the 1972 Summit Series
Brought to you by Decisive-Action Sports
Game 6 -
Canada 5 - Soviet Union 3
MOSCOW – At the start of Game 6, both the spectators and the Soviet National Team sensed that Team Canada was on the ropes, ready to go down at the next flurry.
Paul Henderson sees things differently. His two goals, including the game winner at 15:28 of the third period, plus an assist gave Canada a well-earned 5-3 win, despite being out shot 34-25.
The Canadians, who twice came back in the contest, now hold a 3-2-1 series advantage and look to claim total victory in the next meeting.
“This was a night the puck bounced our way,” Henderson said. “We were fortunate enough to capitalize on the few opportunities we had.”
Brad Park got Canada on the scoreboard first in the opening period at 9:23, firing a long slap shot that Soviet defenseman Aleksandr Ragulin inadvertently deflected into his own goal.
The Soviets evened the score at 11:16 when Aleksandr Yakushev took a long breakout pass from Vladimir Shadrin, beat defenseman Guy Lapointe and fired a low wrister that handcuffed Dryden.
Despite playing more disciplined hockey, the Canadian defense still has not found a way to contain the Soviet power play, which went 2-4 tonight. Skillful passing through a seam in the Canadian defensive box found Vladimir Vikulov open on the weak side open, who calmly shot past Dryden at 12:42 of the second period to give the Soviets a 2-1 lead.
The Canadians tied the game late in the period when Bobby Clarke intercepted a weak clearing pass on a Soviet line change. He entered the offensive zone one-on-one against Valery Vasiliev, then dropped a pass to the trailing Brad Park who one-timed it on net.
Vladislav Tretiak went to his knees to make the save, but failed to control the rebound. Henderson lunged forward and chipped the puck past the goalie at 18:31.
“That was the turning point in the contest,” coach Harry Sinden noted afterward. “The goal showed the Soviets we weren’t going away tonight.”
The Soviets regained the lead at 4:41 of the third period on their second power-play goal. Dryden made an initial save on a wrist shot from Yakushev and then on a rebound shot by Shadrin. The loose puck spun in front of the net for a moment before Aleksandr Maltsev knocked it over Dryden’s outstretched glove.
Sinden, who had had some success earlier in the series by putting Yvan Cournoyer on a line with Henderson and Ron Ellis, tried this combination again – and struck gold a second time.
Cournoyer evened the score 3-3 at 7:05 when he shoveled a wrist shot from the high slot through a screen that beat Tretiak to his glove side.
“Cournoyer’s a skilled player and we felt the Soviets weren’t used to seeing him play center,” Sinden commented. “Having him play a number of shifts on the second line gave it an extra offensive spark.”
The regular second line gave Team Canada the lead for good at 15:19. On the forecheck, Clarke separated Aleksandr Ragulin from the puck with a thundering body check, then sent a blind centering pass into the slot. Ron Ellis was in the vicinity and managed to deflect the puck with his backhand, but the shot struck the post. Tretiak was caught leaning one way as Henderson found the rebound and stuffed into an open cage.
Cournoyer capped off the evening with an empty-net goal at 19:31.
While Sinden enjoyed the win, he is keeping it in perspective.
“There are still two games to go in their building and I think they will come out with renewed effort.”
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