I was watching it with classmates from Grade 9 in Winnipeg. (though I wished I had stayed home and watched it more close) It was a great atmosphere though and I remember looking at students who were NOT watching the game and thinking … you IDIOTS! When Cournoyer tied the game at 5-5 I remember being particularly loud as I was a Canadiens fan and was boasting somewhat to my Bruins buddy next to me. I also remember seeing the mini-riot after that goal involving Pete Mahovlich and Alan Eagleson. Of course when Paul scored the place went crazy and it was the most satisfying end to a game series EVER! I was lucky to meet Paul, Serge, Yvan, Ron Ellis and Tretiak in the 90’s at a ’72 Series function at the old Winnipeg Arena – they were all gentlemen and Paul signed my son’s bible for him!
I was 15 years old. We were in high school in small town Miami, Manitoba. We were all in the gym watching on a black and white TV that was on a tall chrome TV stand. When Paul scored, the place erupted. “What did it really mean?” We had beaten the robot-like Soviets, but at the same time some of us started to like their style of play.
I immediately wanted my parents to buy me a “Paul Henderson” helmet, as hockey was going to be starting for me soon. Lo and behold I got one. Wahoo!
I could write forever, but I will end with letting you know I have the “Twenty-seven Days in September” book put out by Hockey Canada, and the VHS, and DVD. I bring them all out to watch and read. I also e-mail all my friends who were around during that time and remind them of “Where were you when…” My kids know about it. I use it as sports trivia. I use it to start the school year for the past 32 years.
It is and always will be part of my life.
I was in Yellowknife and saw the add in the Hockey News for their Sept. charter. I wrote in and got on. I went to take photos mainly and did extremely well. Saw a lot of places, more than most fans saw and also ended up meeting my future wife from St. Louis on the trip.
Got into a practice thanks to Red Fisher,also to the Soviet Sports Institute. We had about 175 in our group at the relic Bucharest Hotel across the river from the 5000 room Russea Hotel. Ours didn’t need to be fixed, it needed to be replaced! Warm water could be had in the basement.
In the first game the Canadians/US fans were all together. By the last game we were down to groups of 6 to 10. There were some great Russian fans and average people but the government went a little far out in how they handled “what ifs”… like having about at least 600 troops in the rink the last game with rifles and fixed bayonettes!
And troops on horse back outside!
Some of my photos can be seen on www.72summitseries.com
It was the trip and experience of a lifetime, like having breakfast with the Rocket and his wife a couple of times. I have included a photo of the Parise Incident in the 1st period of the final game, I hope the file isn’t too large.
I was working for the TD Bank at the time in London, ON. Since the TD Bank was a sponsor of the event, Head Office urged each branch to contact a local TV Store (hopefully a customer) to see if they would place a TV in the branch to show the games. They also insisted that the TV Store sign a waiver so that the bank would have no responsibility for any damage. (Were they thinking that an irate fan might get mad at the TV?) I made a deal with the women at the bank that I worked with. I would handle all of the customer inquiries at the counter up until game time, then it was there turn while I watched the games. A good arrangement if I do say so myself!
As one of the 3,000 Canadians who went to Russia, I wrote extensively about it for my community newspaper when I returned. This is an introduction to a series of articles updated and digitized in 2002. The rest of them are on my web site www.davidcadogan.ca . I’ve also started a Facebook site: 1972 Canada Russia Hockey Summit. I would especially appreciate hearing from folks who were part of the Fox 4 bus group.
I don’t have much to say about the hockey. You have better sources than me for that.
Suffice to say my favourite hockey team in history was Team Canada 1972. The one I’ll always remember second best is Team Russia 1972. They scared me half to death.
The package for the 3,000 Canadians attending the 1972 Canada Russia Hockey series cost $537. That included first class airfare over and back, hotel accommodation and meals, tickets to the four games, opera and circus and nightclub entertainments and daily tours. Going by the price of automobiles at the time and now, the price in today’s terms would be roughly the equivalent of $2,500. We were gone 11 days and spent 9 days in Moscow.
To keep track of the Canadians, each flight was assigned an animal name. Passengers from each flight were also assigned a number for the guide and bus they would have in Moscow. We were on the Fox flight and bus number four so we were Fox 4 everywhere we went.
Our guide would carry a penant so we could find her in crowds at attractions and events. Our guide, Tanya, was wonderful.
First class seating was supposed to be first come, first served. At the very last minute, all the first class seats on the Fox flight were appropriated by gold-jacketed media. Montreal Canadiens superstar Jean Belliveau and Toronto Maple Leaf veteran and hockey guru Howie Meeker ignored invitations to join the media and stayed in line, and economy class seating, with the rest of us. Belliveau and Meeker could not possibly have been classier before and during the flight and every day in Russia. They ate with us and brought us all the news of the players and behind the scenes politics every day.
We didn’t have any sources of news.
We heard rumours of fans being arrested and players leaving. We heard that fans at home were down on the team. We heard the Canadian media was saying both the players and fans were behaving like animals in Russia and bringing shame to the country.
We were gratified to find that the picture our media had given us of Russia seemed accurate. We were shocked to see that “Pravda” the Russian national newspaper of record was a mere six pages with, of course, no advertising. There was a first-ever ad in Pravda. Sponsored by Canadian fans at home, it wished the team success.
You don’t have any idea how much you appreciate our messy, unmannerly, sensationalist free press until there isn’t any. Knowing that the only news you do get is the officially sanctioned version, soon generates enough paranoia to threaten your sanity.
Centrally controlled production, no competition and no advertising, far from leading to economies of scale, lead to ugly, shoddy, scarce products.
Russians acted like starving people toward our magazines. My wife took a magazine to her hair appointment. All work stopped and the hair dressers all clustered around her chair looking over her shoulder until she finally gave up the magazine. A waiter traded me a 28-doll matrushka for a Playboy magazine. A matrushka is a series of carved wooden dolls that fit inside each other. I think Matrushka means mother. They were the hottest souvenir you could get.
We Canadians never felt so colourful or so well dressed. Everything Russian seemed gray or dark blue.
We had never seen security like we saw in Moscow. There were militia police on every corner and in the middle of every block. There were 1,500 soldiers at every game. It wasn’t just about controlling us although it sure seemed that way at first. At the summer Olympics in Munich, that same year, Palestinian terrorists had taken members of the Israeli team hostage. The hostages all died at the airport in a failed rescue attempt. The Russians were determined nothing would happen to us.
On the way in from the airport, the houses looked like shacks and the traffic looked mostly like old army trucks. In the city, the only new housing was shabby, concrete apartment buildings. They looked like huge low rental government projects with no maintenance budgets. I guess they were. None of the lawns appeared to have ever been mowed.
Our hotel was the largest in the world at the time. The Hotel Russia has 4,000 rooms. Our dining room sat 400 easily and a couple of hundred more in the mezzanine. Folding doors opened to more dining areas at either end. Our guide told us guests sometimes got lost in the hotel and were found wandering, weeping.
The furniture in the rooms was all built in and very amateurish. Radio was piped in. Some rooms had television and refrigerators. Bath tubs were huge and comfortable but the fixtures were hoses with spray attachments. Each bathroom had a bidet. The plumbing and grouting were very sloppy.
The toilet paper was much the texture of this newspaper. Towels were like large linen dish towels. There were no face cloths.
The beds were delightful. The pillows were feather and about a yard square. The bedding consisted of heavy woolen blankets stuffed into a sheet envelope. To change the bed, the maids pulled the blankets out of the envelope and tucked them into a clean one.
There was a key desk on each floor. We turned in our key when we left the hotel and picked it up again when we returned. The key desks were staffed by elderly women who mothered us and worried about us when we went off to games armed with bugles and flags. They were genuinely concerned the militia would get us.
Breakfast in the hotel was cheese, boiled eggs, dill pickles, delicious sweet rolls and thick coffee or delicate tea.
Lunch began with a salad usually incorporating cabbage and pickle. There were usually a couple of hard boiled eggs with a cream sauce. There was always a meat and vegetable soup in colours reminiscent of blood and gore and topped with a dollop of cream. We had some kind of tastless steak almost every day. Dessert was ice cream just like ours or excellent pastries.
Supper started with appetizers unrecognizable to Canadian eyes. We thought they were smoked chicken and some kind of fish.
The main course was always something, often unidentifiable, breaded.
Dessert was fruit or pastries.
Beverages included carbonated fruit juices (plum, apple, strawberry and pear) at breakfast and lunch and beer with supper. We didn’t like the beer.
There were no ice cubes except in the bars. There was vodka everywhere.
Shopping seemed designed to keep people out of mischief more than to satisfy any needs they might have.
At the Soviet version of a supermarket, all the departments were like separate stores. Dairy, meat, produce and baked goods were all separate and incredibly inconvenient.
To buy something, shoppers lined up. When they got to the head of the line, they placed their order and a clerk wrote out an invoice. The shopper proceeded to another line and paid the invoice and received a receipt. She then proceeded to a third line where she traded her receipt for the actual goods.
Sunday was the main grocery shopping day. Women shopped in teams. Each woman would take a huge, shabby suitcase and go to a different department. They’d sit on the suitcase with a book and read. When the line moved, they’d rise a little, kick their suitcase ahead a few inches, and sit down again without stopping reading.
Food and clothing in Russia were very expensive. Liquor, cigarettes, the circus, ballet and opera were very cheap.
An ordinary woolen sweater cost $60 then. Think $300 in 2002 dollars. A very ordinary woman’s dress cost $150 then. Think $750 now.
A Lada that looked a bit like the current Volkswagen Jetta but junk, sold for $12,000 then. Convert that to $60,000 now.
A quart of the very best vodka was $1.50.
Rent, subway fares and restaurant dining were dirt cheap. You could ride for miles on the subway for five cents. A nice meal for four with wine was $12.
Good quality Russian chocolate and jewelry and crafts were available in special stores only open to foreigners to bring in foreign currency.
Customer service was horrendous. We concluded that the national motto was “I’m sorry but that would be impossible.”
It seemed the first response to any request.
The language looks extremely difficult especially since the alphabet is different and some of the familiar letters have different sounds.
C is S. P is R. H is N. Most Canadians are familiar with CCCP, pronounced SSSR and meaning Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
So, could you decipher the common sign “Pectopah?” How about “Metpo?” You have all the clues you need.
B is C. Mocba is Moscow.
We were also given a few Russian words to work with. I remember Dasdavanya, hello; spahsiba, thank you; spajolsta, you’re welcome; skolka, how much? and of course, mir, peace. We got a lot done with those few words.
Pectopah is restaurant. Metpo is metro – subway.
A few scenes I remember from 1972.
Phil Esposito was the heart and soul and leader of the team. His speech in Vancouver and his pratfall during the introductions before game five are well known. His drive, passion and will to win during the games is legend.
