with Czechoslovakia.

MIROSLAV VLACH’s goal still sets the record for fastest goal to start an Olympic ice hockey game.

A wild first period produced six goals and a 3-3 draw; matters settled in the second stanza, however, the United States again fell behind after Vlach scored his second goal of the game and eighth at the Olympics to put Czechoslovakia ahead 4-3 with twenty minutes to play.

After receiving a surprise visitor to the locker room bearing news of a secret weapon, the United States took to the ice for the final time at Squaw Valley and produced the most stunning third period ever seen at the Winter Olympic Games.

Six minutes in, ROGER CHRISTIAN grabbed the first of what would be SIX unanswered goals for the United States. A little over a minute and a half later, BOB CLEARY, who had a pair of goals for the game, put the Americans ahead to stay. Three goals in sixty-seven seconds later put the final nails in Czechoslovakia’s coffin.

Unbeaten and untied after all seven games, the unheraled United States, who had placed seventh at the previous year’s IIHF World Championships, accepted the very first set of gold medals for ice hockey at the Winter Olympics in their nation’s history.

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BILL CLEARY, Bob’s brother, added a goal for the United States in the 9-4 final day triumph over Czechoslovakia at Squaw Valley. The 25-year-old former Harvard University forward finished third in scoring at the 1960 Winter Olympics with seven goals and 14 points in seven games.

ROGER CHRISTIAN’s four-score effort against the Czechoslovaks is easily the modern record for most goals in an Olympic Gold Medal Match. Christian, whose brother, Bill, finished fourth in scoring at the Squaw Valley tournament with two goals and 13 points, led the United States with eight goals in 1960.

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