- Sep. 30, 2021: A list like this is always going to be subjective. Of course, it partly depends on where you’re from. Some matchups, however, will always be more likely to dominate headlines in world hockey. The Swedes and Fins have an ongoing rivalry, and the United States and Russia still hold a grudge left over from the Cold War.
And then there’s the greatest rivalry in modern hockey: the Canada United States vs Canada. Hockey fans always enjoy a flutter on a matchup between these two fierce rivals. The matchup might not occur all that often, but then those betting fans can always enjoy playing the slots at Rizk to keep the excitement going. As a matter of fact, many developers have created slots based on this sport. When a Canada vs United States matchup does come around, it's usually something to behold. Look out for one of those games on our list of the most iconic ice hockey games of all time.
Canada vs. Soviet Union, 1972 Summit Series, Game 8
It isn’t easy to put into words just how much this result meant to Canadians. The heroism shown in two world wars, universal health care, and the maple leaf flag are the only things Canadians value more.
Team Canada had suffered humiliation in the earlier games of the Summit Series and were facing playing their final four games in Moscow. With the series all tied up and the Soviets leading 5-3 in the final period of the final game, the country was about to go into deep mourning. For Canadians old enough to remember this one, it holds a spiritual significance. If you ever meet one of them, don't ever tell them it’s just a game.
Miracle on Ice (Enough Said)
This was one day when the heavens were truly shining down on America. The American college players didn’t technically belong on the same rink as the Big Red Machine from the Soviet Union, which had the talent to beat the very best teams in the NHL.
Prior to the Lake Placid Games, the Soviets gave the U.S. a 10-3 thrashing in an exhibition game. That wasn't an unsurprising result, based on the talent gap between the two teams. It could simply have been a case of a team that didn’t think it needed to do much to win or it could have been an American team on a high dosage of motivation. Likely, it was a combination.
Canada vs. United States, 2002 Winter Olympics, Gold Medal Game
This one is definitely more iconic for Canadians than it is for Americans. But then, even American television acknowledged that the Canadian win has some historical significance. It completed the very first double Gold in hockey, thanks to the women also winning. It also put an end to a half-century drought at the top for the most preeminent hockey power in the world.
The game also confirmed that the U.S. had been formally entrenched as Canada’s chief rival, displacing the Russians. The giant battles of hockey would take place between the North American rivals from this moment on.
Canada vs. Soviet Union, Canada Cup Final, 1987
Here was another great moment for Canadian hockey. After a disaster of a start in the first period of the deciding game, Canada staged a comeback. At 5-5, with under 90 seconds to go in the game, the coach went for the jugular with a line straight out of hockey heaven. This was the only series that saw Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky playing on the same ice. The two most prolific scorers in the history of the sport broke out as Canada went on to win 2-1. Gretzky set up Lemieux for the winner, one of hockey’s most iconic