During one of the hottest periods of time in the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union prepared for war during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. With an average age of just 22-years-old, the United States hockey team was made up of 20 guys that were virtual unknowns. During the second period, the Soviet hockey team outplayed the United States team, yet remarkably they struggled to score.
With 11 minutes left in the game, the United States was able to capitalize on a Soviet penalty and tied the score up at three. This war was not going to be fought with nuclear weapons and millions of soldiers, but with wooden sticks and ice skates. Leading up to the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Soviet hockey juggernaut had brought gold back to the motherland in the last four Winter Olympics.
Every member was an amateur hockey player, and they were essentially written off before they even took to the ice. Surprisingly, the United States were able to use their youth to their advantage and went undefeated in the first round of competition.


To many, this hockey game was more than just a game to determine who would compete in the finals to bring gold back to their country. Three days before the Winter Olympics was set to begin, Madison Square Garden played host to an exhibition match between Team USA and Team USSR. Based on their 4-0-1 record, Team USA advanced to the final four and would be competing for a medal in hockey.
Even though it was expected to be a loss similar to what happened in Madison Square Garden, Team USA fans came out in full force to support their young team. Devastated by their second place finish, none of the members of the Soviet hockey team had their name inscribed on their medal. The mighty Soviet Union was beaten by a young group of Americans who were not going to give up, no matter how outmatched they were. The team was stacked for the Soviet Union with every member of their team being an active soldier. The amateurs stood firm with their goalie, Jim Craig, becoming his own version of the Berlin Wall.


Team USA proved to the world that Communism could be defeated as long as you wanted it bad enough. On paper, the United States did not have any chance of even coming close to defeating the best hockey team in the world. They were never going to be able to compete for gold since they would have to go through the Soviet Union to do that.
The tie score was short-lived as the Soviet Union tacked on their second goal of the period. With one second left in the first period, the United States scored and tied the game at two.




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