Like many Canadians I felt a mix of shock, outrage, and pride at Team Canada’s performance in the opening games of the series. But those emotions would be stirred again for Game 8.
It is my recollection that our high school principal deemed all who wanted to watch the fateful game could gather in the gym to watch live from Moscow as hockey history was written in Canadian Red and White against the Soviet Red Menace (all in black and white our school). The principal cautioned his popular decree with word that of course –this was at the teachers’ discretion.
Only problem was: my science teacher for the fateful class would not let us out. He had emigrated to Canada from East Africa, and while he had us in awe when revealing a scar on his arm he claimed was from the swipe of a lion paw, we were stunned at his failure to grasp the moment of national pride.
But for every goal, our science class could gauge the wild exuberance or audible distress echoing from the gym. A pride of lions couldn’t have roared any louder when Henderson scored.
Recently I met Paul Henderson and Vladislav Tretiak at the Bell Centre before a Canadiens game. “The Hockey World won that day,” suggested Tretiak.
No, I didn’t dare fire back. Canada did.