Game Two: Redemption

Canada redeemed themselves nicely in Game 2, thanks largely to a couple of brother acts, and a radically different game plan.

Canada's arrogant thoughts of easily crushing their communist counterparts had backfired, meaning they simply had to win this game to restore confidence in the Canadian people and themselves. In that sense, Game 2 was the most important game of the series for Canada.

And win they did. They held the upper hand on the Soviets most of the night, but had significant trouble beating the skinny 20-year-old goalie Vladislav Tretiak.

After a scoreless first period, Phil Esposito, who was quickly establishing himself as the undisputable leader of Team Canada, opened the scoring in the second period. Yvan Cournoyer used his blazing speed to make the Russian defense look slow on an early power-play marker in the third period, but the Big Yak, Alexander Yakushev, pulled the Soviets to within one just 4 minutes later on the feared Russian power-play unit.

Yakushev's goal was the only one that would get by Chicago Blackhawks goaltending great Tony Esposito. Phil's brother had replaced Ken Dryden in the Canadian nets for this game. It was a good move as Esposito played well and adapted better to the Soviet's criss-crossing offense.

On the same power play, Pete Mahovlich scored on what was perhaps the most remarkable individual effort of the series. With Canada killing a penalty, the lanky "Little M" picked up a Phil Esposito clearing attempt just inside the center line. Faking his patented slapshot, Mahovlich deked a Soviet defender and drove in alone on Tretiak. He faked a forehand shot, went to his backhand, and while falling on top of Tretiak managed to slip the puck into the net by using his impressive long reach. To this day Tretiak is puzzled as to how the puck made it past him, as he knows he played the shot perfectly.

Mahovlich's Miracle Goal - TSN/ESPN Classic Canada

Peter's amazing solo rush awed the Soviets. Big brother Frank Mahovlich teamed up with Czechoslovakian-born Stan Mikita a little more than two minutes later to cement the win. Mikita stole the puck behind the goal and centered to the unchecked Big M, who one-timed a shot off of the post and behind Tretiak.

Led by Phil Esposito's inspiration and Tony Esposito's stellar goaltending, and Pete and Frank Mahovlich's heroic goal scoring, all was well in Canada again.

The Canadians were successful because they played the simplest of game plans. They dressed a more physical lineup and focussed on a fierce forechecking game as well as a tight defensive game. The players were willing to listen to their coaching staffs after being stunned and humiliated in game one. The arrogant NHLers didn't believe that what happened could happen in Game 1, and after it did they were all very attentive to their coaches advice. By doing so, they restored their pride.

"They were more respectful of us in the second game," said Soviet captain Boris Mikhailov. "They understood we could play good hockey. They played very well, a very physical game. We had not seen such a style of game."

1972 Summit Game Two Box Score
 Sept. 4, 1972 -  Canada 4 - USSR 1
First Period  
No Scoring
Park (cross checking) 10:08, Henderson (tripping) 15:19

Second Period  
Canada Phil Esposito (Park, Cashman) 7:14
Penalties: Gusev (tripping) 2:07, Soviet Union Bench Minor (served by Zimin) 4;13, Bergman (tripping) 15:16, Tsygankov (slashing) 19:54, Kharlamov (10 minute misconduct) 19:54

Third Period
2-CANADA Cournoyer (Park) 1:19 (PP)
3-USSR Yakushev (Liapkin, Zimin) 5:53 (PP)
4-CANADA P. Mahovlich (P. Esposito) 6:47 (SH)
5-CANADA F. Mahovlich (Mikita, Cournoyer) 8:59

Clarke (slashing) 5:13, Stapleton (hooking) 6:14

Shots on goal:
Soviet Union:  7   5   9  - 21
Canada:         10 16 10 -  36

Tretiak (32/36) 60 minutes, 4 goals against
T. Esposito (20/21) 60 minutes, 1 goal against

Game MVPs:
USSR - Tretiak
Canada - P. Esposito & T. Esposito

Attendance 16,485 (Toronto)

Players on Ice:
Bergman, Stapleton, Park, Ellis, P. Esposito, Goldsworthy, Cournoyer, Cashman, White, Henderson, P.Mahovlich, Mikita, Parise, Savard, Lapointe, F. Mahovlich, Clarke

Soviet Union: Gusev, Lutchenko, Kuzkin, Ragulin, Tsygankov, Starshinov, Maltsev, Zimin, Mishakov, Mikhailov, Yakushev, Petrov, Kharlamov, Shadrin, Anisin, Liapkin, Paladiev

Photo Feature

Tony Esposito was instrumental in stopping Soviet shooters in game 2. At the other end of the ice brother Phil scored 1 goal and 1 assist en route to Canada's first victory of the series. 
1972 Summit Series Games

Game One
Game Two
Game Three
Game Four
Game Five
Game Six
Game Seven
Game Eight


Buy the DVD!
Canada's Team of the Century

Dennis Kane Collection