Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, center, drops the puck during the ceremonial face-off between the USSR’s Vladimir Vikulov, left, and Canada’s Phil Esposito, right, on Sept. 2, 1972, in the Montreal Forum. (The Canadian Press)

By George Da SIlva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Fifty years ago today, the hockey world was changed  for ever by the start of an eight-game series between national teams from Canada, loaded with NHL stars in their prime, and the Soviet Union, considered the two best hockey nations in the world at the time. The eight game series was played in the month of September. The series was a must see for hockey fans across the globe and after its dramatic finish, a 4-3-1 series win for the Canadians. There was no question that the NHL would never be the same again.

Game 1 @ Montreal, Canada
September 2nd, 1972


The first game of the Summit Series started as if it would be a cakewalk for Canada. By the final whistle, the packed house at the Montreal  Forum sat in stunned disbelief after a 7-3 victory for the Soviet Union.

First Period: 1, Canada, P. Esposito 1 (F. Mahovlich, Bergman), :30. 2, Canada, Henderson 1 (Clarke), 6:32. 3, USSR, Zimin 1 (Yakushev, Shadrin) 11:40. 4, USSR, Petrov 1 (Mikhailov) 17.28, (sh).

Second Period: 5, USSR, Kharlamov 1 (Maltsev), 2:40. 6, USSR, Kharlamov 2 (Maltsev), 10:18.

Third Period: 7, Canada, Clarke 1 (Ellis, Henderson), 8:22. 8, USSR, Mikhailov 1 (Blinov), 13:32. 9, USSR, Zimin 2, 14:29. 10, USSR, Yakushev 1 (Shadrin), 18:37

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 10-10-10–30. Canada 10-10-12–32.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-0-0 (32 shots on goal, 29 saves). Canada, Dryden 0-1-0 (30-23).

Attendance: 18,818