Another little act won Canadian and even Russian hearts at the opening of game six. When Espo was introduced, instead of skating forward, he made a desperate clutch for the boards.
After Henderson’s goal to put the Canadians in the lead with 34 seconds left, the Canadians celebrated in a big messy pile on the ice for quite some time.
The Russians, of course, took their positions at center ice and waited grimly for play to resume.
The huge Russian on right defence, suddenly raised his stick high over his head, roared and shattered the stick on the ice in front of him. He picked up the pieces, skated to the bench and got another stick. Resuming his position, he again stood like stone for perhaps another minute. Then again he exploded, raising his stick to the rafters and smashing it to the ice and into a dozen pieces.
Again he picked up the pieces, skated to the bench, took another stick and resumed his statue like position. I didn’t note his number at the time but I’ve wondered if it was Liapkin, the player whose error put the puck on Henderson’s stick in front of the net.
I don’t have space for the wonderful story of how four of us wound up at a party with a Russian city mayor and his bodyguard. However, I’ll never forget him lying on his bed talking about how his 15 year old son kept changing his mind about what he wanted to be and couldn’t seem to buckle down to anything.
I remember his comment that Russia lost more than the 1972 population of Canada in WW II.
I remember his fireplug-shaped bodyguard showing where he had had his tattooed prison camp number cut out of his arm.
I remember our guide, the gorgeous Vanya, drunk from the party, telling us that young Russians were tired of the revolution and wanted a society like Sweden’s. She said change would come when her generation took charge. I realize now that it did.
I remember 3,000 Canadians leaping to their feet to sing Oh Canada at the top of our lungs at the beginning of game five and every game.
I remember tears running down Howie Meeker’s cheeks as he sang.
I remember how the Canadian contingent set out to crack the grim faced Russians. We just kept acting more and more outrageous until they cracked up laughing.
For more articles from a fan’s perspective, go to www.davidcadogan.ca . If the administrators of this site would like me to post them all here, I would be happy to do so.
I was in grade 9 and resided in a small town outside of Ottawa. Our high school had brought in a few televisions to place around the cafeteria so that all the students could watch the game. I was part of our school’s track team and unfortunately we were having practice while the game was being played. I remember running the track and hearing the eruption of cheers in the cafeteria. We raced in to catch the replay and all the commentary. The students went crazy – it was such an incredible moment that brought everyone together, not just in our cafeteria – but across the entire country. I remember for the first time in my life that I was so proud to be Canadian. It was an incredible feeling. Will never forget it.
To set the mood for the 1972 Summit Series, I will take you back to the Canadian prairies where I grew up. I had gotten married the year before and was in a small town, Eastend SK for a cousin’s wedding, on the night of the first game of the series. The discussion had been raging, but the consensus was that the NHL would make the Soviets look like the amateurs they claimed to be for Olympic purposes. The game started just before we went into the church and early on, my Dad, who had a transistor radio plugged into his ear, informed us that the Canadians had scored a couple of goals and we all nodded smugly that the Canadians, true to earlier predictions, were going win this easily. As you now know, by the time we came out of the church, the Soviets had turned things around and we were all puzzled as to what could have turned this upside down so quickly.
As the series progressed through Canada things didn’t get much better for the Canadians and we were all a little less confident of the eventual outcome. We were beginning to question Al Eagleson’s insistence that the newly formed WHA league defectees would not be allowed to play in this series. Canadian fans by now were sure that the NHL would have fared better with the help of the most famous WHA signing, Bobby Hull, who was not allowed to play for Canada.
As the series moved to the USSR, we were still feeling pretty shaky about the prospects despite Phil Esposito’s passionate comments in Vancouver.
By September 28th, I was back at my welding inspection job on a pipeline just east of Red Deer, AB. My new wife, who was about eight months pregnant had accompanied me and was in the motel in Red Deer. I had to get out to the job early each day, so my only opportunity to get the action live was to listen on my truck radio. On that day, I was waiting for a weld to be completed so I had time to just sit in the truck and listen. I remember it was shortly before lunch, Alberta time, when Henderson scored. I announced it to all of my co-workers who were out in the ditch working and there was much joy in Mudville at that moment. I got to watch the TV version of the Henderson goal that evening as all of the games were rebroadcast during prime time. My wife had our son a month and a half later and another son a year after the ’76 series and they both enjoyed their youth in the best minor hockey system in the world – didn’t we prove that in ’72?
Game Eight fell on a work day as this newly-minted UofT grad was completing my first 90 days as a researcher/writer at CFTO-TV in Toronto. I arrived that day in One of My Greatest Acquisitions, Ever, a baby blue 1967 Pontiac Bonneville convertible, top down.
Everyone found an office with a TV, and the normal production bustle was zero for 3 hours or so. It was bracing to see cool TV professionals erupt in glorious, unabashed bedlam at 19:26! Every time I think of Paul, Phil and Yvan, I smile for that blue convertible!
Was home in Winnipeg last year at this time and hockey was EVERYWHERE, When I came back to Key West, my home for the last 24 years, I couldn’t beg anyone to watch hockey with me.
No one here, in the southermost city (tiny island) in the USA, can even imagine what happened that afternoon in 1972, when Paul Henderson scored that goal and Canada, arguably, emerged as the world’s Hockey Champion. As Canadian, it\’s kind of a birth right, you know and that moment when Henderson scored was absolutely incredible.
I was getting my degree in Poli Sci at the University of Manitoba and I was a Montreal Canadiens fan. Classes were cancelled for the hockey summit, and I watched the entire series in the Arts lounge or the United College Lounge at the University of Manitoba.
It was SOOO passionate. I cannot believe that the Americans that I live with now had no idea of that hockey series, since it was fought and won like a war for us, only on the hockey ice. And what a war it was. Three to three, one tie, and Game 8.
The ENTIRE staff and student body of the University of Manitoba was in one lounge or another ( check through history, how many events cancelled classes like this and you’ll find very few), The game was tense. You wanted Dryden to have a shut out but that was a fantasy that died early. It was neck and neck…..Cournoyer scored…..the damned Russians scored…..Tretiak was superhuman. (I thought he might have been an astronaut who they bounced out and onto the ice because he was so incredible.)
The entire campus. Every person at the University of Manitoba gathered somewhere in front of a TV Screen for HOCKEY and PAUL HENDERSON SCORED.
We could hear that cheer….starting in Gander, through Glace Bay, up the St. Lawrence, through the great lakes out the the prairies and WE JOINED IT.
WHAT A DAY TO BE CANADIAN! What a day for our game!
During the 72 series, I was fortunate enough right out of Ryerson to land a media position at Manulife in Toronto. At that time they had installed an internal television studio to produce training videos. I was the newest and youngest of the crew. Being an avid hockey fan, I actually went to a number of the Leaf games at the old Maple Leaf Gardens on Carleton Street. It was the Ballard era so enough said about that! During the 72 series, we decided that if we could get the TV signal into the studio, we could ” quietly” let a number of our buddies come down and view it. After much experimentation, remember this was before cable, we finally managed to get the signal in. So, last game, the studio was packed. Now you have to remember that Manulife at that time was a fairly staid place. So, keeping the volume down in the studio was a challenge. Well, all that went right out the window when Paul scored the winning goal. I expect the screams were heard on the 10th floor of our building, amazing since our studio was on the ground floor. Needless to say, we did get a visit from both security and a few higher ups! Thank God they were also hockey fans! Their only complaint was that they weren’t invited to the party! Plus I kept my job!
I was in high school and had a part time job at a local trucking company, Valleyview Transport. A number of us were working in the garage. There was a small black and white TV in the office and we kept running in to see what the score was. It was looking pretty dismal but each time Canada scored in the 3rd period someone would run out and shout. We were all fortunate to be huddled together around the TV when Henderson scored. All these years later, I still remember thinking that Phil Esposito may have played the best period of hockey ever that day, scoring the first goal in the 3rd to start the rally and assisting on the final 2.
I was thrilled to join many members of that team at their 25th anniversary golf day at Devils Pulpit. I had each of them sign a poster for the event. I had it laminated and it hangs on my rec room wall today.
President RBC International Banking & Insurance
I had just started working as a lineman for Maritime Tel & Tel (now Bell Aliant). On game day I realized I had no chance of finding a TV 40′ in the air . . . so when I got up in the morning I thought I should take a radio to work . . . at least then I could hear the game! I then realized the only transistor radio I could find belonged to my girlfriend. This radio had been a gift to her and I was doing my best to take good care of it. When the game started that afternoon, I climbed a pole on Young Street in Truro (NS), over top of the railroad tracks. It was near the end of the game, and I had to keep yelling the highlights to my partner who was on the ground.
Then . . . the unbelievable happened and Henderson scored! Just as he scored, I reached over to grab the radio that was hanging from a bolt, and in all my excitement it slipped out of my hands, and went crashing down onto the railroad tracks! The end of the game and the end of the radio! When I got down the pole, the radio was in 100 pieces, but it was all worth it, as Canada had won!
You could hear horns blowing everywhere and every car that drove by rolled their windows down to let us know we won! These moments I’ll never forget!
Oh yes . . . my girlfriend must have forgiven me, because we’ve now been married for 39 years!
Coldbrook, Nova Scotia
I actually DO remember where I was during the game . . . Although my story really isn’t very exciting!
I was working for the City of Halifax at the time and one of my duties included filing . . . in what was usually a very quiet room. I arranged my day so I could take a radio to the file room when the game was on, and, as you can imagine . . . I had so many visitors, I barely got my work done . . . and yes . . . the filing room was much noisier that day! When Paul scored the winning goal, the entire department was in the filing room and everyone was cheering!
Coldbrook, Nova Scotia
I was a freshman at Bridgewater State College, now University, when that game was played. I had made friends with several other dedicated Boston sports fans and remember watching the game in my friend’s dormitory room. Now
despite the fact that we lived in Massachusetts, there was more than a smattering of interest in the series for a variety of reasons, most notably, since Bobby Orr was unable to play for Team Canada since he was coming off
knee surgery. However, the Bruins were well represented on the squad led by the flamboyant and emotional, Phil Esposito. There were others like Wayne Cashman and Don Awrey who made the squad who happened to be coached by
Boston’s irascible Harry Sinden…but because of Orr’s inability to play, though he made the trip with the team, Espo rallied the troops and was the acknowledged leader of the team.
I’ll never forget the personal Canadian pride I felt when Paul Henderson scored the goal. As well, all my American friends with whom I watched the game, were equally as excited because the Boston area had been caught up in the wave of hysteria initiated by the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. We yelled and screamed and united as one in an effort to beat the communists who represented all that was evil in the world at that time.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
One of my memories of the ’72 Summit Series came before the Series even started.
