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The 1976 Canada Cup series was the first in a group of tournaments designed in Canada as an attempt to reassert Canadian international hockey dominance. The Canada Cup was begun as a quid pro quo arrived at with the IIHF in exchange for Canadian participation in the World Hockey Championships and the Olympics. Both tournaments now received available professional hockey players from all nations. The Olympics, occurring in the middle of the NHL season, tended to only get recently retired NHL players and North Americans playing in Europe, while the World Championship teams were and are made up of NHL players whose teams had either missed the playoffs or were eliminated in the first round of the NHL playoffs. In exhange for this, Canada won the right to host an international hockey tournament during September, when all Canadian and American hockey players were available to participate. The European powers were expected to send their best players, so this tournament became the only international hockey tournament where the best players from around the world played each other. As such, it was designed to become the defacto, if not dejure, World Hockey Championship.After the Summit Series of 1972 and 1974, the NHL and NHLPA decided to broaden the scope of the competition, inviting to the tournament a number of hockey countries and allowing each invited country to send the best possible team they could muster. To live up to this ideal, the Canada Cup (unlike the 1972 Summit Series) would allow players from the WHA to participate. They also held the tournament on NHL sized rinks in North America, with NHL referees, in order to avoid problems they had encountered in earlier tournaments and to provide a home ice advantage. This first of five such Canada Cup tournaments would take place during the first two weeks of September 1976.

As expected, the star-studded Canadian team won the tournament after Darryl Sittler scored the winning goal in overtime against Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovaks (winners of the 1976 and 1977 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments) were also very strong. In contrast, the Soviets were in "rebuilding mode", and several experienced players from their Olympic championship team of 1976 (Gennady Tsygankov, Yuri Lyapkin, Valeri Kharlamov, Boris Mikhailov, Vladimir Petrov, Vladimir Shadrin, Alexander Yakushev) did not participate. Consequently, the Soviets finished a disappointing third as the new players lost to Canada and Czechoslovakia, and only managed a draw against Sweden.

Among the remaining teams, Sweden (reinforced by eight professional players from the NHL and WHA, although Christer Abrahamsson and Thommy Abrahamsson were omitted due to a row over unpaid transfer fees between the Swedish Ice Hockey Association and the WHA) played very well, and managed to beat both the Czechoslovaks and Americans. In fact, "Tre Kronor" would have made it to the finals if not for a disastrous loss against Finland, who somehow managed to outscore the Swedes 8–6 despite trailing 1–4 at one point. Apart from that game, the Finns (with four WHA professionals) proved to be by far the weakest team of the tournament. The American team finished fifth after beating the Finns in the last game. The USA coach Bob Pulford assembled a team comprising mostly young and unproven players sprinkled with some serviceable veterans.



Forwards and Defense: Bill Barber, Bobby Clarke, Marcel Dionne, Phil Esposito, Bob Gainey, Danny Gare, Bobby Hull, Guy Lafleur, Guy Lapointe, Reggie Leach, Richard Martin, Peter Mahovlich, Lanny McDonald, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault, Denis Potvin, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, Steve Shutt, Darryl Sittler, Carol Vadnais, Jimmy Watson; Training camp only -- Dave Burrows, Dan Maloney, Jean Pronovost, Rene Robert and Paul Shmyr

Goaltenders: Gerry Cheevers, Glenn Resch, Rogatien Vachon; Dan Bouchard (training camp only)

Coaches: Scotty Bowman, Don Cherry, Bobby Kromm, Al MacNeil


Forwards and Defense: Josef Augusta, Jiří Bubla, František Černik, Milan Chalupa, Miroslav Dvorak, Bohuslav Ebermann, Ivan Hlinka, Jiří Holik, Karel Holý, František Kaberle, Milan Kajkl, Oldrich Machac, Vladimír Martinec, Jiří Novák, Milan Nový, František Pospisil, Jaroslav Pouzar, Pavel Richter, Vladimír Šándrik, Bohuslav Šťastný, Marián Šťastný, Peter Šťastný

Goaltenders: Vladimir Dzurilla, Jiří Holeček

Coaches: Karel Gut, Ján Starší


Forwards and Defense: Tapio Flinck, Matti Hagman, Hannu Kapanen, Veli-Pekka Ketola, Pertti Koivulahti, Tapio Koskinen, Tapio Levo, Harri Linnonmaa, Lasse Litma, Kari Makkonen, Timo Nummelin, Lasse Oksanen, Esa Peltonen, Jouni Peltonen, Pekka Rautakallio, Matti Rautiainen, Seppo Repo, Heikki Riihiranta, Jouni Rinne, Timo Saari, Juhani Tamminen, Jorma Vehmanen

Goaltenders: Antti Leppänen, Markus Mattsson, Jorma Valtonen

Coaches: Lasse Heikkilä, Carl Brewer


Forwards and Defense: Mats Åhlberg, Thommie Bergman, Per-Olov Brasar, Lars-Erik Eriksson, Roland Eriksson, Lars-Erik Esbjörs, Inge Hammarström, Anders Hedberg, Björn Johansson, Dan Labraaten, Willy Lindström, Tord Lundström, Lars-Göran Nilsson, Ulf Nilsson, Stig Östling, Börje Salming, Stig Salming, Lars-Erik Sjöberg, Jan-Olov Svensson, Mats Waltin, Juha Widing, Kjell-Arne Wikström

