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Team USA Claims First Place in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey

By Darryl Seibel - USA Hockey, 09/14/16, 9:15PM MDT


Mike Richter chosen as tournament Most Valuable Player

This page contains the original game recap distributed via fax following Team USA's decisive victory over Canada on Sept. 14, 1996, to win the World Cup of Hockey.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Team USA rallied from a 2-1 deficit late in the third period of the decisive third game in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey Championship Series to score four unanswered goals in the final 3:18 and post a stirring 5-2 victory of Team Canada.

Team USA won two of three games against Team Canada in the Championship Series and claimed first place in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey, an eight-nation tournament that featured more than 200 premier players from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States competing in a best-on-best format.

The World Cup of Hockey, a joint effort of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation, was played Aug. 26-Sept. 14 in nine cities throughout North American and Europe.

Team USA goaltender Mike Richter (New York Rangers / Abington, Pa.), who made 35 saves in the final game and finished the tournament with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage, was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the World Cup of Hockey.

Game 3 Highlights

With the best-of-three Championship Series knotted at one game apiece, Team USA and Canada squared off in Montreal, Quebec, on Sept. 14 in the tournament finale. The U.S. built a 1-0 lead at 11:18 of the first period when forward Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues / Belleville, Ontario) scored a power-play goal off of assists from Team USA captain Brian Leetch (New York Rangers / Corpus Christi, Texas) and forward Doug Weight (Edmonton Oilers / Warren, Mich.).

Team Canada dominated the second period of play, outshooting Team USA by a 22-9 margin and tying the game at the 19:54 mark with a power-play goal from Eric Lindros.

Team Canada took its only lead of the game at 12:50 of the third period when defenseman Adam Foote registered an unassisted goal that made the score 2-1. Hull then ignited the game-winning rally for Team USA by deflecting a shot past Team Canada goaltender Curtis Joseph at the 16:42 mark, knotting the contest at 2-2. Hull’s goal – his second of the game and seventh of the tournament – was followed just :43 later by what proved to be the game-winner for Team USA from forward Tony Amonte (Chicago Blackhawks / Hingham, Mass.), who scored off of assists from defenseman Derian Hatcher (Dallas Stars / Sterling Heights, Mich.) and forward Bryan Smolinski (Pittsburgh Penguins / Toledo, Ohio).

Hatcher and forward Adam Deadmarsh (Colorado Avalanche / Trail, British Columbia) added a pair of goals in the closing minute of play to account for the 5-2 final.