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1950s / Canada Beats USSR - 1955 IIHF Tourney
The International Ice Hockey Federation has been holding world championship tourneys since 1908. Prior to 1977 the events operated as strictly amateur tourneys much like the Olympic Games once did. Canada typically sent local teams to the IIHF championship and still routinely dominated the tourneys against European national teams. In 1954 the Soviet Union sent a team to world championship for the first time and surprised Canada 7-2 to win the title in Stockholm. With the tournament being held in West Germany in 1955, Canada sent its national amateur finalist team--the Penticton (BC) Vees--to regain national honor. Nine teams competed in the round-robin event. Both the Soviet Union and Canada were 7-0 going into their meeting, so the winner would get the gold medals. The crowd in Krefeld, West Germany included numerous Canadian military personnel stationed nearby along with boisterous German locals who hated all things Russian. The Vees--led by the three Warwick brothers--won handily, 5-0. The Canadian team only allowed six goals in eight games. Here is about a minute of silent newsreel footage of the last game--including two Canadian goals. There's a terrific monument in Penticton that honors the 1955 Vees. History does repeat itself: Sixty years later Canada won the 2015 tourney by defeating the Russians again by five goals. This time the score was 6-1.