Ken Dryden was within the coronary heart of Moscow, on the top of the Cold War, tending objective for Team Canada, and knew and understood even then that one thing vital was taking place that night time.
It was Sept. 28, 1972, a Thursday, within the eighth and remaining recreation of the Summit Series in opposition to the Soviet Union.
“As with most things, it often takes you a long time to appreciate what you know and what it means,” Dryden says now, 50 years later. “All of this is happening during the course of a work day and a school day (in Canada). This wasn’t nighttime. This wasn’t a weekend. Sixteen million people watched that game — far beyond any other shared moment in the country’s history. Nothing else even comes close.”
The collection – the first-ever assembly between the NHL’s high execs and the so-called amateurs of the Soviet Union – had been years within the making and was now in its twenty sixth day, with the groups tied 3-3-1.
This recreation – this night time — was winner-take-all. It was the day Canada stood nonetheless.
All of Canada was riveted by a collection of video games that had spilled far past the normal viewers of a hockey-crazed nation, and the Summit Series grew to become a turning level second within the historical past of worldwide hockey.
The bigger context was merely this: Canada thought-about itself the birthplace of hockey, however the overwhelming majority of its high gamers have been professionals, employed within the NHL. Meanwhile, in each the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, the highest gamers have been technically amateurs – formally, principally troopers and college students, although they performed hockey full-time for almost all of the 12 months. Still, that designation saved them eligible for Olympic competitors, whereas Canada was sending nationwide groups composed of precise college students and amateurs.