Goaltenders: Hardy Åström, Göran Högosta, William Löfqvist

Coaches: Hans "Virus" Lindberg


Forwards and Defense: Fred Ahern, Curt Bennett, Harvey Bennett, Dan Bolduc, Rick Chartraw, Mike Christie, Lee Fogolin, Robbie Ftorek, Alan Hangsleben, Steve Jensen, Mike Milbury, Lou Nanne, Joe Noris, Bill Nyrop, Gerry O'Flaherty, Doug Palazzari, Craig Patrick, Larry Pleau, Mike Polich, Gary Sargent, Dean Talafous, Warren "Butch" Williams; Training camp only -- Stan Gilbertson, Jim Niekamp, Gordie Roberts, Peter Scamurra, Bobby Sheehan and Timothy Sheehy

Goaltenders: Mike Curran, Pete LoPresti, Cap Raeder; Ed Walsh (training camp only)

Coaches: Bob Pulford, Harry Neale


Forwards and Defense: Boris Alexandrov, Sergei Babinov, Helmut Balderis, Valeri Belousov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Alexander Golikov, Alexander Gusev, Sergei Kapustin, Vladimir Kovin, Vladimir Krikunov, Aleksandr Kulikov, Viktor Kuznetsov, Yuri Lebedev, Vladimir Lutchenko, Alexander Maltsev, Vladimir Repnev, Viktor Shalimov, Aleksandr Skvortsov, Valeri Vasiliev, Vladimir Vikulov, Viktor Zhluktov

Goaltenders: Vladislav Tretiak, Mikhail Vasilenok, Viktor Zinger

Coaches: Viktor Tikhonov, Boris Mayorov, Robert Cherenkov

Round Robin Standings

  GP W L T GF GA Pts
Canada 5 4 1 0 22 6 8
Czechoslovakia 5 3 1 1 19 9 7
USSR 5 2 2 1 23 14 5
Sweden 5 2 2 1 16 18 5
USA 5 1 3 1 14 21 3
Finland 5 1 4 0 16 42 2

Game Scores


Location Result
Ottawamarker, Sept. 02, 1976 Canada 11 Finland 2
Toronto, Sept. 03, 1976 Sweden 5 USA 2
Montreal, Sept. 03, 1976 Czechoslovakia 5 USSR 3
Montreal, Sept. 05, 1976 Sweden 3 USSR 3
Toronto, Sept. 05, 1976 Czechoslovakia 8 Finland 0
Montreal, Sept. 05, 1976 Canada 4 USA 2
Montreal, Sept. 07, 1976 USSR 11 Finland 3
Philadelphia, Sept. 07, 1976 Czechoslovakia 4 USA 4
Toronto, Sept. 07, 1976 Canada 4 Sweden 0
Winnipeg, Sept. 09, 1976 Finland 8 Sweden 6
Philadelphia, Sept. 09, 1976 USSR 5 USA 0
Montreal, Sept. 09, 1976 Czechoslovakia 1 Canada 0
Montreal, Sept. 11, 1976 USA 6 Finland 3
Quebec City, Sept. 11, 1976 Sweden 2 Czechoslovakia 1
Toronto, Sept. 11, 1976 Canada 3 USSR 1

Final (best of 3)

Location Result
Toronto, Sept. 13, 1976 Canada 6 Czechoslovakia 0
Montreal, Sept. 15, 1976 Canada 5 Czechoslovakia 4 (OT)

Player Statistics


  GP G A Pts
Viktor Zhluktov 5 5 4 9
Bobby Orr 7 2 7 9
Denis Potvin 7 1 8 9
Bobby Hull 7 5 3 8
Milan Novy 7 5 3 8
Gilbert Perreault 7 4 4 8
Vladimir Vikulov 4 4 3 7
Borje Salming 5 4 3 7
Phil Esposito 7 4 3 7
Aleksandr Maltsev 5 3 4 7
Vladimir Martinec 7 3 4 7


  GP G
Milan Novy 7 5
Bobby Hull 7 5
Viktor Zhluktov 5 5
Borje Salming 5 4
Darryl Sittler 7 4
Gilbert Perreault 7 4


  GP A
Denis Potvin 7 8
Bobby Orr 7 7
Marcel Dionne 7 5
Guy Lafleur 7 5
Alexander Gusev 5 5


Rogatien Vachon 7 6 1 0 2 1.39
Vladimir Dzurilla 5 1 3 1 1 2.36
Vladislav Tretiak 5 2 2 1 1 2.80
Pete LoPresti 2 1 1 0 0 3.00
  • minimum 120 minutes played.

Trophies and Awards

Tournament Champion

Tournament MVP

Team MVPs

All-Star Team

See also

External links, Sources and References

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