From time to time, TheIHLC.com will feature detailed recaps and boxscores of some of the most legendary games in international hockey history, considered to be “IHLC Classics.” Today, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, we feature the opening game of the tournament, a stunning Soviet victory in Montréal.
The withdrawal of Canada from international hockey in 1970 was the result of an increasingly bitter feud between that country and other top European countries, notably the Soviet Union. Canada had long believed that Iron Curtain countries used professional players in World Championship and Olympic competition because their players did nothing but play hockey eleven months of the year.
The withdrawal, though, did have one benefit—it produced the Summit Series in September 1972, an eight-game showdown between Canada’s professionals from the NHL and the best from the Soviet Union (essentially their World Championship / Olympic team).
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