February 23, 2006
Olympic hockey loss: 1960 - Squaw Valley, California
By GEORGE GROSS -- Sun Media
It was 1960 and Team Canada hadn't won the Olympic men's ice hockey gold since 1952 when the Edmonton Mercurys skated away with the top Olympic prize in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.
The site was sunny California's picturesque Squaw Valley rink where Canadian fansexpected that the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen under head coach Bobby Bauer, a former Boston Bruin, would recapture Olympic hockey glory for Canada.
It started out fine. After beating Sweden 5-2 and Japan 19-1, Team Canada downed the Soviet Union 8-5, Czechoslovakia 4-0, Sweden 6-5 and Germany 12-0. However, there was the little matter of the final game.
In that final, Canada ran into a hot American goalie by the name of Jack McCartan and lost 2-1. McCartan and a couple of other American players wound up in the National Hockey League.
Canadian fans in the stands couldn't, well, stand it. Wren Blair, a dedicated Canadian hockey official who would later become general manager of the Minnesota North Stars, smashed his camera against the back of his seat. It was partly to show his frustration over the loss, but also over the fact that he was hoping to coach the team and, deep down, was convinced he could have coached the team to victory.
We'll never know because it took 42 more years until the Maple Leafs' Pat Quinn guided Canada to victory.