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40 Years Ago Today Hockey, As We Know It, Was Born. See it.

September 28, 2012, 9:31 AM ET [71 Comments]
Eklund
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It's often called "The Goal Heard Around the World." If you are a Canadian old enough to remember it I am sure you have a great story about where you were and how you felt...If you aren't old enough to remember the Summit Series in 1972 it is required learning for every hockey fan.

The Summit Series in 1972 was an 8 game battle between the best hockey players in the world. Because there was no internet in those days the world felt like a much bigger place. Canada didn't only considered themselves the best hockey country in the world, they were the only country. It wasn't until they played the Russians they realized they weren't as alone as they thought they were..

Game 1, in Montreal, changed EVERYTHING. When the Canadians scored on their first two shots there were people thinking the next 7 games would be purely "good will and exhibition." However, the Russians came out in the second period and turned it on and blew the Canadian boys out 7-3...the best Canada had to offer were blown out...blown out right there in the Montreal Forum..The war was on.

Whenever people ask me "Why do the Canadians take international play so seriously? Why were the Vancouver Olympics such a big deal for Canada to win?" I always refer to game 1 of the Summit series. The memory of that game is why Canada is so relentless in their pursuit of hockey excellence.

And that game also changed hockey in Russia and Europe forever. Suddenly, the players oversees realized they could play this game at a level high enough to matter. The NHL wasn't unobtainable for the Russians, the Swedes, the Fins, and the Czechs...

And the excitement of that series put international hockey on the map...the Miracle on Ice may never have happened without the summit series. And the Miracle on Ice turned hockey from a sport loved by enthusiasts to a mainstream sport in America...

The Summit Series moved to Maple Leaf Gardens for Game 2 where the Canadians tied the series up with a 4-1 victory...

Game 3 was off to Winnipeg where the sides tied 4-4...a tie which would eventually help this series get it's storybook ending...

Game 4 was in Vancouver and the Russians won again, this time 5-3, in a game most famous for the Vancouver fans booing the team off the ice....and Phil Esposito going off on the fans for booing them

The Scene shifted to Moscow for the final four games and 3,000 Canadian fans travelled with the team, who dropped game 5, 5-4....

So, after 5 games the Russians were 3-1-1. Canada's only chance was to win the final three games in Moscow...and for the rest I encourage you to watch the youtube video below. It's awesome stuff...It's all that is right with the sport of hockey...



What's the Buzz?

Do you have any memories of this series?
Where were you 40 years ago today when Paul Henderson scored?

Coming Up....

I will have an update on the talks set for the next three days....There is almost no way of downplaying their importance if there is to be an NHL season that starts in October...
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