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Canadiens vs. the Soviet Red Army

The Story

Three years after the Summit Series captivated hockey fans across Canada, the Soviet Union's best players return for a New Year's Eve matchup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1975. Almost 19,000 fans are on hand at the Forum to witness a match representative of the ongoing Cold War, pitting the freedom and democracy of the West against the communist repression of the U.S.S.R. In these segments from the game, the teams' disparate styles of play are on show: the Soviets' puck control and long forward passes, and the Habs' suffocating defense and creative on-the-fly attack.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television Sports
Broadcast Date: Dec. 31, 1975
Duration: 5:36

Did You know?

• The match was officially billed as an exhibition contest, but for the members of the Canadiens, the game was a showdown between the best hockey teams in the world. Just as the Habs dominated the NHL most seasons, the Soviet Red Army team (known domestically as CSKA Moscow) was perennially atop the Soviet elite league standings.


• Combined, the two teams boasted an astounding 37 championship titles.


• Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak faced seven shots before his cross-rink rival, Ken Dryden, saw a single puck come his way. The Canadiens scored two goals in the first eight minutes of the game. Early in the second period, Boris Mikhailov scored one for the Soviets before the Habs got a third goal. The Red Army scored two more in the third.


• Although the Canadiens outshot the Soviets 38-13, the historic game ended in a 3-3 draw.



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