September / Canada150 – Summit Series
Hockey – the Canadian game, pastime, passion and glue that holds us together. And never more so than during those 27 Days in September book, 1972. The Summit Series, Super Series or Canada-Russia Series, whatever you want to call it, was the only thing the nation cared about for 27 days that September. It was an 8-game series played between the Soviet National Team and Team Canada, a select group of NHL all-stars.
Cold War, cool reception
The series was played during the cold war and intense feelings of nationalism were aroused in both Canada and the Soviet Union, as well as on the ice. The first four games were played in Canada, and the Canadian fans gave a cool reception to the Soviet players. Team Canada was lead by Phil Esposito. He gave an impassioned speech beseeching the Canadian fans to give them more support before they headed to Moscow for the final four games. Canadians who thought this would be a cake-walk were chastised by the players.
The series was filled with controversy, including disputes over officiating and dirty play on the part of both teams.
Where were you?
Most Canadians born before 1967 remember where they were when Paul Henderson scored for Canada to win the series. I was in the gym of my grade school watching the game on a small TV with 400 other kids and our principal, Paul Henderson. – Margot