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1972: ‘Henderson has scored for Canada’

The Story

The final game of the Summit Series takes place in Moscow, so most Canadians catch it on television. Some watch at local pubs. Children listen with squeals in school gymnasiums. Foster Hewitt's play-by-play echoes from a ballet studio's TV set as girls practice at the barre. The series is in the eighth game and we're down to the wire. Team Canada matches the Soviet Union goal for goal in the first period but they fall to a 5-3 deficit by the second. Then, Phil Esposito scores for Canada! Yvan Cournoyer follows up with another goal. But will it count? The referees meet and the goal is good. It's a tie game, 5-5 at 12:56 in the third. In the final minutes, Canadian fans nervously puff cigarettes and swill beer. With 34 seconds remaining, Canada crowds the Soviet net and Paul Henderson skates in. Hewitt roars, "Henderson has scored for Canada!" Team Canada captures the series. On this day, according to one fan, "God is Canadian."

Medium: Television
Program: Weekend
Broadcast Date: Sept. 28, 1972
Guest(s): Dave Barrett, Dennis Burton, Morley Callaghan, Gerry Gladstone, Bruce Kidd, John Munro
Host: Jim Eayrs, Charlotte Gobeil
Duration: 8:47
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?

• The superior physical prowess of the Soviets, evident in the Summit Series, led to an overhaul of NHL training practices and changed the way Canadians play hockey.

• Henderson said Team Canada's players "weren't ready for the physical shape they [the Soviets] were in. We weren't ready for their upper-body strength and we weren't prepared for the tremendous ability they had as hockey players. They moved the puck better than any other team that I had seen."

• Unlike Team Canada, the Soviets trained off-season and maintained a rigorous physical schedule, including weightlifting, jogging, gymnastics and nutrition maintenance.

• When polled, Canadians say the Henderson goal was one of the country's greatest historical moments.

• Henderson later became a marriage counsellor, hosting weekend spousal seminars.

• The final score of Game 8 in Moscow was Canada 6, Soviet Union 5. It drew 15,000 spectators. Four of the series' games were played in Canada, four in Moscow.

• Team Canada's Pat Stapleton said he used to have Henderson's game-winning puck but passed it on to teammate Bill White. White, however, says Stapleton still has it.


Canada-Soviet Hockey Series, 1972 more