There were 3 exhibition games that were played at Maple Leaf Gardens with the 35 players on the roster divided in two teams. I had bought a ticket to one of the games and remember sitting in the Grays.
I had brought my camera to the game and decided to move down between periods to get some pictures. Well, I got some great pictures that included Paul Henderson, Phil Esposito and Ken Dryden.
During the game, Henderson received a penalty and I remember sitting by the box. I grew up in Kincardine, Ont. close to wear Henderson grew up. I said,” Paul score one for Kincardine”! He replied, I think I’ll save them for the Series.
Well, you know the rest.
I was 8 at this time and I was leaving in Switzerland. The only thing I remember is my Dad telling me that the Canada were tricked by the Soviet Union, as the Soviets gave the impression that they do not even know how to
Olivier Bauer, PhD
Faculty of Theology and the Sciences of Religion
University of Montréal
I was living in North Your at the time and attending George Vanier School.
There were approximately 200 people that were moved to the cafeteria to watch
the final game.
The challenging part was that they didn’t have big screen TV’s like they do
today. So sitting in the back of the cafeteria it was tough to see the game.
In fact, I really didn’t see the goal until the replays later in the evening.
After years of seeing the replay over and over, that goal has become attached
to the visual memory.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Henderson’s goal has been immortalized on coins and stamps, on posters and statues.
Ask any Canadian older than 45 where he or she was on Sept. 26, 1972, and they’ll tell you.
For what it’s worth, Game 8 of the Summit Series was played on a weekday; like hundreds of my schoolmates, I was sitting in the hallway of Danesbury Public School in Toronto watching the game on a grainy black and white 20-inch screen TV – and loving it.
And oh, the euphoria that erupted when Henderson scored that series-winning goal with just 34 seconds left!
After all, this was history in the making. Far more than a mere set of exhibition hockey games, the 1972 Summit Series took on overtones of “us versus them”; “capitalism versus communism”; “democracy versus dictatorship.”
Losing to the evil U.S.S.R. simply wasn’t an option.
And lest we forget, Paul Henderson was not a “one-hit wonder” in that series. The Toronto Maple Leaf forward also scored the winning goals in Games 6 and 7. Amazing.
And yet, for reasons that remain mysterious and inexplicable, the powers-that-be at the Hockey Hall of Fame are of the opinion that Paul Henderson isn’t worthy of inclusion.
Granted, Henderson’s NHL and WHA career statistics (he played from 1962 to 1981) won’t make Wayne Gretzky green with envy. But there are players in the Hall with career statistics that are inferior to Henderson’s. So what gives?
But the stat debate is a moot point: it was Henderson’s series-winning goal that literally had Canadians dancing in the streets almost 40 years ago. And it wasn’t just hockey fans who were rejoicing.
And all these years later, still no Paul in the Hall. Indeed, to add insult to injury, in 2010, the Hockey Hall of Fame became yet another Canadian institution beholden to the tyranny of political correctness thanks to the induction of Cammi Granato and Angela James.
Please, with all due respect, hands up those among you who have actually seen Cammi Granato play a game of hockey?
And would any hockey fan be able to recognize Angela James in a crowd?
But at the Hockey Hall of Fame, apparently gender equity now trumps bona fide achievement.
Even more bizarre is that the goalie that let in Henderson’s goal – Vladislav Tretiak – is in the Hall. C’mon – what’s the deal with that?
The good news: it’s not too late to correct this mistake.
In the weeks ahead, the 2012 crop of Hockey Hall of Fame inductees will be chosen and then announced in November. Canadians must make their voices heard; we must urge those on the voting committee to rectify the terrible omission of Mr. Henderson.
And there is renewed urgency to get Paul in the Hall: sadly, it was revealed two years ago that Paul Henderson is battling cancer. Hopefully Paul Henderson has enough in the tank to beat this terrible scourge. But in the name of common decency, surely we owe it to this man and his family to get him elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame while he’s still among us.
Simply put, the Hockey Hall of Fame MUST correct its egregious error and grotesque oversight.
We MUST get Paul in the Hall.
It’s called doing the right thing.
I was an undergraduate student at Carleton University attending a political science class at the Saint Patrick’s Campus. It was a really important class for some reason or another and most of us knew that we could not “skip it” even though we were more than cognizant of the importance of the game that was being broadcast on CBC. We also knew that there was a TV showing the game in the student lounge on another floor.
We were about half way through the class when an ungodly (yet very sweet sounding) roar or cheer went up. Many of us raced out of the classroom to the lounge and managed to join in the revelry – at least for a few scant minutes. And then it was back to the classroom. We celebrated in greater style late in the day but any recollections of the precise nature of the subject matter being discussed in the class that day had escaped me. However,the memories of first hearing that glorious cheer and racing to the lounge remain with me still as, I hope, they always will. It was truly a great moment for Canada.
Kevin S. McLeod
Usher of the Black Rod, Secretary to the Queen
The ’72 Summit Series and specifically the 8th and final game was a unique memory for me when I was in Montreal. While I don’t remember the specifics of the game and Series, I do remember the emotion of the celebration in the bar that day.
It was unique from the perspective that I had just turned 18 and it was the first time I was able to order a drink at a bar. So I’ll drink to that memory.
Raleigh, North Carolina
I remember the ’72 Summit Series well. I was in the 8th grade attending the Homeland Sr.Public School in Mississauga, Ontario.
They played all the Russian game over the PA system except the 8th and final game which they showed on TV in our home room.
It was 5-3 heading into the third period and people were freaking out. Paul Henderson scored the game winning goal in game 6 and game 7, so we were hoping that we could will him to do it again for the final game.
I remember classmates saying “I’ll eat my hat if Henderson scores”. Another commented that he would eat his ruler.
Well he did it again and we all celebrated and my classmate mockingly chewed on his ruler.
It was the most excitement in my young life. I’m not sure much more was done at school that day!
Carol Ann Simon
What I remember the most is that, we use to go to school, I was in grade 3 and all we were thinking about was the game that was playing on TV and we could not watch because we had to go to school, BUT!!! A great teacher would get the TV in the class and we would spend the afternoon watching the game, we were so excited!!! Years later, I realized that I had the chance to being part of Hockey historical moment.
I remember exactly where I was during the last game of the Canada-Russia series in 1972. I was attending University of Guelph as an undergrad at the time. One of my professors (definitely not a hockey fan) insisted on the completion of a science lab the afternoon of the game. We had a radio and were quietly listening as the game progressed all the while frantically trying to complete our assignment. I finished up in the later part of the third period with Canada down by two goals. My residence was all the way across the campus so I began to run. I had made it half way across the commons, when a roar went up from every residence indicating to me that Canada had scored. We were down by one. As I arrived at my residence, a second cheer went up…tie game. By the time I got to the common room and the TV, every student on my floor had beaten me to the choice viewing locations. In a fit of desperation, I convinced a girl from my floor to link arms and stand on the back of a chair occupied by another student. From this vantage point we watched the dump in by Cournoyer, followed by Henderson getting checked in the corner. After getting up and making his way to the net, Henderson found himself all alone in front of Tretiak with the puck and jamming it in. Well, those sitting down, jumped up, including our chair owner and the girl and I fell backwards into a sea of people. I remember this as if it were yesterday. To this day, including watching the Blue Jays win their first series, this was the greatest sports memory of my life.
On an aside, Henderson played shortstop for a baseball team in Goderich, ON. I played for St Marys, ON and we would run into his team in tournaments. He was a good athlete but I remember meeting him for the first time and thinking, “I thought he’d be taller…..”
I have fond memories of listening to hockey that date back to when I was 8 or 9 listening to Hockey Night in Canada and Foster Hewitt. Years later, I worked for the Canadian Press covering the Quebec Senior Hockey league and the Montreal Royals. In 1949, I had the great opportunity to interview Jackie Robinson, who at that time played for the Royals.
I’ll never forget the ’72 Series. The Soviets gave us a real run for the money and played a clean team oriented style of hockey.
The final game I watched at home with my wife and two kids in Montreal. It was one of the best games I saw in all my years.
We watched the 8th and final game from our living room in Charlottetown, PEI. At that time, I was the trainer for the Jr A Charlottetown Islanders. My family and I watched the game intently as we searched the crowd for the owners of the Charlotte Islanders Royce Scantlebury and Keith McLean who made the trek to Russia for the series. Both were single at the time, Royce was a carpenter and Keith owned a sign shop. Both men have since passed away. I guess the fact that I didn’t think they’d come back made the Henderson goal that more special.That game was a great memory for our entire family!
I remember being in the staff room at Birchwood Intermediate School in Charlottetown. PEI. School was over and the teachers got together to watch the final period. While the team was down 5-3 heading into the third, being a Canadian, I always thought we were capable of coming back. It certainly was under tough circumstances playing in Russia as well as the reffing of the game. Henderson was at the right spot at the right time. I have never seen so many people so excited about a hockey event or otherwise in all my life.
I was in Grade 10 at Loretto Academy Niagara Falls all girl private school. The Nuns put the TV on and I remember hugging Mary Pagano for the win.
Silly as it sounds, I will never forget when Henderson scored that goal. So happy, so proud! Oh Canada!
I was at work in Mississauga and we had a TV black white powered by the
vehicle battery and watched the game from the truck.
I was sitting in front of my TV in Parry Sound having a Coors Light when Paul Henderson scored his famous goal. When they were down 5-3 in the third, I started drinking doubles! It was a thrilling game! Back then I was a big Bobby Hull fan and of course Bobby Orr put Parry Sound on the map.
Perry Sound, Ontario
I knew Paul Henderson’s father when I was with CN. I would go from station to station and Paul’s father ran the CN station in Lucknow, Ontario. Paul was out there in the summer months, so the odd time I would see Paul. That was in the late 60’s. We were proud that Paul was the hero of the Series.
We had just moved from Alberta to Ontario and I was doing part-time nursing. I was on my way to do an afternoon shift at the Civic hospital and heard the Paul Henderson goal on the radio. I come from a big hockey family and we were Paul Henderson fans!
Trent River, Ontario
I was a Frank Mahovlich fan back then. For the 8th game I was in my living room watching TV. It was one of the most exciting moments of all time! We really wanted to beat those Russians!
I remember the teacher rolled an old TV into the class room when I lived in Snelgrove. A lot of the girls didn’t know much about hockey, but we knew the teacher and the boys in class we’re very excited. When Henderson scored we all jumped up and down. Now we all know it’s an important time in Canada’s history.
New Hamburg, Ontario
I was working for the federal government we were handling ammunition for the east coast of Canada fro the armed forces. It was the end of the day and we were waiting for the bus to take us up to the parking lot. We all celebrated when Henderson scored. I acted like an idiot. There was an old steel chair and I threw it against the wall to make noise. People thought I was crazy!
