1972 Summit Series Quotations

"Napoleon didn't take Moscow, the Nazis got within 21 miles in 1943, but in a war of a different kind, Team Canada conquered Moscow." - journalist Dick Beddoes.

"It was a war, our society vs. theirs." - Phil Esposito

"If someone gave the Russians a football, they'd win the Super Bowl in two years." Frank Mahovlich

Who says nothing lasts forever? This series will. - Guy Lapointe

"I'd never on the Stanley Cup so I asked Cournoyer right after the final if this was like winning the Cup. He said, 'This is ten times better.' I believed him." - Dennis Hull

"This series proved finally that we were as good as they were." - Vladimir Lutchenko

"The Canadians battled with the ferocity and intensity of a cornered animal."   Anatoli Tarasov

"Unfortunately, I didn't have much ice time against the professionals. But what I had was enough for me. When I looked at my face, battered and bruised, in the mirror after my only game, I found it hard to believe I was only on for a few shifts." - Alexander Martyniuk

" If you've been writing the script, it couldn't have produced a more dramatic and exciting final." - Foster Hewitt

" It turned out to be more than just a hockey series. A lot of pride came into play - pride in yourself, pride in your team, pride in your country." Ed Johnston

"As we skated off the ice after the last game, I stopped for one more look around that old barn. I realized that never in my life would I be prouder or have more respect for a group of men that I did at that moment." Gary Bergman

"I remember going to the Forum and watching their first practice. They had these funny jerseys on like army vests. You expected when they turned around to see parachutes on their backs. We had no idea that the first game of the series would be played with the same intensity as the seventh game of a Stanley Cup final." Pat Stapleton

"What that team did, I don't think there has been a greater feat in sports. It was an unbelievable comeback against a great Russian team. I've never seen anything like it." Bobby Orr

"I still remember the NHL rivalries. The Rangers and Bruins especially, but when the series was over, they just weren't the same. We were on different teams, but part of us were still teammates." Brad Park

"It was the second and third periods in the eighth game. There was a quiet confidence in the dressing room. No one was saying much; we knew what we had to do." Ron Ellis

"It was war and, yes, hell for us whether we wanted it or not." Phil Esposito


"My emotions in game eight were so high, I lost total control. One of the few fights I ever had was with Mishakov. He raised me in the air and body slammed me to the ice. I was not a fighter." Rod Gilbert

"The moment we rescued Eagleson the doors at both ends of the rink smashed open. In marched the Red Army surrounding the entire rink. Taking our position back on the bench I turned to Cashman and said, 'Well, how do you feel about spending the rest of your life in Siberia?'" Bill Goldsworthy

"I'd never won the Stanley Cup so I asked Cournoyer right after the final if this was like winning the Cup. He said, 'This is ten times better.' I believed him." Dennis Hull

"Before the series began, we were advised that their calibre of hockey would not be as high as ours. Boy - were we in for a shock." Vic Hadfield

"I knew that I'd enver reach that level of play again. In retrospect, it was easier to reach within the NHL, give a little more, because you remembered giveing more in the series." Wayne Cashman

"The fifth game was the turning point. We were leading and then we lost. That should have destroyed us, but in the locker room we were really excited. We knew then we could beat this team." Red Berenson

"There was nothing we could do to stop the Soviets in game one. I felt like I was playing on my knees against Soviet speedsters like Kharlamov and Yakushev." Rod Seiling

"I didn't play the first game, and I remember going into the dressing room after the first period seeing the defensemen. They'd had it. Everything was moving so much faster than we'd thought. It was conditioning and there was nothing we could do about it. And the Russians, of course, just kept coming." Bill White

"They were a great hockey club. Most of the Russians were small but very strong, fast, with great skills. It was the highest level of hockey that I'd ever experienced." Jean Ratelle

"There was no such thing as a Francophone or a Westerner, or anything else. We were all Canadians. The series brought us all together. It brought an entire country together. It was Canada playing, not Team Canada. It was us against them and every Canadian somehow seemed to have a sense of ownership of that team. I guess war is the only thing that could bring a country together like that series did." Paul Henderson

