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 finale, we look back on perhaps the most influential goal in international hockey history, Paul Henderson’s series-winning tally past Vladislav Tretyak.
Canada 6-5 Soviet Union
Summit Series, Game 8
Luzhniki Palace Of Sports, Moscow
Thursday, September 28, 1972
Both Canada and the Soviet Union had pushed each other to their limit in this grueling eight-game Summit Series, heading into the decisive eighth and final game in Moscow, the series tied at 3-3-1. Each team knew the ins-and-outs of each other’s game, and were completely prepared to avoid any surprises.
That is, until the final minute of the game – when Paul Henderson pounced on a rare Vladislav Tretyak rebound to score what was touted “The Goal Of The Century,” winning the epic Summit Series, and the International Hockey Lineal Championship, for Canada.
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.
Soviet Union 7-3 Canada
Summit Series, Game 1
Forum de Montréal, Montréal
Saturday, September 2, 1972
After all the opening spectacle died down, all the commemorative pennants were handed out, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dropped the puck and the national anthems were sung, hockey fans throughout Canada (and the Western world) were expecting Team Canada, a collective NHL all-star team boasting the likes of Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich and Ken Dryden, to put a drubbing on the Soviet team, made up of unheard “amateur” players who played hockey only as part of their army or police service. This was to be an easy sweep for Team Canada, to show the world once and for all who truly owns the game.
Oh, how wrong Canada was. The Soviets were for real, and they proved it with a drubbing of their own, to take Game 1 of the Summit Series, along with the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Former NHL star Bill White, a key defender both in his 17 year pro career and with Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series, has died in his hometown of Toronto at the age of 77.
Vladimir Petrov, the Soviet centreman and IIHF Hall of Famer who, alongside Boris Mikhailov and Valeri Kharlamov, formed one of the most productive and fearsome lines in history, lost his battle with cancer in Moscow at the age of 69.
Former NHL star J.P. Parisé, who rose to notoriety as a member of Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series, has died after a year-long battle with lung cancer at the age of 73.
The hockey world has lost another giant, as reports today confirmed that Montréal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau has died at the age of 83.