the 1972 Summit Series
Brought to you by Decisive-Action Sports
Game 5 -
Soviet Union 7 - Canada 3
MOSCOW – Although the Soviets’ top line of Vladimir Petrov, Valeri Kharlamov, and Boris Mikhailov were effectively contained on the narrow NHL rinks of Canada, experts conceded it was not a matter of “if”, but “when” these top guns would make their presence known.
The Soviet top line contributed four points during a five-goal avalanche in the second period that ultimately buried Canada 7-3 at the Luzhniki Arena.
Petrov scored a hat trick and two assists, Kharlamov had a goal and two assists, and Mikhailov tallied a goal and an assist. The Soviets’ decisive win evens the series at 2-2-1 with three games remaining.
“My success was a result of the efforts of my line mates and teammates,” Petrov modestly told reporters after the game. “I had not thought about my personal statistics before the game, but rather, how could I help the team.”
Goalie Vladislav Tretiak, the game’s Third Star, also played a major role in the win. In the wild, seven-goal second period, he stopped Esposito, Clarke, and Cournoyer on breakaways.
Coach Harry Sinden made no excuses for his team.
“They outplayed us tonight,” he said bluntly. “It’s their own building and they played with a renewed determination.”
It might have been a matter of pride, but Sinden had a number of alibis he could have used. First, the team is still recovering from jetlag from the intense travel schedule the past week between Stockholm, Prague, and Moscow.
Second, a flu virus has affected a number of Canadians. Ken Dryden spiked a mild fever and did not dress; alternate Eddie Johnson sat on the bench. Paul Henderson has a head cold, but still dressed. Assistant coach John Ferguson has a slight temperature, but still performed his duties.
The Soviets struck first on the game’s opening shot, just 11 seconds into the game. After winning the opening face-off, they immediately attacked the Canadian zone. Mikhailov sent a long diagonal pass to Petrov, who was streaking down the left wing. Petrov took one stride and swept the puck past defenseman Brad Park and startled goalie Tony Esposito.
Cournoyer evened the score at 5:59. Playing on a provisional line with Ron Ellis and Bobby Clarke, he recovered a rebound from defenseman Gary Bergman’s shot and flipped it past Tretiak.
Team Canada briefly gained the lead at 2:27 of the second period. Phil Esposito deflected defenseman Bill White’s slap shot to make the score 2-1.
The Soviets responded with two quick goals within 38 seconds to retake the lead.
Petrov scored his second goal on a breakaway at 4:19, taking a head-man pass from Aleksandr Gusev, faking to his backhand, then wristing a fore-handed shot after Esposito leaned too far to his right.
On the ensuing face-off, Frank Mahovlich was whistled off for tripping. At 3:57, Vladimir Shadrin scored a power-play goal, beating Esposito with a wrist shot that clanged off the far post and into the net.
Team Canada tied the score 3-3 at 8:15 on the power play – Team Canada’s first man-advantage goal of the series. J.P. Parise, playing at the point, one-timed a set-up pass from Rod Gilbert knuckle-balled past Tretiak.
The turning point of the game came when Gary Bergman got the gate at 12:40 for holding. The Soviets kept up an intense pressure on the penalty killers, keeping the puck deep in the offensive zone for well over a minute. At 13:55, Vladimir Vikulov found himself alone on the corner of the crease. Aleksandr Bodunov launched a pin-point pass through a screen that Vikulov caromed off a skate into the net.
The goal seemed to deflate the Canadians, who were beginning to show signs of exhaustion. This may have accounted for the last two goals scored in the second period.
Aleksandr Yakushev intercepting a clearing pass while the Canadians were attempting a line change. He darted the puck to Petrov who bore down on Esposito and froze him with a wrist shot to the lower glove-side corner for the hat trick to give the Soviets a 5-3 lead at 16:33.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in at 19:03 during a Canadian power play. Pat Stapleton misplayed a lateral pass from Bergman at the point. Kharlamov stripped him of the puck, then beat Esposito with a backhander on the breakaway. A penalty to Yuri Liapkin had expired an instant before the shot went in, so the goal technically was even-strength.
In the third period, the Soviets were content to sit on their lead. The only goal of the period was scored at 10:02 by Mikhailov on a slap shot that Esposito partially deflected.
Sinden has less than 48 hours to find a way to get his team back on track.
Please Note: While the above result and box score are supplied by incredible re-enactment game Classic Hockey by Decisive-Action Sports, the game write up is fictional