The Classic 1972 Summit Series

Essay by goofy88A, December 2007

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The 1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series was perhaps the most dramatic sports event in Canadian history. Before the series came into being, the Soviet's demonstrated that they were a tower of strength by winning 11 of 12 Olympic and World Championships from 1963 to 1973. However, Canadians believed that the Soviets would lose to Canadian professionals. The 1972 Super Series was the opportunity for Canada's "best" to prove their dominance over the Soviets. Charles Hay (President Hockey Canada 1972) was quoted by saying, "At long last we are challenging the Soviets with a team of Canada's best hockey players, and share with all Canadians our pride in being represented by this superb group of young men playing our national game." This series would put the Soviet "amateurs" against Canada's professionals. It has made a huge part of history in Canadian hockey and will be remembered for years to come.

The spectacular series consisted of an eight game series with four games being played in Canada and four games in Moscow.

Unfortunately, the Soviets came out of Canada with a slight lead in the series and headed back to Moscow for the next four games with home advantage. After losing the first game in Moscow, this put Canada in a tough position to win the next 3 games to win the series. Brian McFarlane from Hockey Night in Canada quoted, "I still feel Team Canada has superior individual players. Their collective experience, and more than that their pride, will push them to victory. But they must not take foolish penalties. Fast line changes and consistent fore checking are the keys, especially against players like Kharlamov and Petrov. I think we'll hold a slight edge when it's all over." The Canadians did in fact win it and that is why this incredible series...