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
I was living in the West end of Toronto at the time. I recall we were moving the office that day. We had a little time that day, so my buddy said let’s go across the street and grab some lunch. They had the TV on and I was so sad because we were down 5-3 for Russia.I thought this was the last game that meant so much and we’re going to lose. They had to win a Russia which was really hard. When they mad it 5-4, I thought, well maybe? When Henderson flipped it by Tretiak, I couldn’t believe it!! We just howled! We jumped up and cried, it was just fantastic!
While cheering for Team Canada, we had a soft spot in our hearts for Chicago Players because there were guys who grew up in Petrolia, Ontario. We watched the game at home on a color TV. We jumped up when Henderson scored! It was the best hockey that we’ve ever seen.
Elgin, New Brunswick
I was living in Oshawa, Ontario. During that day I worked for the Oshawa transit and I picked up a load of Seniors at a shopping mall and I was taking them back to their residence. They invited me in to see the end of the game as everyone was talking about it. I radioed into my boss and asked if I had another pick up and he said no. So I went into the Seniors residence to watch the game. It was pretty noisy for a bunch of seniors. When Henderson scored, everyone stood up and clapped.It was super! It was really, really super!
Ralph Van Dyke
Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia
Fisher was in Belleville, Ontario at the time.
Bob Fisher is from London. Ontario.
I have loved hockey since I could tie my own skates, maybe before. I can still remember skating on the frozen ice my Dad had spent hours preparing in our back field in Ottawa.
I was ten years old when my favorite team the Toronto Maple Leafs last won the Stanley cup, I was fifteen years old when my country and my favorite Leaf Paul Henderson scored the winning goal in the eighth game of the 72 Summit series of what I think was the most memorable goal and the most memorable game of all Canadian hockey history. When Paul Henderson scored that goal my love for the game grew tenfold. I would never have guessed that goal and that game would help shape my life years later.
I lived in Victoria B.C. when the ’72 Summit Series was unfolding and had faithfully watched all seven games. The night before the final game and as a fifteen year old boy full of oats myself and a couple of buddies decided to borrow a car without the owners consent. This was a bad idea, the long arm of the law reached us quickly and the next thing I knew I was in a youth detention center. Back then they didn’t fool around. Not only was I worried about the ramifications of my misdeed but I was equally worried that I would miss the eighth game of a hockey experience that I could not miss. I promised myself then and there that if I could see that game I would change my life and get involved somehow with hockey. The hockey Gods must have been listening to me as the next morning I was set free . My Mother was livid and told me I was staying inside all day. Again my prayers were answered and I got to watch the game. Funny how fate works .
Canada battled the Soviets and I sat glued to that fuzzy screen. Paul Henderson scored the winning goal as I screamed and danced around by myself and I knew then Canadian hockey history and my history was written.
Fast-foward to the very early 80s’ when I moved to Edmonton at a time when the Oilers and a young phenom named Wayne Gretzky were on a tear that engulfed the hockey world. The game surrounded me and my brother and myself coached my nephew who as a teen would become a product of the WHLs Swift Current Broncos.
Back to Victoria where I was lucky enough to share my love of the game for 12 years coaching in the Victoria Minor Hockey League. I loved that page in my life and didn’t think things could get much better.
I was hit again by some more fate, this time during my coaching tenure being invited to attend a dinner with the NHL Oldtimers team that had on their roster my hero Paul Henderson. I met Paul and he was awesome and spent his time speaking with me . He was a true gentlemen and a truly real person. I have to this day never forgotten this time I spent with him.
I am now 55 years young and have two beautiful daughters who have gifted me with two beautiful grandchildren. I am now waiting for my Grandson to become a little older and if fate and the hockey Gods bless me one more time it may start all over again. My fingers are crossed.
Thank you Paul Henderson and Canadian hockey for helping me shape my life for myself and my family and hopefully shape the lives of many young hockey players and their families.
I love this game we call our own.
On September 28th, 1972 I was in grade eight, at St. Leonard’s elementary school in Manotick, Ontario. Manotick was a small village nestled on the Rideau River about fifteen miles south of Ottawa. It’s grown considerably since then. St. Leonard’s was an elementary school that went up to grade eight at that time so I was starting my last year of grade school as we called it. As I recall it was a beautiful early fall day. In those days we actually had four seasons unlike the melting pot of weather we experience circa 2012.
It was a Thursday afternoon, game eight was scheduled to start around noon our time, (EST ) and one of the students in our class, Billy O’Brien, had asked his father to drop off a TV for our class to watch the game. Two days earlier for game seven the senior grades which included our class were allowed to watch in the gym and we saw Canada win on the most amazing winning goal maybe ever scored in the sport of hockey from an aesthetic point of view with a mere 2:06 to go in the game! Paul Henderson had continued his hot hand and recorded his fourth goal in the three games played in Russia, this one coming as he went around or deked out the entire Russian team before falling and roofing the shot over the Soviet goalie, Vladislav Tretiak. He was on fire. The gym was filled with pure elation as Canada hung on and now game eight meant something. We all said as we left the gym we’d never see a more dramatic goal scored, ever again.
Thanks to Billy O’Brien’s father we were able to watch game eight in our class as opposed to the gym. Our teacher Mr. Pat Jennings had specific instructions. If you wanted to watch the game the TV would be set up at the back of the class room. If you chose to go outside for lunch or for recess that was your decision you would then have to do school work. Those watching the game in its entirety were exempt from any school studies.
Tied 2-2 after one and trailing 5-3 after two, left a lot of us dejected. The refereeing was so one-sided, it seemed an impossible hole but all of us played hockey and we all knew a quick goal in the third would or could turn things around. Phil Esposito’s goal was great but Yvan Cournoyer’s to tie it was just incredible. He was my favourite all time player, still is so I was beside myself when he scored, even though it seemed as if it might not count as no goal light went on-which created the wildest scene you’ll ever witness in the history of hockey with Alan Eagleson having to be rescued from the Soviet military who had guns by Canadian hockey players who had hockey sticks. Through the broken, black and white satellite transmission we all were transfixed by what was happening thousands of miles away.
As I think back now, when Henderson scored, it’s just impossible to describe the feeling. The very first thing I saw, next to jumping in the arms of my buddies was my teachers; Mr. Pat Jennings, Mr. Lyle Bergeron, our principal, Mr. Bob Slack, in the hall way jumping in each other’s arms. I can picture this so clearly. I was 13 years old, it was 1972 and you had total respect for your teachers to the point where they were almost God like. I remember for a brief moment feeling a little scared at the unbridled enthusiasm they were showing. I remember that so well then it was back to the set for 34 more seconds which seemed like 34 years. I just could not believe we won, absolutely could not believe it and could not believe Paul scored again. It was then and remains to this day the most incredible moment I’ve ever seen in sports.
Paul Henderson became an immediate hero of mine during that series. All the players did but with his goal scoring exploits especially in Russia I just knew one day I’d have to meet him. I finally got that opportunity on Monday night, December 4th, 1995. I was a guest on a national CBC show, the Pamela Wallin show with Paul, noted journalist Roy Macgregor and the late Carl Brewer. I came on the show half way through, just past the bottom of the hour so it was 9:30pm EST. As I came on the set I finally had a chance to shake his hand and thank him for what he did for our country at that time 23 years previous. I remember looking at the clock the exact time I shook his hand, 9:31pm. I note this because it’s the exact time my father passed away, 9:31pm, Monday night, December 4th, 1995. He had been battling terminal cancer and I was not even going to go down to do the show but my mother insisted. I only found out the next day from my brothers what time Dad had died and ever since then it’s my belief that Paul and I are linked spiritually. He was and still is an inspiration for me especially now as he fights this dreaded disease, leukemia. My father was my hero, he will forever remain my true hero but on September 28, 1972 at 2:30pm EST, the 19:26 mark of the third period in game eight of the greatest most unbelievable series ever played in the history of sport-Paul Henderson also became a hero not only to me but to 10 million plus Canadians. He is a national treasure, an icon and more importantly a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.
Post script: I have run a national campaign to hopefully see him with both the Order of Canada and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I was in elementary school in Bells Corners (now Nepean) Ontario. The entire school was in the gym sitting on the floor watching it on those TV’s that were on tall stands craning our necks to get a good angle, just soaking in that game and the time out of class! The gym erupted with such joy after that goal; everyone jumped up, yelled and hugged.
At the time I was a Canadien’s fan and Ken Dryden was my favourite player. Although I’m now a Canuck’s fan, having moved to BC in 1975, Montreal will always have a spot in my heart and it was where I was actually born. We moved to the US in 2004 for work and although we live in a state with very few hockey fans, I proudly display both my Canuck’s flag and my Team Canada logos!
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.
“Henderson scores for Canada!” Those words carry tremendous truth. With the passage of time, it is now clear that Paul Henderson’s Game 8 winning goal on the 28th of September, 1972 was more than just a personal achievement; it was more than just the Series winning goal for Team Canada; it was something that rallied and inspired a nation on a collective and individual basis. I am one of the individuals who was, and continue to be, inspired by the 1972 Canada — Soviet Union Summit Series. It remains a personal and professional passion of mine to this day.
I was 8 years old in September 1972, and from my vantage point as a young hockey fanatic in rural southern New Brunswick the Summit Series seemed like the most important thing in the world! I was too young to fully appreciate either the political implications of sport in the Cold War, or the extent to which the Series was acting as a spur to Canadian nationalism, but I knew that it was something special. Whether Team Canada won or not mattered. They were not just Canada’s team; they had become my team too!
Like everyone else, I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions over the course of the first seven games of the Series, thus I could not wait for the 8th and deciding game. Sadly, the elementary school I attended was not one of those that brought televisions into the classrooms allowing students to watch the game. More happily, I arrived home after school in time for the start of the third period. Things seemed rather bleak, ‘we’ were down 5 to 3, but Team Canada had already bounced back from a two game deficit in the Series, so hope remained. We know the rest of the story. “Henderson scored for Canada!”
As a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan — insert joke here — the conclusion of the Summit Series remains the most joyous moment I have ever experienced in a sporting context. But it has become so much more than that. It serves as an ongoing reminder of how great obstacles can be overcome when all seems lost. As a person of faith, I have been inspired by Paul Henderson’s spiritual journey that was, in many ways, triggered by his experience in the ’72 Series. Even my career in now linked to ’72.
I teach Canadian History at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, BC. As a lifelong hockey fan and history buff, I dreamed of one day developing a course that would examine Canadians’ relationship with the game of hockey. A few years ago, that dream came true. I now offer two, third-year History courses at VIU centered on the theme of “Hockey and the Canadian Identity”. The ’72 Series is a major component of the second of those courses, sub-titled “Canada’s Game in the Cold War and Beyond”. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that my work now revolves, in part, around an event that has brought such joy to me over the years. I truly am blessed. It is also deeply satisfying to have an opportunity to share with new generations of Canadians what the ’72 experience meant to this nation. And, I am happy to report, students are almost as passionate in learning about the Series as I am about teaching it. For me, the ’72 Series lives on in multiple ways. “Henderson scores for Canada!”
