Friday, December 9, 2011

Henderson Scores for Canada, in 1962

Paul Henderson's exploits against the Soviet Union in September 1972 was not the first time he tangled with the Russians. Far from it, Henderson first played against and scored against the Russians almost 10 years prior to the Summit Series.

During his final year of junior hockey with the Ontario League's Hamilton Red Wings, 18 year old Henderson notched a goal in a 9-5 loss on Nov. 19, 1962. A touring squad of Soviets, most of them 23 or 24 years of age had their way with the beefed up Hamilton side in front of a capacity crowd of 3,827. In 1962/63, Henderson would tally 50 goals and 76 points in 49 games.

The junior Red Wings were led that season by Pit Martin and his 87 points and were reinforced by graduates of the program from the previous two years. One of the goals against the Soviets was scored by Lowell MacDonald, on loan from Pittsburgh of the AHL. Also on the squad were future NHLers Gary Doak, Bart Crashley, Jimmy Peters, Nick Libbett and Bryan Campbell.

Henderson's goal was far less dramatic than the three he'd score in Moscow ten years later. His marker made the score 7-3 in the Soviets favour. Coincidentally, two of the Russian players, Alexander Ragulin and Vyacheslav Starshinov would also play in the fabled Summit Series a decade later. Starshinov got into one game in 1972 while Ragulin was a prominent veteran at the time and played in six matches.

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