The legacy of the greatest hockey series ever played, fifty years later, with stories from the players that shed new light on those incredible games and times.
“Cournoyer has it on that wing. Here’s a shot. Henderson made a wild stab for it and fell. Here’s another shot. Right in front...they score! Henderson has scored for Canada!”
These immortal words, spoken to hockey fans around the world by the legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt, capture the historic final-seconds goal scored by Paul Henderson that won the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Hockey fans know the moment well, but the story of those amazing eight games has never been fully told—until now.
The series was the first of its kind, and one of the most dramatic sporting showdowns in history. With the Soviets dominating international hockey, this series was meant to settle the debate, once and for all, of who owned the game. It was Canada’s best against the Soviets for the first time. And in the shadow of the Cold War, this was about more than eight games of hockey.
Expectations were high as the series began. This was supposed to be easy for Team Canada, but after the disappointing first four games on home ice with only one win, victory seemed out of reach. With the final four games in Moscow, Canada got a rare glimpse behind the iron curtain as the team, as well as three thousand raucous fans, arrived in the USSR. Amid the culture shock and strained relations, what followed was a tug-of-war battle that lasted to the dying seconds of game 8.
Now, five decades after this historic event, it’s time to reflect on the greatest hockey series ever played. Veteran journalist and hockey analyst Scott Morrison uses a storyteller’s voice to reveal what it meant to hockey then, and what it means now. Filled with the memories of the players and others involved with the series, he shows how it changed the game, and challenged a nation’s sense of identity and place in the world.