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Home fans boo Canadians, Esposito lets them have it

The Story

More than 15,000 heckling Canadian fans boo their team while watching game 4 at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum. Canada plays poorly for most of the game, with 38 of 41 shots on goal stopped by Soviet goalie sensation Vladislav Tretiak. The game ends with a score of 5-3 for the Soviets and home-team fans boo Canada right off the ice. Assistant captain Phil Esposito is not taking this lightly. He skates back onto the rink, sopping with sweat, and scolds Canada."I'm really disappointed [with the fans]. I am completely disappointed. I cannot believe it," he says with a hangdog face. "Some of our guys are really, really down in the dumps. We know, we're trying, I mean, hell, we're doing the best we can."

Medium: Radio
Program: Sunday Magazine
Broadcast Date: Sept. 10, 1972
Guest(s): Phil Esposito
Host: Frank Herbert, Bruce Rogers
Duration: 1:08

Did You know?

• The day after the booing incident, Esposito was happy when fans at Toronto's airport greeted the team with cheers and placards.
• Phil Esposito was named the MVP of Game 4. Team Canada saw him as their leader throughout the Canada-Soviet series.

• Before the series, Esposito was known as a brutish goal-scorer who stood around the net waiting for his chance. He played for the Boston Bruins at the time.

• In 1972, Esposito was the first NHLer to score 70 goals.


Canada-Soviet Hockey Series, 1972 more