50 Years Since Summit Series

On September 28th, 1972, the Summut Series ended in Moscow with Team Canada winning against the USSR Team with four wins, three losses, and one tie.

The USSR team dominated early in the series, winning three of the first five games, with Canada winning one game and the other game ending in a draw. The Canadians would win the last three games to win the series.

The first four games took place in Canada, and the last four took place in Moscow. The four games in Canada were spread out across the country: Montreal (Game #1), Toronto (Game #2), Winnipeg (Game #3), and Vancouver (Game #4.)

Paul Henderson, Game #8 (Copyright Frank Lennon)

The last game of the series is imfamous in Canada as Paul Henderson scored the winning goal with less than a minute to go with Foster Hewitt‘s famous call of “Henderson has scored for Canada!”

The games brokee down as follows:

Game #1: USSR 7 – Canada 3
Game #2: Canada 4 – USSR 1
Game #3: Draw 4-4
Game #4: USSR 5 – Canada 3
Game #5: USSR 5 – Canada 4
Game #6: Canada 3 – USSR 2
Game #7: Canada 4 – USSR 3
Game #8: Canada 6 – USSR 5

The disadvantage for Team Canada was that only NHL players were allowed to play. The NHL threatened to refuse to allow any of their players to compete in the series if players from the rival WHA were allowed to take place. The USSR team was made up of players who had succeeded in many tournaments where the best Canadian players were barred from playing in due to Canada’s best players being deemed ‘professional athletes’ vs. the USSR players who were deemed to be ‘amateur athletes.’

The series took place during the Cold War and was seen as being a huge win not only for Canada but for ‘the West’. The tensions of the Cold War also made the series more politicized.

For Canada this continues to be a source of pride and a reminder that Canada could still dominate in hockey and even 50 years after the fact is looked upon with much pride in the country.

About Edward Brain

I am a long time condo activist and have a background in Business Administration.
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