Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for September 28th!
Where were you in ’72?
Almost any Canadian who is old enough can tell you exactly what he or she was doing on September 28, 1972, when Paul Henderson scored the 6-5 goal to give Canada the Summit Series win over the Russians. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the Summit Series.
The Canada–USSR Summit Series, was an eight-game series of ice hockey between the Soviet Union and Canada, held in September 1972.
It was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League.
The series was organized with the intention to create a true best-on-best competition in the sport of ice hockey.
Paul Henderson’s goal sealed a remarkable comeback victory over a Soviet squad that had pushed Canada to the brink of defeat. Of course, none of this was supposed to happen. Team Canada was composed of the NHL’s greatest stars, and were expected to easily defeat their communist counterparts. The success of the Soviets stunned Canadians, who had always automatically believed in their country’s hockey domination.
The first four games of the series were held in Canada, where the Russian squad suprised the Canadian all-stars by winning 2 of the those games and tying a third.
The series shifted to Moscow where the Russian team easily beat the Canadians in the fifth game.
Team Canada restored the faith of fans by fighting back to win the final 3 games of the series, all on game winning goals by Paul Henderson. Henderson was a talented left winger who was the unlikeliest of heroes. Unlikely heroes have come to define Canadian hockey.
Team Canada arrived back in Canada on October 1. The team was mobbed by an estimated crowd of 10,000 at Montreal’s Dorval Airport. Also greeting the team was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and City of Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau.
In Toronto, an estimated crowd of 80,000 attended a ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square to salute the players. While Canada won the series, both teams could claim victory. The Soviets earned the respect of fans and players alike.
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada!