the 1972 Summit Series
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Game 4: Hull
of a game
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Like two prize-fighters in the final round of a title bout, battered but wary and still able to deliver knockout punches, Team Canada and the Soviet Union went toe-to-toe in a chippy contest at the Pacific Coliseum.
Dennis Hull scored twice and Paul Henderson added a pair of goals as the Canadians fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-3.
The Canadian swing of the Summit Series ends with Canada holding a 2-1-1 advantage. The final four games in Moscow will begin Sept. 22.
“Tonight, we did a much better job defensively in our own end,” commented defenseman Brad Park, who recorded a pair of assists and was the game’s third star. “To my recollection, I don’t know of any other team that has held them to under 30 shots in a game.”
A combination of jet lag, plus the constrictive North American style appeared to wear down the Soviets, who were held to just 27 shots. In a reverse of Game 3, they gave up four consecutive goals after enjoying a commanding lead.
Team Canada’s special teams woes continued, however. The power play went 0-4 and the Soviets scored the first two goals of the game on the man advantage.
Soviet forward Valeri Kharlamov ended his scoring drought at 4:14 of the first period. When Canadian penalty killer Peter Mahovlich tripped in his own end while carrying the puck, Kharlamov corralled the loose biscuit. He walked in on Ken Dryden and snapped a 15-foot wrist shot into the top stick-side corner for the only goal of the first period.
Aleksandr Yakushev gave the Soviet Union a brief 2-0 lead early in the second period. When Vladimir Petrov’s slap shot missed the goal, Yakushev picked up the puck, feinted one way, then moved to his forehand to beat Dryden to the far post on a wraparound shot at 3:17.
At the 4-minute mark, Dennis Hull got Canada on the board. Park took possession of a loose puck outside his blue line and shovelled it up to Hull, who outraced defenseman Victor Kuzkin and fired a wrist shot from point-blank range that deflected off Tretiak into the goal.
Hull got his second goal at 8:18 when Tretiak failed to control the rebound off a long-range shot by Park. Hull lunged and just managed to get the puck enough altitude to clear the goalie’s pads.
Henderson gave Canada the lead for good, 3-2, at 15:21 when he and line mate Bobby Clarke combined on a 2-on-1 break. When defender Yuri Liapkin tried to stand Clarke up deep in the Soviet end, the Canadian zipped a pass on to Henderson’s stick. His low shot somehow managed to squirt between the near post and Tretiak’s pad.
In the third period, Henderson administered the game winner at 10:16. On the forecheck, Ron Ellis intercepted a pass, then sent it to an open Henderson in the slot who rocketed it into the net before Tretiak could react. 4-3, Canada.
Yuri Liapkin got the Soviet back into the contest. From the point, he one-timed Valeri Vasiliev’s set-up pass through a screen and eluded Dryden to find the back of the net at 16:07.
After coach Vsevolod Bobrov called a timeout with 1:33 remaining, the Soviets pulled Tretiak in favour of a sixth attacker. The move did not yield any dividends as the Soviet skaters seemed sluggish and could not establish a tempo.
The Soviets did, however, get a golden opportunity to salvage a tie with approximately 11 seconds remaining. While applying pressure in the offensive zone, the Soviet fore checkers managed to force Gary Bergman into making an errant pass.
The puck deflected off a stick onto the blade of a surprised Petrov in front of an open net. He reflexively swiped at it, but the puck flipped on edge and rolled just wide of the cage – causing a collective gasp from the crowd. Ron Ellis managed to clear the zone and the game ended seconds later.
“The Soviets have been dominant for so long, they are almost never in a position in which they had to pull the goalie,” Dryden commented afterward. “They seemed to have problems with working the extra skater into the play.”
Bobrov, whose face was flushed during the final two periods, did not appear at the post-game press conference, claiming illness.
Team Canada gets several days off to rest before flying to Sweden for a pair of exhibition games on Sept. 16-17 in Stockholm.
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