Learning Targets:

-Students will learn about the Summit Series and how it changed the way people play hockey today

-Students will be able to see how important this was to Canadians

the 1972 summit series

Canada vs Russia

The legacy of the summit series has been one of the most remembered and praised hockey games of all time. As the game started, fans from both Canada and Russia were anticipating one heated game. A battle. East vs West. Communist vs Democracy. It was to see who could overcome the other but both teams were amazing in their own ways.

Prime Minister Trudeau drops the first puck of the Summit Series

The Beginning

Canada had gone back to its old roots to feeling pride in themselves for being Canadians. They had also gained a new flag, celebrated the Canadian centennial, along with the Expo 67. One thing was for sure that the Canadians wanted to show how proud they were with their nationalism. The Summit Series was the perfect opportunity that would fit this scenario as hockey was something special for every Canadian at the time. The Soviets were dominating the international league for quiet a while when Canada was focused more on the NHL. With the Cold war being in the middle of things, it made things more tense as both teams were determined to win.     

Let the Games Begin

The amount of games that were played summed up to be eight consecutive ones. The first game was though to have been won by the Canadians as  players, fans, and sports writers believed in Team Canada. The first two points were given to Canada but then the Soviets came at them with tremendous force and both players and fans were in awe. The Soviets lead the the score by 7-3. Game two was won by Canada in Toronto and the third was tied 4-4.

Game Four

Game 4 was an important highlight since it was to the point where no Canadian fans had rated the players of Team Canada. When the fourth game was taken place in Vancouver, a bunch of fans started to boo their own team. This was because Team Canada has been lacking performance which made them look entirely weak everywhere else. After the game, Phil Esposito made his famous speech which was directed to the fans that were not being good people.     

There was a lot of name-calling happening during the interview and he also realized that the game was more like war rather then it being a friendly hockey game. The cold war had influenced both sides to be more reckless and Phil Esposito was upset with what the crowd had been saying about communism being better than Democracy. He just wanted to play for his country but instead, he was in a middle of a war outbreak.    

Canada Reigns Victorious

For the last four games, the Canadians had gone to Moscow to play. They had gone to the Dvoretz Sporta to practice and get a feel of what the Soviet rinks were like. During Game 5, the Canadians were leading 3-0 the first two periods. They ended up losing to the Soviets with a score of 5-4. Bobby Clarke said "were not a defensive club, yet we tried to play defensively". In Game 6, Canadians won with the score being 3-1. They scored all of there points in a one and a half minute time span. Although this was true, the German referees, Josef Kompalla and Franz Baader, had made poor calls and were very biased. One important thing that happened during the series was "The Slash". Bobby Clarke from Team Canada had deliberately slashed Valeri Kharlamov on the ankle which injured it. Kharlamov believes that Bobby was given the task to eliminate him from the game as he was a vital asset for the Soviets.  

Game 7 was won by Canada again and Paul Henderson scored the last goal. He was unable to see it as Soviet defender Tsygankov tripped Henderson  before he could even see his shot. In Game 8, many were watching the game as it was the end of the series. This game would determine who would win the series but none of the teams would hold back. As the match was continuing, player Sinden realized that the Soviets changed their playing style, which lead to Cournoyer scoring with ease. The goal judge refused to let the goal count even thought it was signaled a goal on the ice. As there was only a minute left remaining, Paul Henderson rose up to the ice and had a strange feeling as if he could have scored the puck in. The announcer, Foster Hewitt, was thrilled when he had the pleasure to call the winning goal. There was only 34 seconds left when Henderson took the shot.

Paul Henderson after making the winning play

Canada had finally won the series they had been working hard for but at the end, both teams were ultimately respected by players and fans alike. The score was 6-5.

How did this affect Canadians ?

With the end of the Summit Series, Canadians realized that hockey wasn't just a Canadian sport and it belonged to the world around. It also put the perspective of the cold war on ice and showed how the players interacted with each other, along with the fans. To be fair, both teams demonstrated a vast amount of skill and a lot of effort was put into the games.

Fun facts

-Paul Henderson was one among the Team Canada players to consider not to play for them but his agent talked him into going.

-There were mind games from the beginning of the series starting from Montreal.

-Kharlamov scored or assisted for all three game-winning goals for the Russians.

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