Summit ’72 “Game 1 – Eyes Opened Wide”
September 2, 2012 in 1972 Canada-Russia hockey, International Hockey, Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens Tags: Ken Dryden, Paul Henderson, Phil Esposito, Pierre Trudeau, Valeri Kharlamov, Vladimir Vikulov
Finally. The big night. The night we as proud Canadians will have our best hockey team teach a big honkin’ lesson to the Russkies, whom I feel sorry for because they’re going to get embarrassed and want to catch the next Aeroflot back to their mamas. Maybe we should let them score the odd goal.
The Russians and their fans back home are going to see how it’s really done. They’re going to be amazed by our skating and our big blasts and our hockey brains. They must be nervous, and I don’t blame them.
Pierre Trudeau drops the puck between Phil Esposito and Vladimir Vikulov, and of course our guy wins the faceoff handily. He’s suppose to win it, it’s protocol, but he’s done it with purpose, with pizzazz. No way that foreigner was going to get that puck. A statement made.
It’s the start of what should be a beautiful night, and when Esposito scores after just 30 seconds, and Paul Henderson then makes it 2-0 after only six minutes and change, it’s to be expected. Yes indeed. Maybe we’ll need a calculator to track the Canadian point-getters.
But something doesn’t seem right. The Russians seem to playing as well as the Canadians, sometimes better. Often better, in fact. It’s disturbing. Why isn’t Team Canada toying with this bunch? How come the other guys have the puck so much?
Suddenly, and not totally unexpected at this point - a Russian goal. Then another. Then a couple of out-of-this-world markers by some guy named Kharlamov, who makes us sit up and ask, who the &%^$# is that?
It’s now 4-3 for the visitors in the third, and like a hammer and sickle to our hearts, the Russians get another still, then another after that, and yes, another after that. Goaltender Ken Dryden looks as average as can be, and why is that? He’s one of the players who knows how the Russians play. And he’s been standing on his head as a Montreal Canadien. But he’s mostly sitting on his ass tonight, and when the siren goes, I see the Russians almost wiping their hands after a solid day’s work.
Such party poopers.
7-3 Russians. This isn’t supposed to happen.