Source Pravda.Ru

30 years since first USSR vs. Canada game

September 2nd, 1972 saw a historic event, which changed the world of ice-hockey. On that day the Montreal stadium "Forum" hosted the first game of the famous Soviet and Canadian series of ice-hockey games, when the USSR team for the first time crossed the hockey sticks with the Canadian team, completely formed from the best NHL players.

The series comprised eight games and all citizens of the North American continent were confident of the victories with the embarrassing for the Soviet team final scores.

However, the final score after the first game was rather embarrassing for the Canadian team - 3:7. Back then, the Soviet team demonstrated a colourful and outstanding game and proved that the Canadian professionals were no longer invincible.

Two days later in Toronto the Canadian team defeated the Soviet team - 4:1.

On September 6th, in Vinnipeg the professionals ended the game in a draw - 4:4, and on September 8th in Vancouver lost to the Soviet team - 3:5.

The Canadian professionals fought hard in Moscow, and by having lost the first game on September 22nd - 4:5, won the following three games: on September 24th - 3:2, on September 26th - 4:3, and on September 28th - 6:5. On that day, during the live broadcast of the game, famous Soviet sportscaster Nikolai Ozerov delivered his famous phrase "we don't need this kind of hockey!" Each team considered itself a winner of the series - the Canadian team thought like that, because they had won 4 games, lost 3 and ended one in a draw, and the Soviet team - because they scored more goals in eight games.

The series marked the beginning of regular meetings with the professionals at a level of hockey clubs as well as of National teams. These games mutually enriched Soviet and Canadian hockey schools, enabling Soviet and Canadian coaches to borrow methods of practices and tactic skills.

The games against the Canadian professionals introduced talents of the new generation: Vladislav Tretyak, Valery Vasilyev, Gennady Tsygankov, Vladimir Lutchenko, Vladimir Petrov, Boris Mikhailov, Valery Kharlamov, Alexander Yakushev, Vladimir Shadrin, Aleksander Maltsev.

Valery Kharlamov was announced as the best Soviet team player, by having scored two goals in a game. After the game one of the Canadian coaches approached Kharlamov and proposed him a $1mln contract for playing in NHL.

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