Sept. 28th, 1972 has always been a special memory. My husband and myself spent the month of September in England and Europe. During that time, we took an 18 day bus tour of Europe for the “Under 30’s Group”. Oh to be once again under 30!! On Sept. 28th we were flying home from London to Vancouver with Air Canada. The game was on and the captain announced the score every time there was a goal. There was a lot of excitement on that plane! When the captain announced the winning goal, the people on board went crazy! We will never forget that moment. We have shared this memory countless times over the past 40 years. We just wish we were once again Under 30!
Growing up in hockey obsessed Toronto in the ‘60s and early ‘70s did little to prepare me for the most momentous occasion in my short life, also known as the 1972 Summit Series. The opportunity for our best players to take on the best that the USSR had to offer was what all Canadians had been waiting for, for far too long. Our national pride was wrapped up in our hockey superiority, as it was our game, after all.
My introduction to professional hockey came on my eighth birthday at Maple Leaf Gardens in March, 1967. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 on their way to their fourth championship season of the decade. This was a tradition in Toronto, of course. (Please do not remind me that this seemingly routine feat would not be repeated through this much later date, perhaps not again in our lifetimes.)
The all-knowing Toronto media forecast a sweep – 8 wins for Canada – with the Soviets lucky to escape with a few goals here and there. Game 1 in Montreal saw our boys jump out to an early 2-0 lead, and viewers across Canada felt vindicated for the years of humiliating losses to the team in red, if only because we were not represented by our best players. Despite the quick offensive burst by Team Canada, however, something was amiss. Team USSR was more than a little bit quicker, executed passes more brilliantly, stymied our heroes with superb goaltending, and by the end of the game, our national pride was severely bruised by a 7-3 loss. How could so many “experts” have been so wrong?
Fast forward to Game 2 in Toronto where Team Canada rebounded with a solid 4-1 victory. Game 3 in Winnipeg ended in a 3-3 tie. Team Canada’s 5-3 loss in Game 4 to a better USSR team turned out to be the pivotal game in the series. Ongoing booing from the Vancouver spectators led captain Phil Esposito to respond with both a rousing tribute to Team USSR and a heart-felt protest to the lack of support for Team Canada who, after all, were doing their best against the talented, cohesive visiting team. This set the stage for the upcoming four games in Moscow with the upstart Soviets ahead 2-1-1.
Few hockey enthusiasts could have predicted the crazy twists and turns the series would take behind the Iron Curtain. Because of the time difference, these games occurred during the school day, so the thousand strong student body of Milneford Junior High School gathered in the school’s auditorium for the viewing of Game 5. Despite the taciturn Soviet crowd, who were drowned out by a much smaller and enthusiastic Canadian contingent, our boys lost 5-4 after building an early three-goal lead. To many in the Toronto media, the series was all but over.
But somehow, our boys rebounded in Game 6 with a thrilling 3-2 victory. Similarly in Game 7, Team Canada responded with a brilliant 5-4 effort with Paul Henderson scoring the game winner in the closing minutes. Bedlam broke out in the school auditorium. It was the most exciting moment of my life. The series was now tied at 3-3-1 with a decisive Game 8 on the horizon.
I was looking forward to another communal happening in the auditorium for Game 8 when it was announced that students were welcome to return home to view the upcoming historic event. As we lived only a few blocks from campus – and owned a colour TV, unlike the small black and white variety at the school – I opted to view the game from the comfort and close proximity of my family room. Today, I harbour mixed feelings about this decision since; yes, I did get a much better view, but, no, the experience lacked the ambiance and sheer excitement of being part of the crowd.
Nevertheless, Game 8 proved to be one of the most anxiety ridden and thrilling experiences of my early adolescence. My mother was home, and together we endured the ups and downs of this momentous occasion. With my stomach in knots, I do not remember too much about the game until the late third period. With Team USSR ahead 5-3 after two periods, I had begun to resign myself to a Canadian loss in the series, painfully trying to accept that we would lose to a better team. But then, early in the third, Team Canada roared back with two goals to tie the game. In the closing minutes, I humbly acknowledged that the Soviets were a much better team than any of our experts had ever given them credit for and that Team Canada had shown tremendous fortitude, tenacity, and determination to even the series on enemy soil. A tied series was not a bad result.
Not long after these consoling thoughts ran through my mind like a movie, the puck was in the net, and our hero, Paul Henderson was being swarmed by the entire team. It would have been difficult to write a more dramatic script. I remember jumping up and down and screaming and hugging my mother repeatedly. Of course we were better, after all, we were Canadian. This was a comforting conclusion for the time being.
I was working at Stelco in the No. 1 Bloom Mill in Hamilton, Ontario during the series. Due to our mills style of steel production, there were always guys on break so we asked management if we could rig an antennae on the roof for a TV in the lunch room. They agreed as long as we policed ourselves to prevent workers not returning to their job when it was their time. This arrangement worked out well throughout the series. Production and communication in the mill was via a telewriter at the soaking pits that was viewed in several locations throughout the mill. At approx. the 15:00 min mark of the third period of game 8 the telewriter announced that the rolling of steel was stopped and told everyone to go watch the game. At the time we thought that it was just luck that something had happened to halt production just near the end of the game but as we later learned, management in our mill was also caught up in the excitement of this series and ordered production to halt till the end of the game. This is significant in that in 1972, downtime in that mill cost Stelco $1000 per minute.
When one of the most important and biggest companies in Canada allows production to halt, even for 5 minutes, to watch a hockey game, it shows how much a part of Canada’s culture this series had become. I’m sure there are other similar stories across Canada from other industries waiting to be told.
Where was I on that memorable Game 8 day?
I was just 22 then and working as a clerk at the CN Telecom office on Granville in Vancouver. The game started in the morning before lunch as I recall because of the obvious time differences. By game 8 Canadian nationalism had kicked in and everyone was talking about ‘the game’. The problem was that it was a work day and our particular company boss was not about to let a hockey game get in the way of ‘work’. No radio or TV allowed.
Fortunately, the guy I reported to was a fan and he could see the angst at missing the game all over my face. In those days, one did not call in sick…it wasn’t honourable. When I told him I needed to go the bank during my break he kind of knew it was a stretch. But he let me go anyways. (thanks Wally)
And ‘go’ I did….straight to the 6th floor of THE BAY Granville street department store where I was sure a TV would be on somewhere in the appliance/furniture area. It was just starting the 3rd period when I got there and as the game edged on the crowds started to gather and the Salespeople started turning on more TV’s to accommodate the growing fans. I doubt many TV’s were going to be sold at this point.
Before too long the area was ‘packed’ with fans. When Henderson scored the place erupted and strangers hugged and shook hands (this was before high-fives) and cried and cheered and cheered some more. I can’t recall another time in my life since then that I shared so much emotion with so many strangers as that day. Truly was a remarkable and very memorable day in my life. It was also clear that I was not the only person skipping out of work!
I remember the ’72 Summit Series well. I was in the 8th grade attending the Homeland Sr. Public School in Mississauga, Ontario. They played all the Russian game over the PA system except the 8th and final game which they showed on TV in our home room.
It was 5-3 heading into the third period and people were freaking out. Paul Henderson scored the game winning goal in game 6 and game 7, so we were hoping that we could will him to do it again for the final game.
I remember classmates saying “I’ll eat my hat if Henderson scores”. Another commented that he would eat his ruler.
Well he did it again and we all celebrated and my classmate mockingly chewed on his ruler.
It was the most excitement in my young life. I’m not sure much more was done at school that day!
I attended the first game of the Series in Montreal. A friend of mine, who wasn’t a hockey fan, received 2 tickets from Air Canada. We flew from Moncton to Fredericton then to Montreal. When we got to Montreal and had a hard time finding a hotel. Eventually we found one, but it wasn’t the best.
I remember the beginning of the game with Prime Minister Trudeau dropping the puck.Canada scored 2 quick goals and the Forum was really loud. The Russians came back and they were skating very well. Russia took the lead in the 2nd period and the Forum got very quiet. It looked like our players weren’t in great shape.
The game finished with a 7-3 defeat. Everyone left talking about the game, we couldn’t believe it! Team Canada was outclassed and I didn’t know if they had a chance in the Series.
For the 8th Game, I was back in Moncton working at the CN warehouse. Our boss decided to hook the radio up to the speakers. He figured if he didn’t, everyone would just walk around with radios anyway.
The third period was quite a turnaround after being down 5-3. Cournoyer passed the puck to Henderson who was at the right spot at the right time. Everyone hollered when Henderson scored! We carpooled to work, so I recall the 7 of us talking about the game about leaving work at the end of the day.
The following year I bought an autographed Paul Henderson puck as a memento, which I still have today.
Memramcook, New Brunswick
I was driving an American colleague to the Halifax International Airport where he was catching a return flight home to Minnesota. I resented having to drive him because I was unable to watch Game 8. But I was able to listen to it on the radio and the more I listened the more nervous I became.
As I approached the airport, Paul Henderson scored the winning goal. Not only did I have trouble controlling the car, but also I immediately got a nosebleed. There I was, one hand on the steering wheel and one pushing Kleenex into my nose. My American colleague gave me a puzzled , slightly bemused look. “it’s a Canadian thing, ” I said proudly.
Jim Prime is the author of several sports books including How Hockey Explains Canada which was co-authored with Paul Henderson.
I was a teacher and football coach at the University of Western, Ontario at the time.classes stopped and we watched the game in the amphitheater. The challenge was that day I had to make a presentation at the London High School football championship that was taking place at Western, so I only got to see the first 2 periods.
There was probably 3,500 students in the stands with many of them listening to the game on transistor radios. After the Henderson goal, the announcer mentioned on the PA system that Canada won and the place erupted. After that the 3,500 stood and sang the National anthem! We were all proud Canadians!
Cosentino was a renowned quarterback who played 10 years in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with Hamilton, Edmonton and Toronto. As a player he was a member of five Grey Cup teams, winning twice with Hamilton.
Cosentino is also known for authoring several books on the history of sport in Canada. Recently he wrote Hockey Gods at the Summit: How the 1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Summit Became a September to Remember.
I’ll never forget that day. I was working at Universal Lamp, a lighting store on King street in Toronto. Our boss was a good guy and let the 3 of us on staff go to watch the last half of the game. We watched it at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern at King and Bathurst. The place was packed!
The bar went crazy when the team tied the game after being down 5-3 to start the third period. When Henderson scored it was so loud it felt like it blew the roof off.
