1974 Summit Series

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1974 Summit Series
12345678 Total
Canada  34552242 1
Soviet Union  31853543 4
Location(s)Canada (1–4)
Soviet Union (5–8)
DatesSeptember 17 – October 6, 1974 (1974-09-17 – 1974-10-06)
← 1972 Summit Series

The 1974 Summit Series was the second of two competitions between Soviet and Canadian professional ice hockey players, following the same format as the 1972 Summit Series, with four games across Canada and four in Moscow. The Soviet team won the series 4–1–3, with Canada's lone victory at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. A significant difference from the previous series was that Canada's roster was selected from the World Hockey Association instead of the National Hockey League.[1]

The top scorer of the Soviet team was Alexander Yakushev (5+3), as well as Vladimir Petrov (2+6), and Valery Kharlamov (2+5). On the Canadian side, Bobby Hull (7+2), Backstrom (4+4), G. Howe (3+4) and Lacroix (1+7) scored.[2]

Organization and preparation[edit]

Negotiations for the event started at the 1974 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, when Andrey Starovoytov of the Soviet Union approached Jack Devine and Gordon Juckes of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association regarding another series.[3] Initially the event was to be six-games,[4] but it was later extended to eight.[5] Team Canada players were paid C$6,000 each for participating in the event.[6]

The Series[edit]


In Canada, a full hall gathered for the first training session of the USSR national team, and the players of the VHA national team, led by Bobby Hull, were among the spectators. Tickets for the matches of the Canadian part of the series were sold out a few months before it began. In Quebec, they were drawn in a lottery — people paid two dollars for a chance to get a pass to the game; out of two million who bought a lottery ticket, only 15 thousand got to the match. In Winnipeg, ten-dollar tickets were sold before the game for 20 denominations.[7]

The first match ended in a draw (3-3).[8] Frank Makhovlich did not realize a one-on-one with Tretyak in the last minute.[2]

The second match was played with the advantage of the Canadians. Petrov's goal at the beginning of the third period was not counted by Canadian referee Tom Brown, who later admitted the mistake and apologized.[8]

In the third match, the Soviet national team took a convincing revenge (8–5). Don McLeod defended the Canadians' goal; after this game, there were no more substitutions for Gerry Cheevers.[8]

In the first period of the fourth match, Bobby Hull scored a hat trick. After the first period, the hosts led 5–2, but the USSR national team pulled out a 5–5 draw, ending the Canadian part of the series with 17:17 points.[8]


Before the Moscow part of the Series, the Canadian national team played two friendly matches in Helsinki and Gothenburg; winning against the Finns and the Swedes 8:3 and 4:3, respectively. The Canadians arrived in Moscow on September 27; about three thousand Canadian fans also arrived. Tickets cost from 10 to 50 rubles (though there were no tickets at the box office; they were distributed among organizations). However, people, hoping for an extra ticket, were on duty at the Luzhniki Stadium continuously, right up to the last match of the series.[2]

Due to the injury of Alexander Yakushev, Lebedev and Bodunov now played with Shadrin, and Anisin — with Maltsev and Vikulov. The Anisin—Maltsev—Vikulov trio opened the scoring in the first match, and then Maltsev realized the majority.[2] The match ended 3–2.[2]

The sixth game (5–2) featured an increased number of fouls from the Team Canada. The Canadians scored 33 penalty minutes per game (the Soviets scored 9 minutes). Mark Howe met Petrov harshly, in retaliation Vasilyev thoroughly crushed Bruce MacGregor.[2] The game was overshadowed by the post-match brawl of the Rick Ley with Kharlamov. The latter left the ice with his face covered in blood. Many Soviet hockey players refused to shake hands with their rivals. The next day, Boris Kulagin said that "the players who inflicted injuries on Soviet hockey players deserve to be suspended from matches." The Canadians apologized, the incident was hushed up.[8] At the same time, the Canadian side expressed dissatisfaction with the refereeing.[2]

In the seventh match, the most correct of the series, the Soviets played four units for the first time under Kulagin. As in the previous match, the Soviet national team often played "kickback", giving the initiative to the guests. Instead of Maltsev, who was injured, Sergey Kapustin, who showed great promise, came out, and began the attack, which Anisin turned into a goal.[2] Hull scored a goal at the same time as the final siren, giving the guests a chance for a draw, but referee Brown didn't count the goal.[8]

In the last match, Kulagin gave the opportunity to play to those who had been sitting in reserve until now. The match ended 3–2.[2] The Soviet national team won all the Moscow games.