"Nothing compared to the goal I scored in the second game of the series. In retrospect, I didn't deserve to be there in the series, but I went with thirty-five other guys ready to play and work hard. It all paid off." Pete Mahovlich

"When I returned from Russia, my hometown gave me a holiday. Imagine that, the mayor declared a holiday in Smooth Rock Falls. They had this big sign that said 'Home of J.P. Parise.' My dad was very proud." J.P. Parise

"I was a member of nine Stanley Cup teams, but this was the greatest experience of my career." Serge Savard

"The first game of the series made me think of when I was a little boy playing against men on the outdoor rinks in Peterborough. They were too fast, too strong and there was nothing we could do about it." Mickey Redmond

"I'll never forget the first game of the series. The Russians were using these sticks, 'Montreal Surprise', they were called. The name was all over them. It was like they knew what was going to happen." Don Awrey

"It wasn't just another series. It was the series." Frank Mahovlich

"Prior to each game in Canada, the players were introduced by our numbers. I remember standing ovations for Frank Mahovlich and then silence for myself and then another standing ovation for Ken Dryden. It was a humbling experience." Bobby Clarke

"I know what I felt at the end. I suspect most players felt the same. That is, that moment of celebration, of triumph, followed by incredible relief." Ken Dryden

"It was the most gratifying experience of my life. The spirit and friendships developed in that series continue to affect my life today." Dale Tallon

I was very young at this time. My entire career was in front of me. I knew there would be another chance for me to play in a series like this. I talked it over with Harry before I left. I wasn't upset or mad. I just wanted to get ready for the season opener. I was very proud of those guys." Gilbert Perreault

"The greatest flight I've ever flown was coming home." Marcel Dionne

"I was never the same emotionally. I came back and excelled but I honestly believe that if I'd never played in the series, I would've played better." Tony Esposito

"It was an honour to be chosen. I would have loved an opportunity to play. The Russians also had the kid line, and I always wished that myself, Perreault, and Dionne could have faced them." Richard Martin


"It was just great practising with our guys. I had a great opportunity to learn. I saw Russia. It was great hockey and the series was great for the game." Jocelyn Guevremont

"The series ended with 3000 Canadian fans standing tall, full of pride, eyes filled with tears singing O Canada like I've never heard it sung before or ever will again. I shall cherish that moment forever." Brian Glennie

"We were having a rough time in Moscow with the lousy hotels, phone calls to the players' rooms in the middle of the night, the Russians snatching much of the food we had sent over for the team, especially the steaks and beer, and the terrible officiating by the European officials. But a long cheer at the end of the first game in Moscow by the Canadian fans was a big lift for our spirits." Harry Sinden

"I've never played in a series that mattered when the going didn't get rough. My view on this: I don't care how we win, as long as we win." John Ferguson

"I thought I had one of the hardest slap shots in the world. When I arrived in Montreal, I discovered that almost every Canadian's shot was at least as hard as mine." Alexander Gusev

"We had always beaten them in the Olympics and world championships. I'd often heard that their best players were in the NHL and it bothered me that we weren't playing against them. The series proved finally that we were as good as they were." Vladimir Lutchenko

"As captain, my job was to inspire my teammates both on the ice and off. But in this series that wasn't necessary. Everyone understood we were playing the most important tournament of our lives." Viktor Kuzkin

"The coaches gave me the unenviable task of covering Phil Esposito. He was a different kind of center for me - very big, strong, always in the slot. Ours was a battle of two huge bears." Alexander Ragulin

"Maybe it is not being very humble, but I think the Canadians know now that Russians can hit the same way they can." Valeri Vasiliev

"Our coaches didn't allow us to shoot the puck into their zone. We were instructed to cross the blue line only by passing. The Canadians would dump the puck into our zone and chase after it. I don't know why our coaches thought this was a bad play. They scored a lot of goals this way." Gennady Tsygankov

"I had never seen Phil Esposito play. Many journalists had told me that we had a similar style. But in this series, he taught me some new tricks." Vyacheslav Starshinov

"It was uncanny. Gary Bergman was always between me and their net. He seemed to know all of my moves. I had the feeling we had played a hundred games against each other before." Yuri Blinov

