Game Five: Buried in Moscow

Team Canada nicknamed themselves as Team 50 once they arrived in the Soviet Union. After being unceremoniously booed off the ice in the final game in Canada, the team felt alone in the world. Seemingly it was just the 50 of them (players plus the coaches, trainers, doctors, etc.) behind the vaunted Iron Curtain, and they were taking on the mighty Soviet empire all by themselves.

Or so they thought.

It quickly became obvious that they did, in fact, have the support of the Canadian public, and that played a major role in Canada's successes in Russia.

Approximately 3,000 Canadian fans made the trip to Moscow. They cheered on their heroes from bad seats in Luzhniki Ice Palace, but they didn't care. They cheered and partied so enthusiastically that the usually calm and collected Russian spectators seemed to be taken aback by the Canadians' behaviour.

And tens of thousands of Canadians back home sent best wishes in the form of telegrams to the team. The team pasted these telegrams in their dressing room so that they would be reminded of the support that they did indeed have -- the support that they thought they had last after the first four games of the series.

Thirteen days separated Games 4 and 5. Canada prepared for the Moscow leg of the trip in Sweden where they would get used to the large ice surface by playing a couple of rough exhibition games.

Nearly everyone agreed that there was too much time between games, so everyone was relieved to drop the puck for Game 5. The Canadians were anxious and ready to get it back on.

Before the puck drop however there were some long pre-game ceremonies to go through. During the player introductions, Phil Esposito immediately made himself a crowd favorite in Russia as he slipped on the ice when he was introduced. The crowd chuckled while the blushing Esposito got up and bowed to the crowd with a huge smile on his face. That was just one of many memorable moments to come in Moscow.

Team Canada opened game 5 by playing the best first 40 minutes that they had played yet. They built a 3-0 lead, and were dominating the game. Jean-Paul Parise opened the scoring in the 1st period, making him the first Canadian professional to score a goal in Russia.

Paul Henderson was the star of this game. Already with one goal, he would crash heavily into the boards and lay motionless for sometime. He suffered a concussion, but refused to listen to doctor's advice and even the team's advice to sit for the rest of the game. He came back and scored on his very next shift. That goal gave Canada a commanding 4-1 lead in the third period.

Team Canada just seemed to stop skating in the third period and the Russians capitalized. It was just as if they flicked on a switch. Five third period goals on 11 shots had unthinkably given the Russians the 5-4 win.

The Russians had Team Canada backed into a corner. With a 3-1-1 lead, it now seemed next to impossible for Canada to win. The tides had turned. Team Soviet became complacent and arrogant. Canada was ready to fight back, and were coming together just at the right time.

CBC Radio Coverage Of Game Five - CBC Radio (3:04)

1972 Summit Game Five Box Score
 Sept. 22, 1972 -  USSR 5 - Canada 4
Game 5 Moscow, Sept. 22, 1972. USSR 5 - Canada 4

First Period  
1-Canada Parise (Perreault, Gilbert) 15:30
Ellis (tripping) 3:49, Kharlamov (slashing) 12:25

Second Period  
2-Canada Clarke (Henderson) 3:34
3-Canada Henderson (Lapointe, Clarke) 11:58

Ellis (slashing) 5:38, Kharlamov (holding) 5:38, Bergman (roughing) 8:13, White (slashing) 20:00, Blinov (slashing) 20:00

Third Period
Blinov (Petrov, Kuzkin) 3:34
5-Canada Henderson (Clarke) 4:56
6-USSR Anisin (Liapkin, Yakushev) 9:05
7-USSR Shadrin (Anisin) 9:13
8-USSR Gusev (Ragulin, Kharlamov) 11:41
9-USSR Vikulov (Kharlamov) 14:46
Clarke (holding) 10:25, Tsygankov (high sticking) 10:25, Yakushev (hooking) 15:48

Shots on goal:
         12  13  12  -  37
Soviet Union: 
9   13  11  -  33

Tretiak (33/37) 60 minutes, 4 goals against
T. Esposito (28/33) 60 minutes played, 5 goals against

Game MVPs:
USSR - Petrov - Yakushev
Canada - T. Esposito - Henderson

15,000 (Moscow)

Players on ice:
Bergman, Stapleton, Park, Ellis, P. Esposito, Gilbert, Cournoyer, Seiling, White, Ratelle, Henderson, P. Mahovlich, Parise, Lapointe, F. Mahovlich, Clarke, Perreault

Soviet Union: Gusev, Lutchenko, Kuzkin, Ragulin, Tsygankov, Blinov, Maltsev, Misahkov, Mikhailov, Yakushev, Petrov, Kharlamov, Vikulov, Shadrin, Anisin, Liapkin, Martyniuk

Photo Feature

Alexander Maltsev's speed impressed North American fans, but those fans never really witnessed the true greatness of Maltsev in the '72 series as he never quite found his "A" game.. 

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