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Channel One Cup

Channel One Cup Logo Created by the Soviet Hockey Federation in 1967, the Izvestia Cup was known as the Moscow International Tournament for its first two years and was initially arranged as a warm-up for the World Championships. In 1969, it became known as the Izvestia Cup due to the sponsorship of the Izvestia national newspaper. The tournament is played annually (except for 1991) in the middle of December and has involved anywhere from four to eight teams. In 1997, the Izvestia newspaper gave up its patronage of the tournament and its name was changed to the Baltica Cup, after the Baltica brewing company who sponsors the event, before once again changing sponsors and therefore event name.

The Soviet Union were the Izvestia champions for the first three seasons. Their string was broken by Czechoslovakia in 1970, although the Soviets still managed to win the silver medal. For the next 20 seasons, until 1990 and the break-up of the USSR, the Soviets dominated the annual event winning 16 gold medals, never finishing worse than second. The only teams to defeat the powerful Soviet squads were Czechoslovakia in 1974, 1977 and 1975, and the Canadian National Team in 1987. With the turmoil in the Soviet Union, the Izvestia Cup was not played during the 1991 season. It resumed in 1992 and was dominated by the Russians until 1996 when Sweden won its first gold.

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