"Everybody told me Yvan Cournoyer was faster. He was very fast. I remember many great skating duels with him. Fortunately, hockey is not just skating." Alexander Maltsev

"The most important goal in my hockey career was the first Soviet goal of the series. I only played two games but I shall always remember the red light shining behind Ken Dryden's back in the first period in Montreal." Yevgeny Zimin

"I'm always reminded of a fight I had with Rod Gilbert in the final game. Soviet coaches prohibit fighting. They asked us not to fight in the series. Because Gilbert was quick to use his fists. I had no choice. Fortunately, Bobrov was not upset." Evgeny Mishakov

"Sometimes I felt it was a real war on ice. We shook hands before and after the games, but I'm not sure it was the handshake of sportsmanship. We were hockey rivals and each of us wanted to show the world our superiority." Boris Mikhailov

"I watched the games and tried to understand what made us different. There wasn't much difference in skills. The difference was in passion. The Canadians played every minute of every game until the final buzzer. I don't think they ever looked at the scoreboard." Yuri Shatalov

"Paul Henderson and I have a similar story. Neither of us was considered a great star before the series. Now hockey fans in the Soviet Union and Canada know our names. In later years, I became one of the great players on the national team. The series was a turning point in my career." Alex Yakushev

"By Soviet standards I'd always been considered an offensive centerman. Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke forced me to play a more defensive style. The experience made me a better all around player." Vladimir Petrov

"I am convinced that Bobby Clarke was given the job of taking me out of the game. Sometimes, I thought it was his only goal. I looked into his angry eyes, saw his stick which wielded like a sword, and didn't understand what he was doing. It had nothing to do with hockey." Valeri Kharlamov

"I remember the opening faceoff. I knew this faceoff was symbolic. I didn't know why, but I really wanted to win it. At the last second, I decided not to fight for the puck. I thought it would look strange." Vladimir Vikulov

"When the Canadians were practicing, I noticed they skated differently. We skated with more finesse, they skated with power. Their blades carved the ice so loudly. They seemed so tireless." Vladimir Shadrin

"It was a beautiful summer, I was supposed to get married but I had to postpone the wedding three times and it wasn't easy. There were lots of other guys who wanted to marry my wife too. We were married on August 23rd. Two days later, I was back in training and a day after that the team left for Canada. I tell people I spent my honeymoon with Canadian hockey players."
Vladislav Tretiak

"I was a reserve most of the series but even from the bench it was a great experience to watch the play. It's something I can tell my grandchildren." Vyacheslav Solodukhin

"It was my rookie season with the national team. I was amazed by Phil Esposito, Ron Ellis, and Pat Stapleton. I was proud that my size and speed could compete with them." Vyacheslav Anisin

"The series taught me an important lesson. Canadians like Gary Bergman and Bill White played a very tough game. As a result, they created a lot of free space around them. After the series, I tried to play tough all my career." Yuri Lebedev

"I was completely overwhelmed. I was too young to understand my role in a series that involved the greatest hockey players in the world. Still today, I find it hard to believe I faced players like Brad Park and Guy Lapointe." Alexander Bodunov

"It turned out to be my worst nightmare. Now all these years later everyone knows that Paul Henderson scored when Yuri Liapkin gave up the puck." Yuri Liapkin

I thought I was prepared for the series, but that was a mistake. I had no idea professionals like Peter Mahovlich and Dennis Hull were so strong." Yevgeny Poladiev

"Although I did not play in the series, it helped me a great deal. I played center in junior and when I became a goaltender, I used to move out of the net a lot, trying to intercept passes. Our coaches wanted me to stay within the crease. After the series they let me play my own style. We had seen the best goaltenders in the world and each of them had his own style." Alexander Sidelnikov

"I remember feeling that whenever I was on the ice, I was being hit by Phil Esposito or Gary Bergman. I don't remember any free time with the puck." Alexander Volchkov

"Boris Kulagin has a gift of being able to find the right approach to every player on the team. He always take in consideration each players' individuality. The most convincing example of his educational mastery is the story of the fascinating rise of the Krylya Sovetov." Valery Kharlamov


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