Game Three: The Win That Got Away

One of Canada's top players was deliberately left off the Team Canada roster for the 1972 Summit Series. Bobby Hull had jumped to the World Hockey Association, and the NHL decided there was no way he would be included on Team Canada.

Hull would be forced to watch in the stands in his new hometown of Winnipeg on September 6. He, like the rest of Canada, wondered which Team Canada would show up: The one that bombed in Montreal, or dominated in Toronto?

The answer was both. Canada probably should have won the game, but they blew two two-goal leads during this game. It became obvious that this team was not yet in good enough condition or playing as a cohesive unit.

Despite out-shooting the Russians 15-9 in the first period, Team Canada only led by a 2-1 margin. Canada played very well in the first period, led by Jean-Paul Parise's goal just 1:54 into the game. Vladimir Petrov answered back for the Soviets, but Jean Ratelle tapped in a wonderful pass from Yvan Cournoyer to give Canada the lead after one.

Canada was playing a very physical game, however Wayne Cashman was being watched closely. He made his presence felt in Game 2 so much that he was all the Russians would talk about after the game. They didn't appreciate the physical liberties he took on them, nor did they appreciate the referees failure to enforce the rules. In this game, he wasn't being allowed to use his usual tricks.

A wild second period saw the Soviet's secret weapon unveiled. In what amounted to the Russian version of the "Kid Line," the Russians dressed Yuri Lebedev, Alex Bodunov and Viacheslav Anisin for the first time. The trio represented the future of Soviet hockey, and they contributed hugely to the tie in Winnipeg.

Canada opened the second period scoring thanks to Phil Esposito. Valeri Kharlamov answered with a short handed goal only to have Paul Henderson restore the impressive 2 goal lead.

Cue the Kid Line.

At 14:59 of the second period, Yuri Lebedev deflected a Valeri Vasiliev point shot. Then at 18:28, the talented Alexander Bodunov took a nice centering pass from Viacheslav Anisin to tie the game at 4.

"They put out that young line we hadn't seen before and they dominated us," said coach Harry Sinden.

The third period featured no scoring and relatively few shots. But the period wasn't nearly as close in terms of territorial play. The Canadians tired noticeably in the third period and were lucky that the Soviets didn't display more of a killer instinct.

1972 Summit Game Three Box Score
 Sept. 6, 1972 -  Canada 4 - USSR 4

First Period 
1-Canada Parise (White, P. Esposito) 1:54
2-USSR Petrov 3:16 (SH)
3-Canada Ratelle (Cournoyer, Bergman) 18:25
Penalties: Vasiliev (elbowing) 3:02,
Cashman (slashing) 8:01, Parise (interference) 15:47

Second Period
4-Canada P Esposito (Cashman, Parise) 4:19
5-USSR Kharlamov (Tsygankov) 12:56 (SH)
6-Canada Henderson (Clarke, Ellis) 13:47
7-USSR Lebedev (Anisin, Vasiliev) 14:59
8-USSR Bodunov (Anisin) 18:28
Penalties: Petrov (interference) 4:46, Lebedev (tripping) 11:00

Third Period
No Scoring
White (slashing), Mishakov (slashing) 1:33, Cashman (minor, slashing and 10 minute misconduct) 10:44

Shots on goal:
Soviet Union:  9  8  8  - 25
Canada         15 17 6 - 38

Tretiak (34/38) 60 minutes, 4 goals
T. Esposito (21/25) 60 minutes, 4 goals

Game MVPs:
USSR - Tretiak
Canada - Henderson

9,800 (Winnipeg)

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

Soviet Union: Gusev, Lutchenko, Kuzkin, Vasiliev, Tsygankov, Maltsev, Mishakov, Mikhailov, Shatalov, Yakushev, Petrov, Kharlamov, Shadrin, Solodukhin, Anisin, Lebedev, Bodunov

Photo Feature

The above issue of The Hockey News summed up the shock in Canada following the first four games in Canada.. 
1972 Summit Series Games

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

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Canada's Team of the Century