After the game, we stayed around a little longer and replayed the game over and over. It was an incredible time!
I’ve always been a Leaf fan and enjoyed Leaf’s like Darryl Sittler. The players seemed more accessible then and less like a business then today.
I was in Grade 11 attending Opeongo High School in Renfrew, Ontario. For the 8th and final game, I was supposed to be with my gym class to watch the game. Well they had a small TV and I wanted to see the game on the larger screen inside the school.
I remember how exciting the game was. Unfortunately, my gym teacher Mr. Jim Ferguson didn’t like that I skipped the class so I received a detention. My discipline was to remove the dirt from the cleats of the football team. Years later Jim and I are good friends.
I was attending Shawminade Catholic School in Toronto. I was in grade 10 at the time. There were about 320 students who watched the game either in the gymnasium or cafeteria. I remember there were 6 Black and white TV’s with rabbit ears on stand across the gym. My team was and still is the Toronto maple Leafs. I also cheered for Bobby Clarke.
I remember a lot of hootin and hollerin when Alan Eagleson crossed the ice in Game 8. Later when Henderson scored we all jumped up and down.
After that they basically let us go and I went downtown to witness the celebrations. At the end of the day I was emotionally burnt out from the day.
My most vivid memory of the ’72 Series is not of “The Goal” but of one of the earlier games in the series. I was 14 years old at the time and living in a small town just north of Toronto.
Our family of five was in the car heading to the cottage for the weekend on the evening of the game in Winnipeg. My older brother and I kept urging my father to drive faster and faster.
Finally my father asked “What’s the hurry?” We told him that we wanted to get to the cottage soon so that we could watch the game. When my father asked “What game?” we told him that the Russians were playing Canada in Winnipeg.
“Oh, that game. I was at the dentist earlier this week and Dr. Galvin asked if I wanted two tickets to the game in Maple Leaf Gardens. I told him no, because I didn’t think you guys would be interested.”
Once we got to the cottage, the five of us spent the evening huddled around a 12” black and white television with a rabbit ear antenna and a very blurry picture, watching the game, knowing that but for our father’s misunderstanding we might have been able to see the Series live in Toronto earlier in the week.
In 1972 I was working as a Property Manager for Manulife at Calgary House. We had a radio in the office, and listened to every game but couldn’t get reception for a television. On the last game day, one of our maintenance people went up on the roof, climbed up a little ladder to the parapet wall and hooked a T.V. Antenna to the highest point in the building. He then hooked up a black and white T.V. In the mechanical room. There we sat, most of the Manulife staff, several (selected) tenants and a lot of very big heating, air conditioning and mechanical equipment. We thought we were the smartest guys in town.
We went pretty crazy at the end when Henderson scored that goal.
Jeff Somers now lives in Tampa, Florida.
Gary Weisenborn is a hockey fanatic and lives in Tampa, Florida and is originally from Buffalo, NY.
I was driving a bus for the City of Ottawa and I was pulling up to the Carlingwood shopping center when Paul Henderson scored. I was so excited I forgot to stop at the bus stop and I drove right into the lobby right where they used to bring out the groceries. I received a 2 week suspension and it was well worth it.
By David O’Neil Kingston, Ontario
By Leslie Bieber Victoria, British Columbia
During the ’72 Summit Series I was on a Canadian Destroyer that was on a 5 month deployment in the Southern Pacific. I’m a Toronto Maple Leaf fan and there about 250 Canadian soldiers on the ship that were from all over Canada. After Game 8 concluded, the ship received a radio transmission that came across the teletype machine.
The message was relayed to the company by the commander through the public address system and a collective roar went through the entire ship. It was later published in our daily newspaper and we were all smiling from ear to ear.
By Rolly Laberge Ottawa, Ontario
I was in Sudbury, Ontario cutting meat at Dominion stores We weren’t cutting too fast as we were listening to the game. we all went nuts when he scored. Customers kept on coming up asking about the score. By the end of the game, we had a bunch of customers in the back room. It was quite a day.
By Ray Levesque Montreal, Quebec
I’m from Montreal, Que and growing up I cheered for Ken Dryden and Yvan Cournoyer. The beginning of the series we thought the Russians would be just so-so. As the series moved on, we saw how good they really were. The series was filled with so much emotion, that’s why they call it the Series and game of the century. At the end, it was good for both Canadian and Russian hockey.
By Nick Misura Hinton, Alberta
I remember being with 49 classmates for our 5th reunion in Hinton, Alberta. We all went nuts when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal.
By Michelle Birch Boca Raton, Florida
I lived in London, Ont at the time I was in Grade 2 and the entire school was brought into the gymnasium . We didn’t have the big screen tv’s back then , but there were several tv’s that were up against the wall. The entire school watched the game and it was so exciting! I can remember it like it was yesterday, isn’t that crazy?
By Karen Bieber Thompson, Manitoba
I remeber watching the game at school in Thompson, Man. I was in grade 8 and I remember that the teachers were allowed to bring in tv’s as no one wanted to miss the game. We had about 25 people in our class and I remember the collective roar when Paul Henderson scored the game winning goal.
By David Altro Montreal, Quebec
I came home from the University of Concordia to watch the game with my Dad who came home from work. After 2 periods Canada was losing 5-3 after 2 periods and he said “I’m heading back to work”. On his way back, he heard the Henderson goal on the radio and was crying in his car. I sat and watched it alone. I felt like I was floating I was so excited with the outcome of the game!
By Colin McCarthur Winnipeg, Manitoba
I was in the Winnipeg squash club watching the Canada Russia series the place was full of members and when Henderson scored the place erupted like ever never heard before or since. It was something all Canadians were proud of.
By Bryan Wright Victoria, BC
You don’t disturb me on Saturday night when I watch hockey games. For the 8th and final game of the ’72 series I was alone in my living room watching the game on tv. I went nuts when Henderson scored!
By Bob Pippy, St. John’s, Newfoundland
At that time I was working at the Bank of Nova Scotia located on Duckworth/Cochrane St. in Newfoundland. There were 9 employees and 6 customers who watched the game on tv. They all celebrated when Henderson scored.
By Alan Hosey, Toronto, Ont.
For the 8th and final game of the’72 Series, I was at The Bank of Nova Scotia main branch in Toronto. We had tv’s set up at all the counters. I remember it vividly, because I didn’t want to work that day.So, I stayed down in the branch instead of the executive ofices. The whole place was delirious when Henderson scored!
Growing up in Vancouver, I was almost 12 when the series happened. We watched the first four games at home and felt hard done by, when the Soviets got ahead of us after game 4. For the weekday Russian games, my high school, Vancouver Technical HS, put TV’s in the assembly hall (Vancouver Tech was large and had a separate auditorium with seats) and actually allowed some of us to watch. So I didn’t miss any of the 8 games. I can’t remember if the CBC (Arte Johnson advertising the boy-eating-bear doll and the Bay blanket) rebroadcast the games at night for us. But I certainly saw them all, including Henderson’s goals in the final game.
As Tom Wolfe said in ‘The Right Stuff’ – we were doing mano-a-mano fighting with the enemy in this series. Amazing to behold.
At the ripe old age of 20, working in an Olivetti plant in Don Mills, Ontario, they decided to give us the time off to watch the game. My best friend, Gord Dow (God rest his soul) and I drove to my apartment near Young and Eglinton to watch this historic game. We cracked open a couple of Labatts and settled in. What I remember best several Labatts later was the winning goal, scored by Paul Henderson, and Gord and I jumping up taking the skin off of our knuckels on the apartment ceiling. We returned to work that afternoon and joined all of the other workers who like us, were floating on cloud 9. My favorite team then and still to this day is the Leafs. We Canadians gather on a regular basis up the road an hour or so in Charlotte, NC, to watch that Canadian tradition Hockey Night In Canada, and share great stories about our homeland. You can take the man out of Canada, but you’ll never take Canada out of the man.
I was in high school in Edmonton at the time. For the final game we were let out of class to watch it on TVs set up in the cafeteria. The place went berserk when Henderson scored!
I was the only one from my home town (pop 1800) fortunate to go to the 4 games in Moscow in 1972. Therefore I can say exactly where I was when Paul Henderson scored that historic goal in 1972 with 34 seconds left. I was in the Luzhniki Ice Palace, a modest 1956 arena, with about 13,700 seats. On that historic day on September 28th, 1972, 3,000 of those seats were filled with Canadians who made more noise than than the 10,000+ Russians and their booing whistles. Our steady chant of “Das Das Canada, Nyet, Nyet Soviet”, deafened the crowd. You can imagine our feelings after 2 periods of that 8th and final game. We were down 5-3 but still enthusiastic and helped our team claw back to make it 5-5. It’s hard to find the words to properly express our jubilation when #19 dented the twine behind Tretiak with 34 seconds to go, when the goal judge was late turning on the huge red light we all screamed at him as Cournoyer and Henderson danced with raised sticks. The 3,000 Canucks in the seats were going nuts huggingand celebrating and holding our breath as the final 34 seconds were played out. I will never forget where I was on September 28th, 1972.
Dinner before the game was at the Intourist Hotel on Red Square where Team Canada met with us fans as they headed to the arena, I had spotted a huge poster high on the wall at the hotel and had friends raise me up to clip it off the wall and had it folded in my shirt.
As Team Canada marched by, I got 4 signatures on, 2 players not playing and 2 that did. I got Bobby Orr and Stan Mikita, as well as Phil Esposito and Pat Stapleton as they marched out the door. Later I got Paul Henderson to sign, after the fact, to add to the lure of that special piece of heavy paper, treasured by me and my family. (see Attached).
When Paul Henderson rescued us from those talented Soviets, I was so happy that somehow I generated enough strength to lift my school desk up over my head! Little did I know (or care) that someone else’s books were still inside it.
In addition to them ending up on the floor, so did I.
Most schools (since the final 4 games from Russia were shown live back in Canada) placed television sets in many of their classrooms and in principle offices.
By then, all the lessons focused around this very special Team Canada vs the Soviets Series.
If one was in a history class, we discussed communism.
If one was in a math class, we discussed how to calculate a goals against average.
If we were in a language class (English or French), all of a sudden we were taught how to say yes and no in Russian.
Hockey was 24/7.
Because once you got home, all four games were replayed on TV and everyone was once again glued to their set.
Yvan Cournrnoyer, Phil Esposito, Harry Sinden, Vladislav Tretiak and of course “HENDERSON!” not only became house-hold names, but were the centre of the only conversation going on from sea to shining sea.
Bruce Patacairk is from Oakville, Ontario.
Allan Woodin lives in Innisville, Ontario and formerly was from Oakville. He also attended the ’72 game in Toronto.
Hubert Devries is from Oshawa, Ontario.
Diana Stevenson is from Scarborough, Ontario.
Don Kiley is from Pocologan, New Brunswick.
