Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summit Series '72, Game 3. "We let down."

Jean Ratelle scores in first period to make it 2-1 Canada

 "I was fooled again," said assistant coach John Ferguson after the 4-4 tie in game three, "I felt that after we had taken a 3-1 lead, the final score might be something like 7-1. But those two short-handed goals. When you score one short-handed goal it can turn it all around. But two, that's almost fatal." Indeed it was almost fatal for Team Canada's hopes. The shorthanders by Petrov and Kharlamov were however only part of the near fatal dagger as the Russians other two tallies were in the final five minutes of the third.

Tim Burke of the Montreal Gazette wrote in his game summary;
Probably the only man in the world who has called this series exactly as it has unfolded is the trainer of the Russian team, Georgi Guzinov. The day before the series opened he said: "After three games, each team will have a victory and a tie."

Meanwhile, Paul Henderson, who scored Canada's fourth goal took blame himself for not delivering victory, "I blew three chances. That one early in the third period. He (Tretiak) must have followed the puck right out to where I was but I didn't give him a chance to get set. I just banged it. I don't think I've ever shot as hard. But it comes right up in his glove. I don't think I've ever shot as well in my life. That guy is a tremendous goalie. He could make it anywhere in the NHL. But, I'm convinced we're going to win this series. We've got better hockey players."

Coach Harry Sinden described  Tretiak's save on Henderson late in the third, "Paul had him dead, he go tthe puck up just like you should in that spot, but the guy picked it off. Great glove! Whoever said there was something wrong with that guy's glove?" Sinden then declared that the Russian squad was, "as good as any NHL club, yup, as good as the Boston Bruins too."

Burke described the atmosphere at Winnipeg Arena,
"For the Russians, the vast Ukraine-like wheatlands of Manitoba and a rather dour crowd of 10,600 provided what Coach Bobrov described as the 'most suitable environment yet'. We are very happy with Winnipeg. We found the people much like our own." 
Bobrov also admitted  that the Russians were using the Canadian end of the series to test out prospects and would present a stronger team in Moscow. "We used a very young line with no world championship experience." Bobrov said of the rookie unit of Anisin, Bodunov and Lebedev, all 21-year-olds. He continued, "Back home we have more experienced players. As you know, we have veterans Firsov and Davidov who will play in Moscow. Here, we are giving young players experience."

On the Bobby Orr front, his status remained uncertain and some even doubt that his knee will have healed sufficiently by the time the Bruins open the regular schedule. "It's touch and go," says physiotherapist  Karl Elieff. Apparently Orr hasn't helped the healing process by refusing to take things easy.

Parise scores the first goal of the game

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