CBC Digital Archives

Max Ferguson gets in the game

People took the day off work on Sept. 28, 1972 to watch Canada play the Soviet Union. In the game's last seconds, their hero Paul Henderson scored an epoch-making goal. But the hockey series was more than just that final game. The fast and skilled Soviets surprisingly showed up Team Canada in eight gruelling games that changed Canadian hockey forever. It became faster, better. And the drama began in game one when Team Canada skated onto the ice self-admiring and mighty, only to be knocked down hard, 7-3, by the Soviet Union.

Today, in a Max Ferguson skit, fictitious reporter Leslie Lovelace presents a curmudgeonly Vladislav Tretiak with a congratulatory CBC ring. The Soviet goalie is the star of the Canada-Soviet hockey series, so far, with 32 magnificent saves.
In game 2, Team Canada players redeem themselves at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. Assistant captain Phil Esposito scores the game's first goal during the second period.

Follow up goals by Canada's Yvon Cournoyer, and one each from brothers Pete and Frank Mahovlich, are challenged only by one from the gigantic Yak, Alexander Yakushev. The game ends with a 4-1 victory for Canada.
• Max Ferguson worked for the CBC until 1998, when he retired after 52 years in radio. Ferguson had an offbeat style, known mainly for pranks, skits and creating characters. In a broadcast called The Canadian Backyard, he toured yards across the country just to see what Canadians were doing.
• Ferguson recorded the Leslie Lovelace skit after game 2 on Sept. 4, 1972. He plays all the characters in it.

• Before the series, scouts had written off Vladislav Tretiak, the 20-year-old Russian goalie, as the "weakest link." Tretiak was named MVP in game 2 even though the Soviets lost.
• Game 3 in Winnipeg, on Sept. 6, 1972, ended in a 4-4 tie. Team Canada led the game until the Soviets unleashed its "kid line," a trio of young talented players, two of whom scored the final goals that tied the game.
Medium: Radio
Program: The Max Ferguson Show
Broadcast Date: Sept. 5, 1972
Host: Max Ferguson
Duration: 3:53
Photo: CBC Still Photo Collection, Toronto

Last updated: January 20, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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