The Summit in 1974


PRESS ROOM 1974: Game 1

When It Is Hot On the Ice
Vladislav Tretiak's Diaries 1974

by Vladislav Tretiak
September 1974
Quebec City

In Quebec City, we were reading local newspapers. Almost everybody was predicting that Team Canada is going to lose. No way they'll win over the Russians.

The papers brought the memories of the other articles in Canadian press published two years ago.

"... We'll kill them. They won't have anyone to play in the third period."

"... We'll score as many goals as Canadian fans will want us to score."

"... We'll tear them apart."

"... We'll eat them alive."

Canada wanted to intimidate us back in 1972.

This time, it was the other way around. The papers were praising Team USSR. It was nice. But I was afraid that it might have over relaxed us.

September 17. The game has not begun yet. But the fans were already getting crazy. Loud elecronic music. Screaming pipes all over. Saucepans and drums rattled. Crashes. Yells. Total madness.

I have to admit that two years ago we were intimidated by this cacophony. By now, we got used to it. The home team began the game with attacks in our end. Early in the game, they got a lead. 1-0.

During the intermission, we were told to "outskate" the opponents.

"Speed! Speed! Speed!"

The game ended with a 3-3 tie. It was a hard game for us. The whole game was a non-stop shoot-out at our net. Sometimes, it seemed that Team Canada had ten pucks that they were shooting at me at the same time. I think that Gerry Cheevers might have had a similar feeling.

I vividly remember two moments of the game. Bernier shot the puck straight in front of me. I blocked the shot and, in disappointment, he broke his stick over the board. With 34 seconds left, one of the Canadians (I think it was Mahovlich) was left one-on-one with me. I moved fast towards him and, all of a sudden, he lost the momentum and missed it.

Bobby Hull scored two goals.

No wonder, people are telling legends about him. He's got some slap shot! Sometimes, I wasn't even able to see the puck!

I am impressed by Tremblay. He is a very reliable defenseman.

As for our team, Kharlamov was indeed the best in this game. His goal should have been videotaped and then shown in the classrooms.

The game is over. We are sitting in the locker room. We are relaxing. It feels empty inside. It is very quiet here.

"What a game," thoughts are going in my mind. "And those are called the oldtimers! Are those considered 'weak Canadians'? Seems to me that it's going to be harder than it was two years ago. Watch out, Vladik!"

The guys who didn't play today and watched the game from the stands with the fans join us in the locker room.

Volodya Polupanov is amazed.

"What a game! This is a..."

He is trying to find the right words.

"This is fantastic. That's what it is!"

We are sitting quiet.

"Volodya. Give me a break."

"I've never seen something like this," says defenseman Sapelkin entering the room.

I haven't seen something like this myself. I am exhausted. Everybody probably thinks now that it's the beginning of something that we couldn't even dream about.




The Summit in 1974