The Soviet Union first participated in the ice hockey World Championships in 1954. In 1972 they played the Super Series against Canada and the games showed that the Soviets had fully caught up Canada. By the late 1970s the Soviets were already ahead Canada and clearly the top hockey country in the world. What made all this possible? There was only 18 years between 1954 and 1972. In just 18 years the Soviets went from ground zero to the best hockey nation in the world. How did the Soviets caught up Canada, who had a 100 year old hockey history and far more hockey resources (players, teams, rinks, equipment etc.), so fast?