The NHL has seen its share of magical moments since 1917, when the league was founded. It was clear that these moments were going to make history as they were happening, whether we’re talking about a team that won the Stanley Cup after several decades or about Wayne Gretzky’s pass to Gordie Howe to achieve the most scored goals. Some of these events didn’t seem big at their time, but as history showed us, they were moments that changed the game in important ways. Here is a look at the 5 best moments in NHL history, the ones that remind us why we love hockey.
5. The first two women inducted into the Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame surprised everyone and inducted in 2010 its first two women, more precisely Canada’s Angelea James and USA’s Cammi Granato. The American had a fulfilling international career and was indeed a role-model to young girls that played hockey in the U.S. and all-over. She was the captain of the American team in the 1998 Olympics. With Granato in command they won the gold medal. She played in all the women’s World Championship events beginning with 1990 and ending with her retirement in 2005. She played in 205 games for the national team during her career, scoring 186 goals, 157 assists, and 343 points. Her perseverance, talent, and love for hockey made her earn the right to be on the Hall of Fame.
4. Hall of Fame welcomes its first American – Hobey Baker
Hobart Amory Hare “Hobey” Baker is considered to be the first American star in ice hockey. He is one of the first players that went on to be inducted into the Hockey Wall of Fame when it was founded in 1945. Unfortunately, this star died young, at the age of 26. Despite dying at such a young age, Baker left an inspiring image for people everywhere to follow. He enrolled at Princeton University where he excelled on the hockey and football teams, he played for three national championship teams in both hockey and football and he became commander of the 141st Aero Squadron while he served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Unfortunately, in December 1918 he died while test-piloting a plane that crashed.
3. Winning the Olympic silver medal in 2010
When it comes to sports, it is not necessarily winning that makes you enter history, but how well you fought for your chance. This happened with the American team in the 2010 Olympic games. Canada was hosting the event, so USA saw it as a chance to put the Canadian team to shame and steal their golden medal right from under their nose. The American team was not favorite before the game started, the Canadians having a much more skilled team. Although they did not win the gold medal in Vancouver, they played in a grandiose way. In the second period, Canada was leading by 2-0. The Americans did their best and Ryan Kesler scored the first goal. The surprise of the match came 25 seconds before the and of the match, when Zach Parise scored and sent the game to overtime. Unfortunately, it didn’t end with the Americans being victorious, but they surprised everyone with their comeback, providing the world the chance to witness one of the best games of hockey ever played.
2. Red, White and Blue success on Canadian soil
The 1996 World Cup team of America is an inspiration for generations to come. Not only did they come back from a deficit of one game to Canada, but they stood proud against them in Montreal, winning what was then known as the Canada Cup. This being a best-of-three series to declare the winner, it allowed for a spectacular comeback. Brett Hull and Mike Richter stole the win from Canada in their own country.
1. Proof that miracles can happen
This is by far the best moment in hockey history. A team formed of college kids represented the U.S. at the 1980 Olympics. They seemingly did not stand a chance against the Soviet team. Led by their ambitious coach, Herb Brooks, the team was able to overcome a 3-2 deficit in the third period and they defeated their Cold War rivals. Mike Eruzione scored the winning goal. He never played in an NHL game before, which makes the victory even more miraculous. After defeating the Soviets, the “little engine that could” went on to face Finland for the gold medal. In the final game, they overcame a 2-1 deficit facing Finland and defeated them with the amazing score of 4-2. This team wasn’t given much of a chance, but they won against all odds and made history.