1972 Team Canada honoured by Canada’s Walk of Fame

Pau Henderson speaks in front of hundreds of young and old Canadians who showed up at Nathan Philips Square to honour 1972's Team Canada. 

In 1972, Canadians praised Team Canada winning the gold medal against the Soviet Union in the Summit Series.

Forty years later, the team is back together again as Canada’s Walk of Fame honoured them at Nathan Philips Square on Friday.

Game winning goal scorer, Paul Henderson, feels very grateful to have played for his nation because of the fans.

“We would not have won that series without the incredible support we received from Canadians,” he said on stage as he addressed a cheering crowd.

Team Canada reunited inside City Hall where they mingled and took photos with bagpipers around noon and then proceeded outside where they were greeted by the public.

Even though Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford was too young to remember this part in history, he still made an appearance to appreciate the team.

“I was three-years-old at the time but I’ve heard about it. I’ve seen the goal,” he reminisced as Team Canada stood behind him.

It was an event-filled day with performances by Jim Cuddy, who is a member of the Canadian pop and country rock band, the Blue Rodeo, including his son Devin Cuddy.

Paul Henderson’s jersey that he wore during the series was also on display and available for fans to take photos of.

“I was so thankful to be able to represent our country and it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to do that,” Henderson said in a media scrum afterwards.

One of the fans who attended the event was lucky enough to live through the series and shared his memory.

“It’s fun to relive a momentous moment like that,” John Bros who watched the series when he was 14-years-old said. “Think of the happiest thing that could ever happen in your life at the time, and that was it and more.”

“It’s hard to describe. We went absolutely crazy.”

Bros was in grade nine when Canada faced the Soviet Union. He left school after lunch to watch the game with his friends at home.

“We were one of the few families back then with colour television so everyone was at our house and we were cheering our hearts out.”

The 40th anniversary falls on Sept. 28 when Henderson scored the winner in game eight with 34 seconds left in the third period to beat the Russians in a 4-3-1 series win.

This was the first competition between the Soviet Union and Canada who allowed professional hockey players from the NHL to participate in international competition after Canada withdrew from international ice hockey due to a dispute with the IIHF.

Bros, who was lucky enough to have been around to experience the hype, thinks that it was a victory and contest like no other because it was during the height of the Cold War when both countries were butting heads.

“It certainly was a lot different back then from a political perspective,” he said looking back. “It was more than a hockey game so it was a battle of the two cultures.”

Henderson, who is battling with cancer said he feels good and that the eight games they played cannot be compared to anything else.

“There’s no way this [the type of competition] could happen again,” Henderson said. “There was such a mystique and they were trying to take over the world with their ideology.”

Team Canada will be officially honoured on Sept. 22 at the Canada’s Walk of Fame 2012 Inductee Ball.

About this article

By: Stephanie Leung
Posted: Sep 22 2012 5:20 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports

1 Comment on "1972 Team Canada honoured by Canada’s Walk of Fame"

  1. 5-3 series win??? Obviously, history is already being forgotten by this writer.

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