Bob Spence is from Moncton, New Brunswick.
Betty Bryant is from Flamborough, Ontario.
Bert & Sheila Eggens are from Ottawa, Ontario.
Rollie Stewart lives in Fort Erie, Ontario and watched the game in London, Ontario.
Eugene Waldon was born outside of Kincardine, Ontario. The family new Paul Henderson’s grandfather.
Ken Campbell lives in Campbleton, New Brunswick.
John McGuire is from Ottawa, Ontario.
Bruce Hood lives in Hillsburgh, Ontario.
Linda Oliver is from Toronto, Ontario.
David Pendlebury is from Fenelon Falls, Ontario.
Bill Cragg is from Tottenham, Ontario.
Ken Ryan now lives in Newmarket, Ontario, but watched the game in Montreal.
This story may be book-worthy!
Sandy McGregor is from Port Stanley, Ontario.
Harry Beraby is big time hockey fan from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Bert Lynas is from Toronto, Ontario.
Bruce Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario and a friend of Paul Henderson’s.
Roger Wilson is from Ottawa, Ontario.
Great story from Albert Denny!
John Orr is from Goderich, Ontario.
Mona Nickerson is from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Roy Erkila is from Sudbury, Ontario.
Evan Wills is from Kingston, Ontario.
Larry Comartin is from St. Jochem, Ontario.
Gus Normer is a Leaf fan from Sudbury, Ontario.
Ned Bernacci is from Stoney Creek, Ontario.
Terry Watt lives in White Lake, Ontario. He recalls at that there was an Ontario Hydro strike.
Terry Fewer is from Grand Falls, Newfoundland. Is this story book worthy?
Paul Griffin from Hamilton, Ontario has kind words for Paul Henderson.
Doreen Roulston is from North York, Ontario.
Tom Matthias remembers the office celebration!
Pierre Savarv now lives in Gatineau, Quebec.
Don Hobbins had a tough decision as he was invited by his buddy Gord Tucker, a former Peterborough Pete.
Jack Dundas was on of 2,000 employees who celebrated at the Ford facility in St Thomas, Ontario.
Don Scheuerman is from Stratford, Ontario.
Lynn Dayton lives in the Ottawa Valley and watched the game while he was in Waterloo, Ontario.
Alex Wall is from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Audrey Lacarte is from New Liskeard, Ontario. It was a special time in her life.
Jerry Joy is from Stoney Creek, Ontario and watched the game in Hamilton. He recalls a phone a call after the game.
I was in second grade in 1972. I walked home for lunch every day and was able to catch the games from Russia being broadcast on TV. On the day of the last game, I pleaded with my mom to late me stay home from school after lunch to finish watching. She wouldn’t let me and sent me off to school saying ‘you know, they’ll all be talking about it at school.’
So I walked up to the school grounds all disappointed. I noticed an older kid walking around with a transistor radio against his ear. He was followed by an entourage of about 20 others who were strung along chatting among themselves. The kid with the radio occasionally called back stuff like ‘quiet – I can’t hear!’. He kept on the move, keeping a slight distance from the group so he could hear better. Occasionally he’d provide a little sparse commentary about what was happening but I was dissatisfied with the lack of detail.
As the first bell for class rang the principal of the school spotted the kid with the radio and walked in to school beside him listening along.
Shortly after settling in to class as the teacher began her lesson, the sound of the play by play for the game started, unannounced, on the school intercom. Quiet at first, then louder as the sound was adjusted. The principal had borrowed the kid’s radio and was piping it over the intercom! It was so great to hear that! He played it right on through to the end of the game and the whole school in all our different classes sat in our chairs and listened. I think it must have been something like 15 minutes.
Of course it was great when Canada scored and we all cheered and celebrated. It was a special time we spent together in such a spontaneous way, all fixed in our interest in that game together. It really was something else and I’ll never forget that.
In 1972 I had returned home following three years in Africa to teach at the MUN School of Business but had been dragooned by Dave Mercer to work that summer on COGAP, the committee reorganizing the public service following the PC ouster of the Smallwood administration. Half the committee were MUN colleagues and all were MUN graduates except for Jim Channing, the Chair and Head of the NFLD Public Service who had articled as a lawyer.
JIM WAS A VERY KEEN SPORTSMAN AND AVID HOCKEY FAN.
The Committee and consultants had worked and met steadily through the summer and into September. (and eventually worked up ’till Christmas.) That schedule conflicted with the Canada/Soviet Hockey series and especially the famous “Henderson Goal” Game at the end of September. Our meetings at the Confederation Building that month were regularly punctuated by roars and cheers of the staff watching and listening to the games in the Building. Poor Jim Channing would squirm and grimace each time he knew he had missed seeing a key play or goal. But he was a model of a British bureaucrat disciplined, honest and duty bound to stay the course. But, finally, I believe during a ruckus and fight just before the Henderson goal he could stand it no longer and abruptly adjourned our meeting and rushed out to watch the game in a flurry of papers and documents.
former MUN Fellow, Channing Chair in Public Policy.
(Editors Note: James Channing was Clerk of the Executive Council of Newfoundland, from 1955 to 1978)
I have very fond memories of the ’72 hockey game between Russia and Canada. Norm and I were watching the game and broke into cheering and screaming when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal. Jamie was just a little over 3 and a 1/2 months old and I had purchased a Russia/Canada hockey pennant which proudly hung on his bedroom wall for many years. I’m sure the pennant is long gone but the memory will last forever of that wonderful goal and game.
Forty years ago I was a hockey-crazed nine year old boy with a worry. My heroes were playing this Russian team and things weren’t going so well. The Russians could play hockey almost as well as the Canadians and this had myself and the rest of the country up in arms. The last game of the historic series was crunch time, a real defining moment in Canadian sports. I remember being so relieved when Paul Henderson scored and Canada went on to win. It validated everything it meant to be a nine year old growing up in hockey-obsessed Canada in 1972.
Born and raised in Toronto, of course I worshiped the Toronto Maple Leafs, my favourite player being Dave Keon-the captain. Not only did I play hockey, but I watched it on TV, read about it in the newspaper and magazines of the day, collected trading cards with my buddies and encouraged my dad to drive the car more often. “Don’t you need gas yet, dad?” I would ask. This would mean a trip to the local Esso gas station and a chance to collect more of the prized Esso Power Players. This was a special set of smaller than usual cards issued by Esso that would fit into their special albums. My friends and I collected them with a passion, oohing and aahing when one of us would be lucky enough to get a hard to find player to complete the set. Today you would call us hockey geeks but back then it was just normal. We didn’t have as many options for fun then, in that pre-computer game era.
I recall my teacher at St. George’s Junior School in Etobicoke, Mrs. Comrie, letting us watch the last period of the game on that emotionally-charged day. She wheeled this huge TV into the classroom. It sat on a tall stand with wheels, always looking like it would fall over if you even just brushed up against it. The picture wasn’t great and of course it was black and white, regardless, we were thrilled just to be watching. Phil Esposito was a great star of the day, always finding a way to get the puck in the net. I was sad that his teammate Bobby orr wasn’t playing and I remember being awed by the Russian goaltender-Tretiak. When Paul Henderson scored it was pandemonium among the kids in my class, and the staff were smiling too. It was a great day to be a Canadian and a hockey fan.
Marc-Andre is a Senior Trade Commissioner for the Canadian Consul in Miami, Fl. He has a terrific story involving his father.
Andrew is the Honorary Consul for the Consulate of Canada in Tampa Bay, Fl and grew up in Brantford, Ont. the home of the ‘Great One’.
Alain is the VP of Cross Border Banking for RBC Bank in the US and is a big fan of Yvan Cournoyer and the Montreal Canadiens.
Back in 1972, Terry was 14 years old and a big hockey fan. While we didn’t play ice hockey, we did enjoy road hockey games. Terry was such a huge fan of both Boston and Toronto. During the Series he cheered for Frank and Peter Mahovlich.
At that time, we both attended Mary Hill Junior High School in Port Coquitlam, BC. I remember the whole school was excited and I watched the game on a tv in the gymnasium. Of course, everyone celebrated when Henderson scored the winner.
We returned home from school that day excited and I remember we talked about the game with Dad.
Crosby’s goal for the gold medal game brought back fond memories of the Paul Henderson goal.
I distinctly recall listening to Game 8 on my car radio, while parked for a couple of hours in a shopping mall in Everett, Wash., where I was attending school at the time. The game was unavailable on local TV, and I remember being the only person around me in the parking lot who exalted in Canada’s historic and stunning triumph—
perhaps because most shoppers were oblivious that a hockey game of major international significance was going on at the time.
At any rate, I equate the NHL’s improbable 6-5, come-from-behind win over the Russians that day as the pinnacle moment in Canadian hockey history—much like most Americans point to their country’s signature hockey moment as the historic U.S. win over the same Soviet team in the 1980 Olympics, which ultimately led to a gold medal. I listened to that game, too, on radio, while living at the time, oddly enough, in Vernon, B.C.
There are plenty of other ironies involved in the two historic North American hockey wins. Both events began with low expectations—in Canada, because of the country’s feeling of invincibility when it came to international hockey, particularly with a team stacked with NHL all-stars; in the U.S., because its team of amateurs was a decided underdog against Russia’s hockey machine. Just as Canada believed it would steamroll the Russians in 1972, Americans believed its team would be steamrolled
eight years later.
While Canada didn’t dominate in its eight-game Summit Series, as most Canadians expected it would, it did manage to finally subdue the Russians four games to three, thanks to game-winning goals by Paul Henderson in the final three games of the competition on Russian soil. It was a real eye-opener for most who followed hockey, particularly Canadians, when Russia routed Canada in the first game of the series, played in Montreal, and went on to take what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-1-1 series lead, and it was equally unexpected at that juncture when Canada managed to turn potential embarrassment into the country’s ultimate sporting triumph by pulling out both the series and the final game in dramatic fashion—even for a lonely soul sitting in a parking lot.
I was in the school gym watching with a bunch of excited kids.My parents were actually there sitting behind the Canadian goalie,half way up. We were living in Garson Ontario at the time.My father worked underground for INCO.My mother ran a small convenience store called the Jolly Jug.Coke had a promotion for the managers . Every ten cases of coke she ordered,her name was put into a draw to win a trip to Russia to watch the hockey games.She did win but they almost didn’t go . Money was tight those days raising three boys, but they managed to come up with some money ,all their friend talked them into not missing this trip of a life time ,so off they went. My father got a big kick out of hanging with the rich people that went over to Russia to watch the games.He told them that he was into mining, they thought precious minerals , he meant being a driller at the Garson mine. I heard a lot of stories about the trip. They stayed in the same hotel as most of the hockey players stayed in. I have a picture of Pete Mahovlich with his arm around my five foot tall mother.One night my parent were woken up by banging on their door,there was Phil Esposito looking for an ice bucket. My father recently gave me the team rosters signed by many of the Canadians players , coaches and announcers.I had it framed and will treasure it for ever.When asked why he didn’t have any of the Russian autographs , he told me they practiced in a different arena and he was scared to travel there. Well enough of the stories. I asked him what he remembers when the last goal was scored. They all jumped up and screamed, he actually shook hands with one of the Russian soldiers that was standing near by.When the Canadians sat as a group the soldiers were always standing on the steps, leading down to their seats, behind them and in front by the glass. Them Canadians must have been a loud , wild group. I was told Canada would cheer and the Russian fans would always whistle.Well that is a little of their stories. They had a great time and felt very lucky to have been there.
