I game I have never seen before since I was hitchhiking in Europe when it was played, and we arrived in Paris not knowing the score. So we bought a copy of Le Monde where there was a story that filled two columns with everything in it describing the atmosphere at the game and the history of Canada-Russia hockey but with no actual score. But there at the end, there was a two-line para that I could barely decipher as saying that Canada had won the game.
I moved to Australia in 1975 so that the Canadian team has all the players I remember. I wouldn’t know a single player on a single team in the NHL, or even on the Leafs, but here I know everyone, including the announcer who was Foster Hewitt, who broadcast the Leaf games for my entire youth.
And of course, it was that last minute of the game where Paul Henderson – a Maple Leaf – scored the goal that has remained undoubtedly the single most thrilling goal in the history of Canadian hockey. Even as I watched it, and for me it was for the first time, I felt the tension, even though I know how it ended. Who could ever forget?
Might add, that my children are ethnic children, both played hockey (not ice hockey, but hockey unlike grass hockey which is a non-existent nothing to me). I also was at the game when Toronto last won the Stanley Cup. Alas, the Leafs are the worst sports franchise in North America and are unlikely to win The Cup anytime in my own lifetime.
Will just finish by saying that I had the enormous pleasure of playing hockey with my sons when we lived in Canberra. These are the memories that really matter, even more than who won between the Russians and the Canadians back in 1972.