|The 1972 Canada - USSR hockey showdown was an 8 game exhibition series between the Soviet National Team and a team of Canadian-born professionals from the National Hockey League.
It was a benchmark competition, with the best players from the world's best hockey powers facing off for the first time.
The series gave coaches, scouts and fans a chance to compare vastly different hockey styles that had evolved in almost complete isolation from each other.
The series, 4 games in different Canadian cities and 4 in Moscow, began on September 2 in Montréal. The hockey was unparalleled, shockingly fast, rough and highly skilled.
The Soviets stunned Team Canada with a 7 - 3 victory in game 1 and only one loss in the next 4 matches. However, paced by the leadership of Phil Esposito and 3 game-winning goals by Paul Henderson, Team Canada won the final 3 games in Moscow and narrowly captured the series 4-3-1.
The Soviets had demonstrated extraordinary passing skills, skating ability and fitness, but they could not match the emotion of the Canadian team.
Combining heart and skill, the players of Team Canada found ways to win, enabling them to celebrate a victory both for hockey and for Canada.