The Summit in 1974


PRESS ROOM 1974: Game 1


by Vladimir Dvortsov
September 1974
Quebec City

For the second Summit Series versus Canadian professionals, the newly appointed head coach of Team USSR, Boris Kulagin selected 27 candidates, including 17 players that took part in the Summit Series 1972.

Canadians made their choice on experienced players that went through the NHL battles and now became a centerpiece of the WHA - goaltender Cheevers, players Tremblay, Stapleton, F. Mahovlich, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, famous Henderson and many others.

The first game was played in Quebec City. It was sold out. There was a $2 per ticket lottery just to buy a ticket to the USSR vs. Canada game. Out of 2 million lottery participants, only 15,000 lucky fans were actually able to get to the game.

Being much older than our team, Team Canada had an extensive preparation for the Series.

"I knew that Kulagin was watching our practice. So, I asked the guys not to practice too hard. After that, in the locker room, I thanked them because even their half-strength practice looked very impressive," said Bill Harris, Team Canada 1974 head coach.

"It was a hell of a practice. I feel exhausted", adds Bobby Hull with a smile.

The WHA pros had an outstanding first game of the Series. Our team barely managed to tie the game at 3-3.

McKenzie scored the first goal. Defenseman Lutchenko tied the game in the second period. When Vasiliev was serving a penalty, Hull used his powerful slapshot to scored a power play goal. Kharlamov and, then, Petrov score powerplay goals.

Kharlamov scored a beautiful goal. He ran away from two forwards, beat two defensemen and, then, the goaltender. Canadian media called it "a gourmet goal". It was broadcast several times on TV.

Canadians fought up to the final buzzer of the game. With five minutes left, Hull scored his second goal.

Team Canada 1972 goalie, Ken Dryden made a joke in his TV appearance:

"What a surprise – Canada can play well against the Soviets."

Vladimir Petrov's pre-Series joke that "there won't be a need to score a lot of goals" became unexpectedly true.

But the biggest disappointment was waiting for our team in Toronto




The Summit in 1974