Finally, the mystery is solved. How could the Soviet Union lose to the overmatched USA team in the Miracle on Ice? And why did Viktor Tikhonov pull the great Vladislav Tretiak?
Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov blames the KGB.
But it wasn't a spy thriller that played out at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. It was politics.
Fetisov — in the new documentary "Red Army," which is the subject of a feature in this week's Sports Illustrated — says then-CCCP coach Tikhonov was beholden to the KGB and favored Moscow Dynamo players such as goalie Vladimir Myshkin over Red Army players.
Dynamo represented the KGB. Fetisov and Tretiak played for CSKA Moscow, which represented the Red Army.
Of course, Tikhonov famously and inexplicably — until now — pulled Tretiak in favor of Myshkin after one period of the 4-3 loss.
"Three out of four goals was scored on a Dynamo player defensively," Fetisov says. "It's a KGB organization. Three goals out of four. I didn't allow one goal in this game."
If true, the move backfired on Tikhonov.
"Tikhonov tried to kill Red Army," Fetisov says. "If Tikhonov would have won Olympic gold in Lake Placid, I guarantee, no (bleeping) Russian Five would exist. Dynamo would have dominated from then on. The loss of the Olympics in '80 helped me to become who I am."
So Hockeytown thanks Tikhonov, too.
As far the loss, Fetisov says it was just one game in Russia's long and glorious dominance of the sport.
"For American people, selective memory, it's a national thing," he says. "I admit, I own one of the most famous
silver medals in sports history. Correct? Done?"
The film is currently scheduled to open in metro Detroit on Feb. 27 at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak.
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