PRESS ROOM 1974: Game 1
by BRODIE SNYDER
September 17, 1974
Bobby Hull, the guy they wouldn't let play against
two years ago, finally got the chance he had been
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
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
"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
Billy Harris, the coach of the World Hockey Association
representing Canada this time, was low key as usual,
only that we was "satisfied" with the
The Russian coach, Boris Kulagin, called it "an
exciting game" and added "We too are satisfied
with the outcome
For the Soviets, it was almost a case of another
show, with the same old stars. Right wing Valery
goalie Vladislav Tretiak, who had stunned Canada
in the Russians
opening 7-3 victory in 1972 were as brilliant last
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
had come to play as Ralph Backstrom and Gordie Howe
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
there to get it over Tretiaks's leg into the corner.
The Russians had chances later in the period, giving
some trouble with strong forechecking, but Cheevers
"No, they really haven't changed their style
of play", Paul Henderson
the hero of the 72 series victory (4-3-1) said afterwards.
just had a little trouble getting organized back
basically the same hockey team and they played basically
The Soviets continued to play well early in the
and tied it at 1-1, when defenceman Vladimir Lutchenko
in from the point for a perfect pass from Russian
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.