What's Your Story

Where were you for the epic '72 Summit Series? 3 Canadians remember

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the legendary Summit Series — Canada's hockey battle against the Soviet Union in 1972. Many Canadians who were alive at the time remember where they were when Paul Henderson scored the tiebreaking goal in the final game.

'An entire country at the edge of their seats'

The entire country stopped to watch this Summit series on September 28, 1972.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the legendary Summit Series — Canada's hockey battle against the Soviet Union in 1972. Many Canadians who were alive at the time remember where they were when Paul Henderson scored the tiebreaking goal in the final game.

Throughout 2017, we're asking Canadians, "What's your story?" Three Canadians share memories of that historic moment.


A truly Canadian moment

The date : September 28, 1972. The time: 3 p.m. in Montreal.

An entire country at the edge of their seats for what will be an epic event.

I am 13-years-old, and school is closed due to lack of attendance. It is game eight, the last in what has turned out to be the sporting event of the millennium.

Bay Street in Toronto bare, Saint Catherine Street in Montreal silent. Myself and my family, like every other family in Canada, watching the final game of the 1972 Canada vs Russia series. An eerie silence fell over the country as the puck dropped in the third period and Canada was trailing 5-3. Two minutes and 27 seconds in Phil Esposito scores — an entire county cheers. At 12:56 minutes, Yvon Cournoyer scores — Canada's cheers roar as the game is tied. There will be no overtime, no shootout to determine a winner in a series that is now tied up.

With 34 seconds left, a hero is born: Paul Henderson scores. Canada in once voice cheered, roared. For 27 days in September 1972, an entire Country came together behind one team. Even non hockey fans got caught up in the hype. A Stanley Cup Championship was nothing compared to this victory. It was truly a Canadian moment.

Marc Peltzer
Dollard Des Ormeaux, Que.

On Sept. 28, 1972, the country's largest TV audience ever watches their hero Paul Henderson score an epoch-making goal. 8:48

Sign me up, Canada!

I emigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom in 1959. I was 7-years-old and was immediately introduced to the sport of hockey. In 1972, I had the pleasure of watching the Canada-Russia Summit Games. The final game went right down to the wire [when] Paul Henderson scored the winning goal, clinching the series four games to three. I was so proud of hearing O Canada (it wasn't officially our anthem at the time), that I applied for my Canadian citizenship soon after.

E. George Woodley
Rockwood, Ont.

A reason to think about the future

'Paul Henderson helped me forget.' For Tony Aquilina, the '72 Summit Series will always be connected to a momentous event in his own life. ( Tony Aquilina)

In 1972, I was involved in a car accident which left me with a devastating disability. I would be spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and many other activities would help me get used to living with my disability.

Everything in my life revolved around adjusting. It's all I could think of — not a great mindset to be in. Then, the Summit Series began. It gave me a reason to think about my future in a way that made life exciting again. It gave me a reason to skip my therapy classes and instead put all my energy into cheering for Canada. It's amazing how many people were able to fit into my hospital room to join me in "Go Canada Go!" I'll never forget that. It really made me proud to be a Canadian.

Tony Aquilina
Hamilton, Ont.

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