One of the greatest players of all time, Yvan Cournoyer -
nicknamed "The Roadrunner" for good reason - used his blazing speed to
keep up with and even beat the Soviets on many rushes. His goal in game two
where he blew past a Soviet rearguard like he was a practice pylon was a perfect
example of that. It was also a huge goal for Canada's morale. In game one it was
the Soviets, and especially the great Valeri Kharlamov, who made the Canadians
look stiff. Cournoyer's magic on that goal really fired up Team Canada.
While most of the lines on Team Canada were shuffled throughout
the series, Cournoyer seemed to find a home with Phil Esposito in the big
In fact, Cournoyer was on the ice for the famous series winning goal, and
was instrumental in setting it up. He was able to intercept a Soviet clearing
attempt and fired a cross-ice pass to a streaking Henderson. Henderson of course
was tripped up initially and unable to handle the puck. But the unit's big
centerman Phil Esposito was able to swat the puck beyond the lone Soviet
defender and to Henderson directly in front of the net. Henderson of course was
able to bang the puck behind the fallen Vladislav Tretiak. Henderson joyously
jumped into Cournoyer's arms in perhaps hockey's most famous photograph.
The Hockey Hall of Famer won 10 Stanley Cups in the National
Hockey League, but is quick to include the September Showdown as an equal in his
list of most cherished achievements in hockey.