In an interview with Soviet Sport, Boris Kulagin critically urged not to overestimate the importance of victory: "This series showed that our best players surpass Canadian professionals in the sum of all the components that make up hockey. But let's think about one detail: we are stronger than the top 20-25 players, and if we take 50 or 100 hockey players on each side? I'm afraid that perhaps no one will give a definite answer. And I urge both coaches and players to roll up their sleeves so that in a few years any major league club team can safely go on the ice against any foreign team. And not just "calmly go out", but win!"[2]


USSR Wins Series 4–1–3

Scoring leaders[edit]

  1. Canada Bobby Hull (7g, 2a, 9pts)
  2. Soviet Union Alexander Yakushev (5g, 3a, 8pts)
  3. Canada Ralph Backstrom (4g, 4a, 8pts)
  4. Canada Gordie Howe (3g, 4a, 7pts)
  5. Soviet Union Valeri Kharlamov (2g, 5a, 7pts)
  6. Soviet Union Vladimir Petrov (1g, 6a, 7pts)
  7. Canada André Lacroix (1g, 6a, 7pts)
  8. Soviet Union Boris Mikhailov (4g, 2a, 6pts)
  9. Canada Mark Howe (2g, 4a, 6pts)
  10. Canada John McKenzie (2g, 3a, 5pts)


Like it was with the original Summit Series in 1972, CBC and CTV split the coverage, with CTV carrying Games 1, 3, 6 and 7, while CBC aired Games 2, 4, 5 (?) and 8. CTV produced the telecasts. Johnny Esaw called the games for CTV, while Don Chevrier called the action for CBC. Howie Meeker was the colour commentator for all of the games. Both Esaw and Chevrier conducted intermission and post-game interviews during the games either one did not do play-by-play for. In the Soviet Union, coverage was orchestrated by the Ministry of Telecommunications. The first 4 games of the broadcast also featured the Gamerecorder which was the first statistics computer used in professional sports and a print of the Gamerecorder has now been accepted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[9]


In honour of the 45th anniversary of the Series, a gala evening was held at the Moscow Hockey Museum; the event was attended by Canadian Ambassador Stefan Joben.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Мы, канадцы, помним Суперсерию-72. А Серию-74 почему-то нет". 45 лет победе сборной СССР над Канадой из ВХА". October 7, 2019. Archived from the original on April 7, 2023. Retrieved April 7, 2023.. In Russian
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j СУПЕРСЕРИЯ-74. ФИАСКО КАНАДЦЕВ В МОСКВЕ. In Russian
  3. ^ Wallace, Craig (2009). The Forgotten Summit. Lulu.com. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-557-04556-3.
  4. ^ Svoboda, Chuck (April 30, 1974). "Team Canada 74: Production of the WHA". Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Plans finalized for Soviet-WHA series". Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. May 27, 1974. p. 9.
  6. ^ "Roundup of short sport". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. December 5, 1974. p. 16.
  7. ^ Суперсерия-74. Повторение пройденного. In Russian
  8. ^ a b c d e f «Вы играли в красивый хоккей, А мы жёстко». Суперсерии-74 — 45 лет. In Russian
  9. ^ https://www.facebook.com/74SummitSeries/ [user-generated source]
  10. ^ ""Играли за страну". Торжественный вечер в честь 45-летия Суперсерии-1974 прошел в Москве". Archived from the original on April 7, 2023. Retrieved April 7, 2023.. In Russian

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