The week before the Olympic Games started the USSR and US staged an exhibition game and the US lost 10-3, further reinforcing that the Soviets were favorites to win gold. When the games started the US quickly trailed the Czech team, but pulled out a 7-3 victory. The path to the gold medal was Norway (5-1 W), Rumania (7-2 W), West Germany (4-2 W), Soviet Union (4-3 W) and Finland (4-2).The semifinal round against the USSR is where history was made. With less than 10 minutes in the game, the US scored their fourth goal that would win the game for them and inspire the phrase Do you believe in miracles?
American coach Herb Brooks changed the way hockey was played in the United States with the victory. His coaching strategy emphasized conditioning and combining the Canadian and European styles of hockey. More significantly, the US winning the gold medal on home soil also caused a marked increase in American interest in hockey. This game also changed American morale at the height of the Cold War where international tensions were incredibly high between the US and the USSR.