Center Ice: Legendary Soviet Hockey Coach Passes Away
(Maximum Sports Channels – Joseph Randazzo) At one point in time, citizens of this United States would considered Viktor Tikhonov a villain to our great country when he served as coach for the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics. Now that much time has gone by since the “Miracle on Ice”, and Coach Tikhonov tragically past away from a long illness at the age of 84, we can probably agree he was just as much a hero in the hockey community as our boys back in 1980.
During his Soviet tenure, Tikhonov won three Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships. He also boasted two Bronze medals and a Silver. Of course, the championship caliber coach’s earnings do not just end at medals. He served the Soviet team between 1979 and 1992 while also scoring the 1981 Canada cup, a tournament style competition where the best players in the world get together to see who truly is the greatest.
Despite all these earnings Tikhonov will forever be the remembered for that Silver medal he earned in the loss to the United States. In that game his team went down 4-3 against the Americans. It was a game that the U.S. seemed poised to win from the get-go after they scored two first period goals on Viacheslay Tretiak. At that point many considered Tretiak the best goalie in all of hockey. But as each period came to a close, the recognition that the US had changed as a team from their earlier encounter where the US team was crushed by the Russians. The US would the game and went on to capture the gold.
But history operates differently and Tikhonov is currently in the Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, Russian Hall of Fame and an Honored Master of Sport. He tragically passed away Monday and is survived by his wife and Grandchildren. His legacy lives on through his grandson Victor who currently plays for the SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League.