The Summit in 1974


PRESS ROOM 1974: Game 1


September 17, 1974
Quebec City

Bobby Hull, the guy they wouldn't let play against the Russians two years ago, finally got the chance he had been waiting for last night.

He scored two goals, including the one that produced a 3-3 tie in the opener of the eight game series, at 14:18 of the third period.

That spurred a closing rush by the much maligned and vastly under-rated Team Canada 74 that had the Soviets hanging on at the end, to the delight of an emotional crowd of 10,958 at the Closiee du Quebec.

"Never been so tight before a game in my life, not even a 7th game of a Stanley Cup final", Hull said after being named the Canadian teams MVP for a strong two way effort. "Those guys are great hockey players. This is going to be quite a series."

Billy Harris, the coach of the World Hockey Association all-stars representing Canada this time, was low key as usual, allowing only that we was "satisfied" with the result.

The Russian coach, Boris Kulagin, called it "an interesting and exciting game" and added "We too are satisfied with the outcome tonight."

For the Soviets, it was almost a case of another opening, another show, with the same old stars. Right wing Valery Kharlamov and goalie Vladislav Tretiak, who had stunned Canada in the Russians opening 7-3 victory in 1972 were as brilliant last night.

Kharlamov scored the prettiest goal of the night and was the Russians MVP while Tretiak saved the tie, time and again in the dying minutes of the game.

It was obvious from the opening face-off that Team Canada 74 had come to play as Ralph Backstrom and Gordie Howe combined for a near miss and Frank Mahovlich, who admits he's much happier emotionally this time, just missed tipping in a drive by J.C. Tremblay, the former Canadien who was the outstanding defenceman on the ice.

The teams alternated in exerting pressure and both goalies were sharp, Tretiak making a fine stop of Rejean Houle, and Gerry Cheevers a breathtaking save on Vladimir Petrov who was sent in by Kharlamov to finish off a three-on-two break.

Johnny McKenzie opened the scoring for Canada at 12:13 as the Russians - who still appear weak in their own end of the rink- made a mistake. Hull was scuffling for the puck along the left boards when Petrov swooped in to pick it up, and tried to fire it behind the net.

But it hit the backboards then hit the side of the net and stopped. Andre Lacroix picked it up and slid it behind him in front of the net, when it appeared he'd circle around. McKenzie was right there to get it over Tretiaks's leg into the corner.

The Russians had chances later in the period, giving the Canadians some trouble with strong forechecking, but Cheevers held them out.

"No, they really haven't changed their style of play", Paul Henderson the hero of the 72 series victory (4-3-1) said afterwards. "We just had a little trouble getting organized back there. They're basically the same hockey team and they played basically the same game."

The Soviets continued to play well early in the second period and tied it at 1-1, when defenceman Vladimir Lutchenko skated in from the point for a perfect pass from Russian rookie Sergie Kasputin and drilled a low 40-footer past Cheevers.

That's when Hull first took command. Playing the left point on the power play after Russia's Valery Vasilyev was called for tripping, he scored with a wicked drive from near the face-off circle after Gordie Howe had tied up the Soviets behind the net and Mike Walton had dug the puck out.



The Summit in 1974