Where were you in '72?

Readers send us their memories of the ‘72 Summit Series and the goal of the century.

Compiled by Canada’s History

Posted July 4, 2012

We asked readers about their memories of the last game of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the U.S.S.R. Below are some of their responses.

I was in my Grade 8 classroom at Ridgeway school in Oshawa Ontario and the teacher wheeled a TV into the room and we all crowded around to watch the game. What I remember most was the pure joy and Canadian pride in a room full of 12-year-olds when that goal was scored by Canada.

Favourite moments were Espo breaking the tension by getting up and taking a bow when he fell on the ice, the footage of the Canadians arriving in Russia, identifying as a Canadian and really understanding patriotism then.

— Patricia Robinson

My best friend and I were at the Montreal Forum for the first game — and I have to say that we were SHOCKED at how well the Russians played. For the last game I was at home glued to the TV. It was the biggest event of my life (I was 26 at the time). I remember well Hennderson's goal — and hearing my neighbours in the Montreal suburb of NDG scream with joy.

— Tim Landry

We were in the gymnasium at school, watching on the large black-and-white TV on wheels — complete with rabbit ears, watching the game with about a hundred other students. I was angry because my brother who was in a higher grade and went to another school was allowed to stay home that day to watch the game. The Henderson goal was magic. We knew it was coming — we could feel it. For some reason, it meant everything. Phil Esposito falling on the ice & the crowd laughing was another great moment.

— Brian Laufman

I was at school, Niagara University. Going from class to class, I went by the lounge area... never made it to the next class. The room erupted when Paul made his goal.

— Dale Madison

At Mary Hopkins Public School, Waterdown, Ontario — for game 7, our teachers put a TV in the big open area between 4 classrooms, and we all crowded around. It's one of my best memories of elementary school. One of the school bullies made a great show of cheering for the Russians — we were thrilled when he got his comeuppance!

— Jonathan Vance

I was sitting on the gymnasium floor at German's School. The entire school was there. It was a rural school where I was fortunate to be teaching special needs children. The staff was like a big family and the children were our children. We had only one television set in the school and NO cable etc. One of the staff members "jiggled and wiggled the antennae" until we were able to see a fuzzy screen coming and going. These measures did not deter anyone from focusing, as best they could, and listening quietly. I was amazed when the entire school erupted when Henderson scored the winning goal. Many of the children from the area played hockey on teams in the county.

— Rita Vankeuren

I was in the lounge at the Port Arthur General Hospital, Thunder Bay, Ontario, having just given birth to my first son, 9 lb. 6 oz. He never did take up hockey himself, despite seeing that amazing game at such a tender young age, he prefers curling and soccer!

— Susan Marrier

I was working in the Town of Markham municipal office when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal in the last game. We were listening to the game on the radio and were very annoyed when a resident, who obviously wasn't a hockey fan and had no sense of that momentous occasion, wouldn't stop asking us questions instead of listening to the game like everyone else was!

— Bob Martindale

In 1972 I was traveling about on a motorcycle in Australia and had no inkling that this series was being played. Prior to leaving in early 1972 there was some talk about such a series taking place but nothing was arranged. In May 1973 I was sitting in a dentist's office in Kalgoorlie. There was a six-month-old copy of Time magazine. I started reading it and there was an article about the Canada-Russia hockey series from the previous autumn. There was absolutely nothing about this in any Australian newspaper or sportscast. No one had bothered to say anything in any letter. Paul Henderson is from Lucknow, Ontario and I grew up five miles away. We used to play fastball against his team from Lucknow all the time.

— Ron Moore

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