Unfortunately, I had a chemistry lab the afternoon of the game and when I walked out to head back to my residence at Acadia University, it was like I was the Omega Man, the last person on the planet. The campus was silent and barren, not a soul in sight. The chirping of the birds was all I could hear on my lonely 10-minute walk back to my room. As I headed up the path to the high-rise resident building at the South end of campus, I looked up at the column of windows facing me, and I could see people in the TV lounges glued to the game. Suddenly, I was shaken from my silence to hear the loudest roar I have ever heard from inside a building. It was an odd, muffled roar that broke the solitude of my lonely trek. Then came the jumping up and down that I could see through the windows of each floor. To my surprise, I could hear muffled roars coming from all the other residences surrounding me. The roars could only mean one thing: Team Canada scored the winning goal. While I was possibly the only human being standing outside when Paul Henderson scored that goal, I had the unforgettable memory of hearing the most deafening, muffled roar I will ever experience. At least I got to see the replay!
Project ’72 brought back a lot of memories.The first that struck me, was not only recalling the Paul Henderson goal, but the between period interview with Phil Esposito.Here was Canadian hockey was at its highest emotional pitch, a game between the Russian and Canadian teams, and the Canadian team was losing and being booed. Phil was being interviewed, he was sincere and forthright, stating the reality that the Canadians were playing their hearts out against solid competition and that the contestants were at equal levels.
In fact at this point the Russians were ahead. Phil expressed his annoyance and dis-pleasure of the Vancouver fans booing the Canadian team.His statements brought heart and understanding to the game, and the fact that the World Hockey Championship was at stake and the quality of play by the Russians was second to none. Hockey was now a world class event which Canadians had taken for granted. This game was changing that perception.
When Henderson scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game, it made the win all the more dramatic for Canadian fans, particularly, after having watched Phil’s interview.
Hockey was recognized as a National Sport, with pride and spirit, as never before.
My son Sean, even though only 3 at the time has been an ardent sports fan and participant, whether it is hockey or baseball. He has collected every hockey and baseball card known to man and many in complete sets. I am very proud that he has initiated the’72 Project confirming his love of sport and dedication to it, along with his Canadian roots which are indicated through www.canadianexpatnetwork.com
In 1972, I was teaching a multilevel special education class in the small Eastern Ontario village of Bonville. The Public School enrollment was approximately 120 pupils (K to 6)and was comprised of three three classrooms and a portable in which I was teaching. Although Bonville was a smaller rural community the children were quite interested in sports and were following the 72 Summit series very, very closely.
In my Special Education class during that time I was using the Summit Series as an Integrated Theme for Language Arts , Mathematics and Social Studies. The students were writing stories every day related to the series and also keeping a scrapbook and journal. The goals, assists and shots on net were great for Mathematics and introducing the concept of graphing. The different locations of the games in Canada and Russia were great motivation for the geography lesson.
I was responsible for Physical Education in the school and in that regard I tried to integrate Hockey and the Summit Series into most of our activities for those few weeks in September. As we did not have a gym in the school, on rainy days I would have the children push the desks to the side in the classrooms and we would take shots on a selected goalie with a plastic hockey stick and puck.
The afternoon of the final game from Russia I invited as many students as we could cram in the small portable to join my my students. We had a small black and white TV that we placed as high on a shelf as we could so that everybody could follow the action. The emotions of the students were up and down as the game progressed. When Canada scored you could hear the cheering right through the school. When Paul Henderson scored the students were ecstatic ! They cheered and waved their paper flags and we sang O Canada. The singing of our National anthem also continued as the school buses pulled out of the school grounds to take the students home.
Although it is 40 years ago I still have fond memories of the students and that special “magic” day in Canadian history.
In September of 1972, we were a young married couple with a one year-old infant girl. My wife and I were house and dog sitting in a home in Scarborough for friends who were traveling, a break from the confines of our own cramped apartment. Being in the east end of Toronto, we paid our first visit to the Science Centre. Here, talking into the parabolic sound reflector, we inadvertently made the acquaintance of Michael, a young Australian traveler. We invited Michael to be our guest for a few days. It was during Michael’s stay that the eighth game of the Canada/Russia series occurred. My wife had lived and breathed hockey throughout her life because of her dad’s sports-writing position with the Toronto Star (Red Burnett); so, this series which pitted Canadian hockey stars against the cream of Russia’s hockey players during a period when international politics were all about the Cold War had real poignancy for us. By the middle of the series when Phil Esposito so publicly outlined some of the Russian tactics being used to impede Canada’s chances at winning, the Canadian team was clearly cast in the under-dog role. This mix of factors infused the whole series with high emotion. When Paul Henderson fired the winning goal past Tretiak, Canada’s hockey prowess was confirmed. “Our side” held up its end in the Cold War. Fair play prevailed over dirty tricks. And we had the pleasure of playing the vicarious conquering heroes with our newly inducted hockey fan from Australia.
There are some stories that catch you off guard…because they’re so remarkable. That can be said of the story from vocalist Greg Keelor, of the great Canadian band Blue Rodeo. After mentioning what the ’72 project was all about, I asked him if he was a hockey fan. “Yea, I like hockey”, he said casually.
“In 1972, I was trying out as a goalie for the Toronto Marlies and we practised at the historic Maple Leaf Gardens. At the end of the tryout, I was the last guy on the ice and Team Canada ’72 would be the next team to practise. At the end of the rink, Bobby Orr steps on the ice. He was injured and didn’t play in the Series, but was on the roster. Orr’s out there kind of goofing around and taking shots on me. A few minutes later Toronto Maple Leaf great, Frank Mahovlich joins in. We played for about 30 minutes.”
I had goose bumps listening to that story and I sensed that Greg probably hadn’t spoken of that magical moment for a long time.
To learn about where Greg was when Paul Henderson scored his goal, you’ll have to stay tuned and read about Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo’s story.
While I’ve always enjoyed listening to Blue Rodeo, that story will bring an added smile to my face.
I remember the day well. I was 18 or 19 and was attending Sir John Abbot College in Montreal. The teachers knew it was a big deal, so they just said watch the game. I believe I cut Humanities class. I was one of many, sprawled out over the big common room in the library.They rolled the TV into the common room lobby. There was a lot of tension leading up to the goal and I’ll never forget the cheering once Paul Henderson scored!
Midway thru the series, Phil Esposito’s talk captivated me. He spoke to the effect that all the cards were stacked against Team Canada after the tough start. He was one of the guys that got the nation to support Team Canada. It was a showcase event that grabbed the whole country.
During the final game, I was in the 9th grade at Prince Albert Collegiate Institute. I recall the game was around mid day and the teacher wheeled the TV into a packed classroom. The black and white reception wasn’t great, it wasn’t anything like today’s HD TV’s.When Henderson scored, we definitely jumped up and down. It made everyone so proud to be a Canadian appreciate how great the sport of hockey is.
As a child, growing up in rural New Brunswick before electricity, I remember sitting around the radio on a Saturday night to hear the hockey broadcast on radio in the days of 6 teams and known players. One’s imagination was alive and vivid!
September 28th, 1972 – Now I’m the mother of 2 young children on that momentous day. So it was not the TV, but the radio that was turned on to get the buildup and hype to that final game of the Canada-Russia Series. I had kept abreast of the previous games through newspaper, radio and TV news, but on that day, there was no question…I was going to listen to the game on the radio.
I would describe myself at that moment, not as a hockey fanatic but a cheerleader for our hockey team and for Canada, full of hope and expectation for a thrilling outcome.
Totally into the game, picturing the dynamics through the announcer, I paced the floor, listened for the children to wake from their afternoon naps, tried to putter in the kitchen with supper preparation….and in short, was a nervous wreck. I remember at one point near the end of the game where I thought I was going to have to shut it off, I was in such a tizzy with a crazy racing pulse and heart beat!
Then, the moment!!! At the peak of my emotions, I jumped up and down and immediately started weeping…for joy! I couldn’t stop crying! I thought Paul Henderson was the most famous human being in that instant! Then, I recall thinking that I had to talk with or tell someone, so ran out the back door to my next door neighbour, scarcely able to tell her what had happened. I’m sure she thought I was crazy! I don’t think I had ever experienced such a euphoric sensation in my whole life to that moment.
It was not to be repeated again until the Canada Winter Olympics final Canada/USA game and the other famous goal by Sydney Crosby.
……………OH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL!
Once upon a time in Moncton, New Brunswick, on September 21, 1972, Bruce Campbell Scarth was born. At that same time there was a little hockey tournament happening between USSR and Canada. It was not going well in Canada and Dad needed to travel to Newfoundland to install a new Photo System at Tooton’s in St. John’s. During the flight to St. John’s from Halifax, it was in the last few minutes of the sixth game and it was tied, meaning the USSR would win the tournament — not a happy time on board Air Canada as we listened “on the ground” before takeoff. The Captain announced that he had to turn off the radio while taking off so said he would tell us all the outcome after at cruising altitude … the LONGEST WAIT EVER, almost as long for Bruce to arrive who was several weeks late. ANYWAY … the intercom finally clicked on and everyone waited for the inevitable NEWS. At first the Captain said, very solemnly that the game was over and everyone was waiting for the bad news NEXT and then he SCREAMED into the microphone that Henderson had scored in the last few minutes and Canada had WON. The whole plane jumped up in the air and we glided on euphoria into St. John’s. The rest of the story happened when ALL of Canada watched Paul Henderson do it all over again! WOW!!!!
Midway thru the series, Phil Esposito’s talk captivated me. He spoke to the effect that all the cards were stacked against Team Canada after the tough start. He was one of the guys that got the nation to support Team Canada. It was a showcase event that grabbed the whole country.
During the final game, I was in the 9th grade at Prince Albert Collegiate Institute. I recall the game was around mid day and the teacher wheeled the TV into a packed classroom. The black and white reception wasn’t great, it wasn’t anything like today’s HD TV’s. When Henderson scored, we definitely jumped up and down. It made everyone so proud to be a Canadian and appreciate how great the sport of hockey is.